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Bahamas Sexual Health and Rights Association Receives PEPFAR Grant

pepfarOn February 10, 2014, the U.S. Embassy officially awarded a PEPFAR Small Grant to the Bahamas Family Planning Association.  Bahamas Family Planning Association, located in Centerville is a growing and unique Civil Society Organization which recently re-launched as the Bahamas Sexual Health and Rights Association (BaSHRA).  BaSHRA’s focus is on implementing a “Safe Space Program” within corporate settings that have a significant amount of staff.

BaSHRA’s Safe Space Program will use a “Diversity Monitoring and Networking” module to explore policy issues, beliefs and/or practices within the workplace regarding sexual rights.  Current and past experiences within the workplace for those persons living with HIV/AIDS will also be addressed as it relates to workplace inclusion.  Discussions with senior level human resources staff about discrimination on the grounds of gender and race is also part of the monitoring and networking.  The overall goal of the module is to ensure equal opportunities and sustain a healthy, productive workforce.   Through protection of staff, related to lack of inclusion or bullying, all levels of career development.  The Safe Space Program theory is that people perform better at work when they are valued.

“Receiving this grant motivates us to maintain progressive work based on our Safe Space Program goals, which is in line with our affiliate, International Planned Parenthood Federation.  This work is part of an institutional development plan for all Member Associations in the Region,” stated BaSHRA Executive Director Kevon Lightbourne.  Lightbourne added, “Moreover, we look forward to technical assistance from the U.S. Embassy’s Small Grants, as well as other grant opportunities within BaSHRA’s high-need areas.  We are committed to deliver effective and efficient use of all funding opportunities.”

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the cornerstone of the U.S. President’s Global Health Initiative, and the largest commitment in the country’s history towards a single disease.  The goal of PEPFAR is to make smart investments that save the greatest number of lives by increasing and building upon what works and, supporting partnering countries as they work to improve the health of their own people.  In the Caribbean, PEPFAR, partners with 11 countries and 2 regional bodies to work within National AIDS Programs, along with civil society organizations, under the guidance of the Caribbean Regional Partnership Framework 2010 – 2014.  Various U.S. agencies support PEPFAR initiatives, and the PEPFAR Small grants currently range from $2,000 – $8,000.  Requests for proposals are released periodically as funding and capacity allow.

United States Embassy, Nassau

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