“Our association with Community Action Collab’s partner Swasti led us to join SHILP. Even though most of the training sessions were conducted online in the beginning due to the pandemic, the in-person workshop held in Madurai opened up many windows of opportunity for us. We’re glad that we were able to interact with leaders from other organizations and learn about their strategies, which would help us to better support our community,” said Gopika, Secretary of Salem Thirunangai Nala Sangam. The Sangam is currently enrolled under CAC’s resilience-building initiative, SHILP, which aims to build the resilience of the leaders of Community Organisations (COs) who work with vulnerable communities.
Tamil Nadu-based Salem Thirunangai Nala Sangam’s work is focused on the needs of the transgender, MSM, Kothi, lesbians and gay people. They currently work with 2400 community members across 20 blocks and aim to continue extending their support to them in the future.
Through their association with Swasti, they have completed five to six projects, enabling the community members to receive the benefits of social protection. “We have been able to support the community in availing voter IDs, ration cards, benefits of social welfare schemes etc,” Gopika added.
“Our Sangam is dedicated to bringing community members to the forefront and helping them realize their talents and potential. After joining SHILP, we conducted a three-day analysis with our board members to gain a better understanding of where our organization was heading and whether our understanding of the organization was accurate. This workshop allowed us to determine how to be effective leaders, what our capacities are, and what needs to be done to ensure the organization can continue to support community members even in our absence. With SHILP, we are committed to laying a strong foundation for our organization to better serve our community,” added Shanmugham, who is a Program Manager at the Sangam.
Through SHILP, Community Action Collab has been able to have played a vital role in enhancing community resilience by providing necessary resources and training to individuals and organizations within these communities. This has resulted in a significant improvement in the overall preparedness and response to various challenges and crises faced by these communities.