Happy holidays from the APTN team!
The second year of the pandemic has taught us many lessons. Despite the challenges, we are still continuing to strive. Thanks to all of our partners, we are glad that we passed this challenging year with grace. We look forward to seeing you again in the next year!
The APTN office will be temporarily closed for Christmas and New Year break from the 24th of December to 7th of January 2022.
Read the message from our Executive Director, Joe Wong about what we have been learning and our plan for the next year.
The continued pandemic has made us rethink priorities and look at challenges in a different light. Many of the APTN staffers and community had to find ways to cope – away from their communities, loved ones and their chosen family. It was difficult not being able to connect physically with the many trans folks around the region when the border was closed. We had to go back to the drawing board for the implementation of our strategic plan and work plans multiple times with the ongoing crisis and pandemic. I am very grateful for the work that the team has shown despite their longing to be reconnected to their families and loved ones. While we may not be working physically as much as we used to, everyone developed a professional intimacy with each other and often check in on each other’s well-being.
Since the pandemic, we’ve provided additional welfare that includes WFH allowances, mental health support and medical care to the staffers. These benefits that were utilized have shown me the difference it has made for our team members. We re-looked at the cultural values of the organisation, listened to what needs improvement and learned from each other how we can foster a healthier and more balanced workspace and personal life.
We expanded the advocacy team and finance team this year to meet the growing needs of the organisation and welcomed two ex-APTN staffers back onto the team, Marli Gutierrez-Patterson and Nhuun Wannapong Yodmuang. We relaunched our website, which brought new exciting and unexpected partnerships that we hope to explore more in the future. In addition, we engaged an audit firm this year to advise on our operations processes to reduce the administrative burdens on our staff as we shift to a work from home and remote work arrangement.
This year, we brought together 7 regional partners in Asia and the Pacific in a joint project aimed to strengthen regional responses amongst the drug users, sex workers, woman living with HIV, people living with HIV, youths, men who have sex with men and gay men and SOGIESC communities, this project will begin in 2022.
To be able to create more sustainable operations and support for local organisations, we will conduct a fundraising campaign by the end of this year. With this campaign, we aim to engage and expand our donor base to private sectors. In the coming three years, we will exchange learnings and strengthen our networks’ capacity in a joint partnership with the trans network in Africa, sexual and gender diversity network in the Pacific, and Youth network in the Asia Pacific. With dedicated resources directed for supporting partners’ grant proposal development, we are beginning to see fruition in these investments aimed at strengthening organisation capacities on fundraising and funds management.
2021 has taught me patience, vulnerability and openness. As an organisation, we’ve learned that culture-building must be a collective and consistent effort to keep the organisation healthy, safe and happy — more so as we move into making remote work a part of the working culture in achieving together, having collective responsibility and being supportive of every individual
To recap it in three words, for me 2021 is about “flow”, “grounding”, and “dedication”.
On behalf of the team at APTN, I wish you good health and happy holidays!