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“My name is Yannick. I work at VPride as Programs Manager and I am 30 years old. 

“I coordinate all the activities that we run with the various SOGIE [sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression] members in our community and we also provide awareness in our community in order to make our community a safe space.” 

  • Yannick lives in Vanuatu and works for Oxfam partner Vanuatu Pride (VPride) 
  • VPride aims to educate, advocate for and mobilise LGBTQIA+ people in Vanuatu 
  • VPride helped Yannick gain confidence in himself and support his community to overcome discrimination and gain financial independence  

I was afraid to show who I am” 

“Before I joined VPride, when I was still in the tourism industry, I had not really come out, to express myself or appreciate my sexual orientation because I was afraid to show who I am, because a lot of people would talk about me or discriminate against me. 

“As a person who lives with a sexual orientation and at the same time, I have a disability, it is like a double discrimination that I face every day. But that does not stop me from going out and from being who I am, and I love doing what I love to do every day.”

Vanuatu: Yannick, Ivanka and Peter outside the Vanuatu Pride (VPride) office. Photo: Arlene Bax/Oxfam. Oxfam acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

LGBTQIA+ rights and poverty 

Gender equality is achieved when people of all genders and sexual orientations have the opportunity to exercise and enjoy equal rights. 

Society has made progress on advancing gender equality, but there are still huge gender gaps. All around the world, women, girls and people of diverse genders and sexualities are more likely than men to face discrimination and violence. This discrimination can limit job opportunities and force people into poverty.

Yannick, Oxfam and you 

With support from Oxfam — and people like you — Yannick and the team at VPride are helping to build a safer, more inclusive community. A community where LGBTQIA+ people have the confidence to follow their passions, grow their livelihoods and live free of poverty.  

VPride advocates for LGBTQIA+ people, educates the wider community to create more inclusive spaces, and provides awareness and testing for sexually transmitted infections. In collaboration with Wan Smol Bag, another Oxfam partner, VPride also run skills training that encourages people to pursue passions like sewing. 

“I have a close friend I have seen their involvement in VPride has helped them, I think they are involved in the VPride in sewing skills … today they have their own sewing business, and they make money.” 

A more inclusive future

Yannick has seen the impact that VPride has had on his community. But his work has also helped him to feel more confident and hopeful for the future. 

“When I became involved with the VPride … it also helped to build up my confidence. It meant that I could go out and I can put myself on the front line and present my sexual orientation.” 

Vanuatu: Yannick is the program manager of Vanuatu Pride (VPride). Photo: Arlene Bax/Oxfam. Oxfam acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

“I think the biggest hope that I have for Vanuatu is that it becomes a safe space for a SOGIE, that we cut down discrimination, that we cut down domestic violence and the abuse that SOGIE diverse members face in the community, and help us to promote inclusive space and to help all SOGIE members freely express themselves, and to be able to do whatever it is they want to do.”  

Oxfam acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

This work is only possible with support from people like you. Learn more about how you’re helping us alleviate poverty through our gender equality work. 

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