We believe that it is not possible to change the situation with the rights of marginalised people without their empowerment – so that they can advocate for themselves and participate in the making of the decisions that concern them.
Empowerment means information and education about personal rights, so through peer-to-peer sessions on comprehensive sexuality education we empower the young people and through annual meetings and workshops we empower the HERA Youth themselves.
Empowerment also means building the necessary skills and resources for realisation of reproductive rights, so we train the Roma women from the Šuto Orizari Women’s Initiative and they, in the capacity of field workers and paralegal, offer information and legal services, hold citizen forums, accompany the clients and mediate with service providers.
The enjoying and respecting of social and economic rights of the marginalised people directly affect the promotion of their sexual and reproductive rights. This is why we’ve strengthened the capacities of policy makers and elected representatives for LGBTI rights; and of healthcare workers for family planning, minimum initial service package for sexual and reproductive health, clinical treatment of victims of gender-based violence and for communication skills in providing services to Roma patients.
We’ve trained the ones who have business ideas and potential for social entrepreneurship and who wish to employ persons from marginalised communities, we’ve strengthened the communication skills of some of the Roma non-governmental organisations, and we’ve certified the Roma women from “Nega Plus” in palliative care and home-based care.
Sexuality and sexual and reproductive health of persons with disabilities are an inexhaustive topic also in our trainings and education sessions where we empower the professionals and parents/guardians, and persons with disabilities, too.
HERA has actively strengthened the capacities of communities affected by HIV. It was from these efforts that “EGAL” was founded in 2006, with a mission to prevent HIV and STI among LGBTI community and to fight the stigma and discrimination, and “Stronger Together” was founded in 2009, and, with the technical and administrative support from HERA, transformed from an informal group of people living with HIV into a community-based organisation which today remains committed to promoting the access to HIV treatment and to providing HIV-related prevention, care and support services.
Since 2019, we have been supporting the Roma women’s advocacy group “Employed Roma Woman = Strong Roma Woman”, which aims at creating better employment opportunities for Roma women on the labor market.