G.A.P. Buddies is the manifestation of a plan to expand Generation G.A.P. into a continuous mentorship programme.
What is G.A.P. Buddies?
G.A.P. Buddies is the manifestation of a plan to expand Generation G.A.P. into a continuous mentorship programme, as it is the natural next step for its model and it has gained the interest of youth participants and mentors alike. The programme is expected to target thirty (30) marginalised/vulnerable youth, aged 17 to 25, who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer.
How is it different from Generation G.A.P. change?
G.A.P. Buddies is a youth developmental programme that introduces structured mentorship to participants. The programme takes a modular format, working on a particular area of character and professional development each month over the period of 10 months (from August to May). Expert mentors will teach, guide, provide interactive group activities and self-paced home activities with follow up on the progress of participants in the programme,
Certification of participation in the programme will be introduced. Youth participants will be expected to develop a sustainable community intervention project which will be added to PrideTT’s programming for the upcoming year. Both the Mentors and Mentees will be expected to document their experiences, and the programme will record their story to public education.
G.A.P. Buddies was delivered over the period of August 2021 to May 2022, and included the following modules:
- Self-Care and Mental Health Counselling
- Character Development
- Soft Skills
- Etiquette/Work Culture/Interview Preparation
- Financial Management for personal and professional needs
- Communication Skills and Social Media Management in the context of changing social norms and LGBT needs
- Entrepreneurship & Innovation
- Activism Development
- Sustainable Community Engagement Project
How It Started
Generation G.A.P. began as an open talk forum for a meeting of minds between LGBTQ+ elders and youth on issues facing the LGBTQ+ community in a national context. It was both a play on the historical ‘Gay and Proud’ – G.A.P. acronym, and the metaphorical "gap" that exists between generations who are ironically connected by a continued struggle for equity. Creator of the programme, PrideTT co-founder and co-Chair – RuD Hanamji opened the 1st session, by explaining that his passion for the project came from the personal learnings and strength developed through is own interaction with LGBTQ+ elders when he first came out.
The First Year
The 1st forum addressed issues such as changing societal norms, mental health, protections for LGBT+ youth in the family and the workplace. One of the panelists – icon Raymond Coo Kong – reminded attendees to ‘live deliberately’. Generation G.A.P. was increased to 2 meetings in 2019, dealing directly with mentorship of LGBT+ youth in the sphere of character and professional development.
At the 1st, local entrepreneurs and activists were invited to meet with 30 youth and give guidance on career progression. Attendees heard life stories and shared their own struggles with being LGBTQ+ in the contemporary world.
The First Generation G.A.P. Meeting
Generation G.A.P. 2018 and 2019
Generation G.A.P. was increased to 2 meetings in 2019, dealing directly with mentorship of LGBT+ youth in the sphere of character and professional development. At the 1st, local entrepreneurs and activists were invited to meet with 30 youth and give guidance on career progression. Attendees heard life stories and shared their own struggles with being LGBTQ+ in the contemporary world. The 2nd was held during PrideTT’s month of events and screened videos of past drag performances narrated by another icon Anthony Medina. The fora fielded questions from the participants and gave opportunity for exchange of information.
For 2020, in keeping with the 20/2.0 format, Generation G.A.P. was hosted online with locals and members of the diaspora.