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IP Building Bridges – LGBTI (participant: Southern Asia)

For the fifth time, the Communications Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, RVO.nl, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and COC Netherlands jointly organised an Influential Visitors’ Programme coinciding with Amsterdam's Gay Pride.

The focus of this year’s Building Bridges programme was on women activists from a range of South and Southeast Asian countries, the specific challenges women face, and how these can be overcome by building bridges and finding allies.

Human Rights Ambassador Kees van Baar opened the programme, which combined training courses in areas from storytelling to Krav Maga self-defence skills with inspiring meetings. For example, participants met with the Amsterdam LGBTI network at the mayor’s residence and with Elie Lust, policewoman and spokesperson for Pink in Blue Amsterdam. The visit ended with a special experience: a boat trip with COC Netherlands as part of the Canal Parade.

‘It was a great experience to see people celebrate diversity together.’

RVO.nl representatives: Bregje Korteweg, Monique Boon-Habets, Marius Koops (intern)