The Community Outreach Project (COP)
The COP was initiated by the National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality and run in conjunction with the Pride Committee in 1998 to ensure that the Pride Committee and the Event was more representative and inclusive of the LGBT community.
- Goals of the COP
The COP aims to fulfil the following roles when going out to LGBT people in the previously disadvantaged areas and informal settlements:
- Provide education for LGBT people about gender awareness and human rights.
- Provide education about HIV/AIDS and safer sexual practices.
- Set up the basic infrastructure of smaller Pride committees who can then fund raise in order to attend the Annual Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade.
- Provide support and assistance for existing grassroots community based organisations in order to ensure their participation in Pride.
- Provide information about the Annual Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade and get volunteers for the Pride Squad and Marshals for the day from the various communities.
- Plans for the COP
- Pride will be actively seeking partnerships with human rights organisations to work as their LGBT arm in the dissemination of basic human rights, lesbian and gay rights, HIV / AIDS information and safer sexual practices.
- The short term goal is to build 5 smaller support groups already in existence in the previously disadvantaged areas and informal settlements that Pride can disseminate information through. By applying for funding Pride will, through the COP help establish more of these support groups.
- As a long term goal the Pride Committee seeks to establish and /or work with existing groups at the grass-roots level so as to help in the establishment of a strong lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement in Southern Africa that has the annual Pride event as a rallying point of such a movement.