dEYAN Vidyaratha Kissoon
- [email protected]
I have an active interest in promoting gender justice, child protection and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) persons. I do this through education and advocacy, using a human rights framework.
The educational and advocacy activities include writing, researching and documentation, facilitation of group interactions and training using participatory methods . I have consolidated my experiences in facilitation in article "Facilitation Thoughts' (http://churchroadman.blogspot.com/p/facilitation-thoughts.html)
My skills include managing projects, including monitoring and evaluation.
I also work in the application of Information and Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D). I have skills in building systems requirements and web-based content management applications. Details are available here.
Client : Amerindian Peoples' Association
Title : Rapporteur services for workshop on Revision of the Amerindian Act
Client : Volunteer Youth Corps/Guyana Civil Society Leadership Project
Title : Training in Lobbying and Engaging with Policy Makers
University of Guyana/Library Research Series Case Study : "Using the Digital Library of the Caribbean to increase visibility of Guyanese and Caribbean LGBTIQ lives, work and activism beyond HQ74 to HQ78 / 306.76"
Client : York University - Canada, Women and Gender Equality Commission Guyana/University of Guyana Institute of Gender Studies
Title : Research Associate to support the development of the curriculum of the Institute of Gender Studies at UG. Work included facilitation of round tables in Berbice, Linden and Essequibo to gather data for the curriculum
Client : Roadside Baptist Skills Training Centre
Title : Facilitation of workshops on Peer Education and Gender Based Violence with youth, and with police recruits
Client : Ministry of Public Telecommunications
Title : Development of a draft Policy on the use of Free and Open Source Software within the public sector in Guyana
Clients for other IT services
University of Guyana / Guyana Association of Professional Social Workers/Ministry of Social Protection - Conference on Social Workers "Examining Social Work Practice : Perspectives from partners and advocates" (2016)
Virat Sabha Youth Camp - Discussion on healthy relationships ; Good mental health (2016)
Submission to the National Dialogue on HIV and the Law in Guyana
(This work is done in addition to the provision of IT services )
May 2015 to August 2015
Client : UNICEF-Guyana
Title : Assessment of faith based organisations in Guyana to promote the Rights of the Child
April /June 2015
Client : Roadside Baptist Skills Training Centre ,No 65 Village
Title : Facilitation Training for Peer Educators around gender equality and facilitation skills
Client : Amerindian Peoples Association
Title : Co-ordination for the conference "Essential Elements for a Legality Definition and a Legality Assurance System in the Guyana-EU FLEGT VPA" -
Facilitation Thoughts : a collection of ideas to consider when doing group discussions
Weekly column The Coil on GT Mosquito.com
The Caribbean region of the International Resources Network is a network that connects activists, scholars, artists and other individuals and organizations who do research and work on issues related to diverse genders and sexualities in the Caribbean
This position is a part time position . The tasks included
Client : Inter-American Development Bank (2014 Work in Progress)
Title : Evaluation of the project Strengthening Civil Society Participation in Poverty Reduction and Development
Client : Urban Justice and Health Initiatives Project - New Amsterdam and Linden Municipalities(2014)
Title : Facilitated Human Rights training workshops with a focus on the rights of LGBT citizens and female and male sex workers in accessing HIV prevention and treatment services. The workshop participants included nurses and other health care workers, police and other workers from the security services sector and other stakeholders.
Client : Tiara Academy (April to September 2013)
Title : Development of learner modules for the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development/United Nations Development Programme “Youth Empowerment, Inclusion and Reconciliation Project”
These modules are :-
The advocacy against child abuse and gender based violence continues through education and awareness ; and generally raising public consciousness through training and participation in public discussion. I have facilitated Child Protection and Gender Based Violence workshops and orientation sessions with :-
In addition, I co-facilitated Sexual and Domestic Violence Protocol Training for Magistrates' Court Staff, Social Workers and Counsellors through a Help & Shelter project. Reports are available on their website.
The advocacy to support LGBT Equality continues through public awareness. Some of the sessions on gender equality also include topics on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Related presentations , letters, articles :-
From madness to mainstream – “Gay rights” in Guyana, Part I and Part 2 ( Stabroek News Diaspora Column 24 June, 2013 and July 2013)
“Liquor companies have not taken responsibility for their retailers selling alcohol to children” Letter to the Editor, Stabroek News , 5 December, 2012
(http://www.caribbeanhomophobias.org) (July 2012)
“Reviewing the Reviews : Responding to Sex and Gender in The Sly Company of People Who Care” (with Dr Nalini Mohabir) Small Axe Salon , Issue 9 May 2012
- (content support ) Hinduism Today, (April/May/June 2011 Issue)
SASOD Public discussion on Guyana's UPR commitments
“Sparing the rod and nurturing the Child – Caribbean Culture and violence against children” - Presentation to Caribbean Studies Association conference, June 2010
Letter to the Editor Stabroek News, 13 April, 2010
[SASODis an organisation in Guyana working to remove discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. I am a founding member, and was a trustee until I resigned in July 2012. The reasonfor my resignation is that it became more and more difficult for me to advocate for and maintain a high standard of accountability, trust and respect within the organisation,while pursuing the opportunities to assist the LGBT people who were being harassed. During the resignation process, there was an allegation of corruption/lack of transparency made against my performance as a trustee - based on guidelines advocated by Transparency Institute of Guyana. This allegation was not investigated nor has it been withdrawn]
The trusteeship responsibilities include oversight of the organisation, reporting to donors and other stakeholders.The key activities during this time were :-
As a volunteer with Help & Shelter, I was involved in various activities related to public education and advocacy. I joined Help & Shelterin1995, when I trained as counsellor for domestic violence. I resigned in March 2011 since Help & Shelter did not agree with my position that the alcohol industry in Guyana should be held accountable for the intensity of violence experienced by families and friends of persons who consume alcohol.
