APTN Team Learnings and Reflections 2021

Published January 17, 2022

Happy new year 2022! As the second year of the pandemic, 2021 has taught us many lessons. Despite the challenges, we are still continuing to strive. In this post, we are sharing our learnings and reflections in 2021.

If you wish to read the Executive Director’s Notes for the 2021, you can go here.
Check out the slideshow below for APTN Team’s individual testimony for the 2021 year!

Patcharin NadumFinance, Administration and HR Manager
Patcharin’s 2021 Reflections:
Approaching the second year of the pandemic, we are still continuing to work from home. This situation made it challenging to coordinate on some important matters, and I am learning how to take care of myself and make a better balance between work and life balance.

What was your biggest achievement in 2021?
I learned to be a leader this year. Last year, I worked as an officer to support the Accounting and Finance matters of the organisation. This year, I led the new officers that joined my department and trained them as a manager.

Three Words to Describe 2021:
Accountability, Perseverance, Hope

Jas Pham – Knowledge Management and Operations Officer
Jas’s 2021 Reflections:
This year has been probably the most challenging year at APTN. I think I got more used to the pandemic, but I faced other unexpected challenges in my work and had to quickly adapt and learn to respond to new situations I never faced before. Hopefully, all went well in the end, but I definitely feel like I need more time to catch up and take care of myself and my well-being.

What was your biggest achievement in 2021?
This year was another very intense year of learning and growth, both personal and career-wise. I shifted to a new role, handling new responsibilities while supporting core projects. Additionally, I’m also helping new staff to join and make space for those who are leaving. We have many unexpected partnerships and opportunities, I’m looking forward to embracing all of them and helping APTN to grow even further.

Three Words to Describe 2021:
Awareness, Selflove and HODL

Cole Young – Program Officer (Health)
Cole’s 2021 Reflections:
COVID has continued to disrupt the lives and work of trans communities and organisations across the world. It hasn’t been easy, but our partners, community members, and team have pushed through the challenges in order to continue doing vital work for trans health, trans rights, and trans communities.

What was your biggest achievement in 2021?
Over the last two years, I have been working on our Trans Health and Rights Module and the projects are almost ready for release. I hope when we share these resources early next year, they will be useful in educating trans individuals and their health care providers about trans health and wellbeing.

Three Words to Describe 2021:
Reflection, Clarity, Ambition,

Suwimol Changprung – Accounting and Finance Officer
Suwimol’s 2021 Reflections:
For me, COVID-19 is one of the biggest challenges in 2021, we had an experience last year to face a similar situation but unfortunately, COVID-19 continues to worsen. This year I had less catching up with family and friends, but gladly I found a way to support them. Working remotely is not easy for me but I tried my best to manage as it is my responsibility.

What was your biggest achievement in 2021?
I learned more about project budget reporting. I am also improving APTN’s accounting to a digital system. With that, we printed fewer documents and were able to save papers.

Three Words to Describe 2021:
Acceptance, Patience, Economize

Erik Nadir – Communications Officer
Erik’s 2021 Reflections:
Prior to joining APTN, I was one of the fellows in APTN’s 2020 fellowship programme. I could say that the fellowship changed my life as a trans nonbinary person. It helped me realize what I want to do in my career. now that I am joining APTN, I am so grateful to work in the field that I really want.

What was your biggest achievement in 2021?
What I wanted to highlight is my APTN Fellowship comic project that talks about being nonbinary in Southeast Asia, published in New Naratif. You can read the comics here and here.

Three Words to Describe 2021:
Healing, Strength, Growth

Chongon Tantavanich (Bay) – Admin and HR Officer
Bay’s 2021 Reflections:
This year, I had a big loss, my loving father passed away. Because of this, I realize that life is short, and anyone could be dying, especially during COVID-19. It made me think that we need to always be mindful and live our life to the fullest. Nevertheless, I am glad that I can stay closer with my family and work from home. We spend more time together after working hours.

What was your biggest achievement in 2021?
I can work more productively during work from home. I adapt myself to the new technologies for work and the new normal lifestyle.

Three Words to Describe 2021:
Honesty, Sincerity and Solidarity

Nhuun Wannapong Yodmuang – Senior Human Rights and Advocacy Officer
Nhuun’s 2021 Reflections:
2021 shows how unjust this world is. Seeing that trans friends have struggled to live & service during COVID-19 pandemic is heavy hearted. It has reminded me why I do what I do, and I need to do it better.

What was your biggest achievement in 2021?
Being a part of diverse groups to hold the states accountable to women and trans people is my biggest achievement this year. I have joined several advocacy movements of feminists and trans people in local, regional, and international spaces such as CSW, UNCTAD, and UNHRC.

Three Words to Describe 2021:
Uncertainty, Resilience, Hope

Madhura Chakraborty – Human Rights and Advocacy Manager
Madhura’s 2021 Reflections:
Amid the pandemic and growing economic and political fundamentalisms, the emergence of trans-exclusionary feminism and its co-option of feminist discourse to serve the right-wing, anti-trans agenda is concerning and disheartening. At the same time, I have hope because trans voices are being raised in protests everywhere and are becoming harder to ignore.

What was your biggest achievement in 2021?
I have been learning and growing in and with my work. My contribution has been bringing fresh perspectives that enable the exploration of newer avenues to advocate for intersectional trans rights.

Three Words to Describe 2021:
Precarity, Support, Hope

Raine Cortes – Senior Project Manager
Raine’s 2021 Reflections:
This year has been a journey of ups and downs, and a mix of emotions. Playing a bigger role within APTN and having more responsibility also entails its own challenges, coupled with health-related concerns and the passing of three family members. This year made me take a step back, re-assess and reprioritize where and what I am doing now, and recognize that my holistic health is above all else. This has been a journey of almost four years, and I remain to be full of gratitude to APTN, as I embark on the next chapter of my life called ‘change’.

What was your biggest achievement in 2021?
2021 marks my almost four years with APTN; a year that marks my official assumption to a bigger role as Senior Project Manager. With this position comes greater responsibility, and I have continuously managed several projects of APTN (i.e DRL-GEF, GF-SKPA, KPIF-EpiC) and supported others (i.e. RCF, OSF, FIFF, UNAIDS). Keeping track of all these projects and at the same time contributing to the organisation’s resource mobilization is an achievement in itself.

Three Words to Describe 2021:
Journey, Gratitude, Change

Marli Gutierrez-Patterson – Project Officer
Marli’s 2021 Reflections:
There continue to be so many unknowns with COVID but again and again, we’ve seen local organisations were the first responders and lifeline for so many. Thankfully, foundations responded by allowing more flexible funding but as inequity continues to grow, I want to see more support for the emotional wellbeing of individuals that are leading these responses

What was your biggest achievement in 2021?
Showing up and reaching out to others has been so important for my well being this past year. Taking the opposite action of what I was feeling (lonely, tired) and connecting with another person who I can listen to and relate to was the most meaningful and best way to remind myself of the strength of teamwork and give meaning to my days.

Three Words to Describe 2021:
Gratitude, Transformation, Kindness