Saturday, 24 September 2011

In the Caribbean Island of Curaçao, a first: the Health Minister visits the LGBT centre

Constancia Minister (center), manager Dudley Ferdinandus Pink House (left) and Secretary FOKO Frits van der Capellen (right).
Source: COC

The Curaçao Minister for Health, Environment and Nature Jacintha Constancia on Tuesday 13 September 2011 paid an exploratory visit to Pink House, a center for sexual diversity that is run by Fundashon Orguyo Kòrsou (FOKO). The visit of the minister can be called unique because in Curacao and the Caribbean it is the first time that a minister has visited a center like Pink House.

FOKO is particularly committed to representing the needs of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender (LGBT). FOKO and COC Netherlands work together in the Pink Orange Accord .

Minister Constancia heard information about the activities of FOKO relating to its tasks: sex education and training, sexual diversity and the prevention and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), particularly focusing on those groups which FOKO covers.

"It's very important that she was acquainted with our work and the communities where we stand," said manager Dudley Ferdinandus. "We are very pleased to finally see the political focus on our work."

The minister showed herself impressed by the work of FOKO. She was particularly concerned about FOKO's very specific groups such as youth and HIV-positive people and opportunities for them to create a healthy and positive life.

Constancia was very involved, said Ferdinandus:
"She considers it important that people get the chance to be themselves. She supports us and is pleased with the work we do."
During her visit the minister clearly taken the view that every community in Curacao is equally entitled to a healthy development. The minister also announced that the various aid agencies on the island are to work together more for the good of both the gay and heterosexual people.

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