WRITER: Hena Lee

Strengthening community and family supports is a key requisite for addressing Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the migrant community. Relevant community-mobilization activities include women’s and men’s support groups, dialogue groups and community education and advocacy. Since 1999, MAP Foundation has organized Women’s Exchange programs as a way to support and empower migrant and refugee women, and GBV has always been a prominent issue for the program. After twenty years of working on the issue, migrant women and MAP recognized that engaging men and boys to the GBV program is essential for a long-term effect of the intervention. Hence, in August 2019, MAP facilitated the first Men’s Exchange: Training of Trainers (ME-TOT) event. The ME-TOT project aims to train men peer leaders to initiate groups for men in the community where they can talk about male socialization and gender roles and the effect this has on their relationships with women. Following that event, in October 2019, MAP organized two events in Mae Sot: the second ME-TOT and Women’s Exchange: Training of Trainers (WE-TOT).

Men’s Exchange: Training of Trainers (ME-TOT)

To complete the ME-TOT course, participants must attend two training workshops from MAP, which is supported by the Canada Fund. After implementing the first Men’s Exchange (ME) in each community, twenty men peer leaders met again in Mae Sot to attend the second ME-TOT event from the 22nd to 24th of October. They come from six different communities - Myawaddy, Chiang Mai, Mae Sot and refugee camps Mae La, Nu Po and Um Phiem. Since two of the previous participants could not make it this time, two new peer leaders replaced them.

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Figure 1 Two participants are discussing the outcomes and challenges of Men's Exchange in their community

WRITER: Emma Harlan 

A Men’s Exchange program might not seem like an obvious step in a mission to end gender-based violence within the migrant community. Shouldn’t the focus be on the empowerment of women? Well, after twenty years of working on the issue through MAP’s Women’s Exchange programs, migrant women have realized that they should be able to work with the men in their lives—not in opposition to them. However, in order to do that, the men were going to need some training.

On August 3rd and 4th, MAP ran the first ever Men’s Exchange: Training of Trainers (TOT) event. With support from Canada Fund, this project aimed to “combat gender-based violence among migrant and refugee women through social networking and capacity building.” The event worked to tackle the issue of gender-based violence in a new way--by getting the men involved in the process. Over two days, men peer leaders from five different locations bordering Thailand and Myanmar worked to develop the skills to run Men’s Exchange (ME) events in their own communities.

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As part of the Community Health and Empowerment (CHE) sector of the MAP Foundation, MAP employees visit migrant workers dealing with various health related problems. On Thursday June 13th, the MAP outreach team and the summer 2019 interns from Emory University visited a baby girl named Duang in a nearby community. Duang was one and a half years old and was born prematurely. Since birth, Duang has had problems breathing and needs help inhaling an adequate amount of oxygen. At 7 months doctors decided to put a hole in Duang’s neck to help her breathe because she had frequent fevers and breathing issues.

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As part of the Community Health and Empowerment (CHE) sector of the MAP Foundation, MAP employees visit migrant workers dealing with various health related problems. On Friday June 7th, the MAP outreach team and the summer 2019 interns from Emory University visited two patients at a nearby hospital. One patient was suffering from coronary heart disease and another was recuperating from problems resulting from a blood vessel that had burst in his brain.

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As part of the Community Health and Empowerment (CHE) sector of the MAP Foundation, MAP employees visit migrant workers dealing with various health related problems. On Thursday May 30th, the MAP outreach team was joined by the summer 2019 interns from Emory University, located in the United States. This was their first experience going on outreach with CHE. That day CHE met with two patients, who were both in the process of getting treatment for Tuberculosis (TB).