- abOut Mgrm
In February 2013, Ms Colette Farrugia Bennett, attended a preparatory visit for a Learning Partnership project under the Grundtvig Funding Scheme. Seven partners attended the initial meeting and once the project application was submitted, only four partners received the funding. MGRM's application was placed on a reserve list and in December 2013, we were informed by the EUPA, that further funding was made available and thus our participation in the project could proceed.
Thus, MGRM joined the Learning Partnership in December 2013, as did the Lithuanian organisation, LGL. The project is now formed of six partners, with a German organisation, the VNB, in the role of coordinator. The other partners include the Akademie Waldschloesschen (Germany), GOBS (England), LGL (Lithuania) and KPH (Poland). A mobility to each organisation's country is planned and the project will end in July 2015. This project is coordinated by Ms Colette Farrugia Bennett with the support of Ms Gabi Calleja, as the person legally responsible for the project funding.
The project title is “Queer Pathways into Diversity: ‘being different’ as a key factor in LGBT*Q European Adult Education (QuPiD)". It aims at strengthening political LGBT*Q (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*gender and Queer) adult education as an important strategy to combat anti-homosexual, -bisexual and -trans*gender tendencies, policies and violence in European societies and to work for the respect of different ways of living without discrimination – enabling inclusion and active citizenship of marginalized groups.
The first mobility that MGRM took part in was held in Warsaw, Poland in February 2014 and organised by KPH. The topic under discussion was “LGBT*Q - together, side by side, or against?”. This meeting was attended by Ms Colette Farrugia Bennett, as a staff member of this project, and Ms Ruth Baldacchino and Ms Romina Tolu as learners. The second mobility took place in the Carlisle, United Kingdom in July 2014 and was organised by GOBS. The topic discussed was “Counselling and Support Systems”. This meeting was attended by Ms Colette Farrugia Bennett, as a staff member of this project, and Ms Beverley Abela, Ms Antonella Mizzi and Mr Matthew Bartolo as learners. The third mobility took place in Vilnius, Lithuania in October 2014 and organised by LGL. The topic under discussion was “Policy and Legal Implications in LGBT Adult Education”. This meeting was attended by Ms Colette Farrugia Bennett, as a staff member of this project, and Ms Raisa Colombo, Mr Kirk Brincau and Ms Emma Portelli Bonnici as learners. The learners chosen to attend the motilities were always chosen on their area of expertise or work experience. The learners came from the Rainbow Support Service, Willingness, We Are, and aditus.
At the end of February 2015, MGRM hosted its partners in Malta for the Learning Partnership mobility during which the meetings focused on the discussions on “LGBT*I*Q training for non-LGBT*I*Q’s”. The project partners from the five other organisations together with participants from local LGBTIQ NGOs discussed best practices in the area of training non-LGBT*I*Q persons on LGBT*I*Q issues.
A seminar entitled ‘Inclusion of Trans and Intersex Persons through Legislation and Policy’ was organised on Thursday 26th February 2015 was also organised as part of the local dissemination and it was open to both local participants and the foreign participants of the QuPiD project. The seminar was aimed at professionals working with LGBTI families, policy-makers, legislators, members of the LGBTI community, civil society organisations and other entities interested in understanding and contributing to the relevant themes.
Noting Malta’s recent legal and policy developments in the area of LGBT*I*Q issues, including the Civil Union Act, the inclusion of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as a ground for non-discrimination in the Constitution of Malta, and the upcoming Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sexual Characteristics Act, mark a number of best practices in the field of legislation and policy. In connection to these developments, MGRM organised this seminar to address the various issues related to transgender and intersex issues, with a specific focus on the scope and implications of the Gender Identity, Gender Expression & Sex Characteristics Act, as well as those of the Inclusion of Trans, Gender Variant and Intersex Students Policy in mainstream education.
The seminar was addressed by Silvan Agius and Ruth Baldacchino, two staff members of the Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs, and Civil Liberties who work in the area of LGBT*I*Q issues, and the Coordinator of MGRM, Gabi Calleja. The participants had the space to discuss the methods that could be utilised to apply legislation and policy to practice in workshops format.