As a a volunteer , I was involved in various ways with :-
training of facilitators to conduct domestic violence and child abuse awareness sessions
conducting awareness sessions, lectures and workshops with different groups such as the Guyana Police Force, schools, youth groups, faith based groups (Hindu, Muslim and Christian), and other interest groups such as the Rotary Club and other groups. These sessions have ranged from seven minute 'speeches' to five day workshop type sessions.
Assisting with project proposal development for funding for various activities for Help & Shelter
being active in engaging the public on matters related to Domestic Violence and Child abuse in Guyana by writing letters, statements, organising petitions and other campaigns
2008 to 2010
Worked on a draft Domestic Violence policy for Guyana as part of the Domestic Violence Task Force
Supervision of a project "Reducing Domestic Violence: Public education outreach with form 4 students’ which involved training of facilitators, and monitoring the project progress
Conceptualisation and development of the Pickney Project with responsibility for using the Outcome Mapping Methodology to develop the M&E strategy for this project
Supervision of the project"To increase domestic violence and child abuse awareness at health centres throughout Guyana"which involved monitoring the project progress and providing technical input by training facilitators.
Delivering various training sessions and awareness sessions with different groups about domestic violence and child abuse
2005 – 2006
Supported Help & Shelter's public education work by being a resource for training of volunteers and other members of staff
Supported training activities at the Guyana Police Force in Domestic Violence and Child Abuse interventions, including assisting with the drafting of their Domestic Violence and Child Abuse policy
Prepared a public education manual as part of UNIFEM funded project,
2001 - 2004
Supported the Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action (CAFRA) in the Guyana implementation of the Regional Training of Police and Frontline Social Workers project
Conducted awareness and training sessions for various groups and organisations
Prepared and submitted a recommendation to the Disciplined Forces Commission on the re-organisation of the police force in collaboration with Red Thread Women's Development Organisation
Trained as a counsellor with Help & Shelter and volunteered in counselling and public education
Led the Help & Shelter campaign for the UNIFEM 'A life free of Violence' in 1997
Worked on Help & Shelter's board
Participated as one of the trainers in the Caribbean Association of Feminist Research and Action led project to train police and frontline social workers in the Caribbean in Domestic Violence Interventions
Worked with the Business and Professional Women's Club of the Cayman Islands in conducting various types of public education sessions during their 16 Days of Activism in November/December 2000 – this was done in schools, prisons, church groups, social workers and other target audiences.
The following code of ethics guides my relationships with clients, stakeholders and other people with whom I work.
In all my work relationships, I will value the human rights of all the persons involved in the work. I will pursue work which does no harm. I will not work with the alcohol industry or the weapons industry. I value the freedom of speech and freedom of association as essential as other freedoms in the building of a society which allows every human being to achieve their potential. I will endeavour to remain objective in my dealings with people and to ensure that decisions are based on clearly stated values. While I honour diversity and respect differences, I will not accept any behaviour which I perceive to violate human rights. My active interest in social justice adds value to all work in which I engage. I aspire to apply the principles of the Bhagavad Gita in approaches to people who do not share my values.
I will ensure that the work will be performed to agreed quality standards. I will remain open to constant review of the work and be responsive to all queries and comments. I will endeavour to have an evaluation of all work done, and to share the evaluation with clients
I am committed to learning from different sources, and to pursuing work opportunities which enable further learning. I am likely to do some of this work with no requirement of fees. I am also committed to knowledge and experience sharing, and to dedicating some amount of time to sharing that knowledge. I will acknowledge any gap in skills or experience when necessary and work to ensure that the expectations of clients and others are fulfilled through extending partnerships
.Accountability & Transparency
I will ensure that all outputs are delivered according to the agreed schedule. I will be responsive to requests for updates and to renegotiations of schedules. I will be accountable to clients, and to stakeholders and other publics who request information about the work I am engaged in. I will explain my reasons for not providing any information if necessary. I will maintain confidentiality only as far as there are no legal or moral obligations to report. I will report all cases where I think children are in danger or in need of protective intervention.
I will not pay bribes or offer any gifts or concessions to acquire any work. I will not accept any concessions or bribes to modify the output of my work. I will report any attempt to offer or extricate bribes or concessions. In the event that there are any threats, I will report these , or I will seek to remove myself from the assignment.
Conflicts of interest
I will declare all conflicts of interest whether I am asked to or not.
Approaches to educating
I will ensure that all work which involves education and training will involve participatory approaches which will meet the needs of all identified learners.
I will act in according with this code of ethics. I will be open to discussion about this code and to clarifying or expanding as the work evolves.
"‘Engaging men towards gender equality: why and how should we do it?’ - organised by Gender Hub Nigeria
2009 to 2010
Childcare Counselling Supervision and Management - Everychild Guyana/ChildLink
Child Protection Policy Training - Everychild Guyana/ChildLink/ Help & Shelter
Child Protection Advocacy Training - Everychild Guyana
Training of Trainers - Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action - Training of Frontline Workers in Domestic Violence Prevention
1995 to 1997
Domestic Violence Counselling , public education and advocacy - Help & Shelter