Tuesday, September 14, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY OUT-15 years and still going strong!

I have to date not come across an organization that is so fully dedicated to helping the LGBTI community, in ALL its facets, needs and concerns, as OUT is. With their involvement in the advocacy of the LGBTI community in the realm of equality in SA, OUT has shown that they truly stand as representatives of the entire community and are a Presence to the general public and an organization which stands firm in its beliefs and serves to protect the rights of its community.

With regards to work on grassroots level, OUT has proven to be a definite forerunner when it comes to research on the Health and Well-being of the LGBTI community with Projects such as their PRISM Project, which is aimed at not only the distribution of prevention methods, but also educational tools such as pamphlets, flyers and open days, while also offering support groups and counselling (both via web-access, telephonic or personal) to members of the public. Along with this they offer comprehensive treatment at their PRISM Lifestyle Centre where services such as HIV Testing, Counselling and General Physical Examinations are conducted by trained and friendly staff.

As Mr Gay South Africa 2009/Mr Gay World 2010, it truly is an Honour to be associated with OUT. As the nature of my work is on a global scale, it is not always easy to touch base on ground level as much as I would like and I am grateful to organizations such as OUT for their ability to reach out to the community in such a great manner.

On behalf of the Mr Gay South Africa and Mr Gay World organizations I would like to congratulate OUT for their incredible service to the LGBTI over the past fifteen years and wish them luck in their future endeavours! Happy Birthday and may the next fifteen years be even more successful than the last!

Charl van den Berg

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