Written by Ishwor Maharjan

From the 9th June to 1st July 2019 CMI, a consortium of Young Key Population (YKP)-led networks (Youth LEAD, Youth RISE and Y+ Network) successfully carried out Global Training of Trainers for the Global Fund in Cape Town, South Africa. Young leaders from 18 countries along with the representatives from The Global Fund (GF), UNAIDS and developing country NGO delegation members were present at the training. Many of the participants are also part of Country Coordination Mechanism back in their country, who were strategically invited based on the project’s targeted countries.

The training was based on the standard toolkit named “Making Money for Young People”. The main goal of the workshop were to provide participants representing the national YKP-led networks with in-depth understanding of the new GF Strategy, GF structure and processes, along with mapping out countries with funding requests and country dialogues to explore opportunities and risks for YKP-led organizations to effectively engage with GF processes.

According to the participants, YKPs are still discriminated against and stigmatized in society creating barriers to access services. They are facing different types of violence and harassment by police authorities, government officials, their partners and community members on a daily basis which often goes undocumented. Moreover, International funds and services for YKPs are shrinking and countries are not adequately responding to this lack of funding for services.

At the end of the workshop, participants had a better understanding on the national HIV epidemic and response, Global Fund structures, funding model, office of inspector general, implementation toolkits, country status, transition plans, and other related topics through group discussion, panel discussion, presentation and brainstorming. Successful reviews were carried of the global and national scenario of YKP, highlighting the issues and barriers related to services and engagement of YKP in the decision making process.

The training also helped to build the knowledge, capacity and skills of participants to create smart strategies to engage effectively in the GF process with hopes to engage more people in order to advance the issues of YKP in the HIV/AIDS response. As a conclusion, the training was necessary to build the knowledge and capacity of YKP activists and others on understanding the epidemic, response and funding landscape.