Matimba 2022 update.

Over the past few months Matimba has grown and cemented its work in the global trans and gender-diverse movement; dreaming, creating, and researching new ways to create spaces for trans and gender-diverse youth, with the aim of having their voices heard and their humanity seen.

As we go into 2022, Matimba has held multiple meetings and conversations around the organisation and its sustainability with current staff, board members, advisory groups, and parents, taking into account how its reach has grown in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Matimba’s main aim has been to create space and amplify the voices of trans and gender-diverse kids and teenagers, ensuring that they see themselves accurately reflected and represented in their fullness in spaces from which the world has historically excluded them. As such, we look forward to having the non-youth take a step back, allowing young people to take center stage in the vital work that impacts them most.

Matimba is exploring a new structure that feeds more into a movement building and capacity enhancing model, ensuring the youth can lead the work that they understand to be necessary for their self-actualisation. Due to the complexity of such a move, mainly in regard to navigating the safety and anonymity of these minors while ensuring their voices are not erased in the fight for trans and gender-diverse minors’ rights, Matimba is currently consulting with its partners, constituents, and funders to find the best way to realise this shift. There is at present no set time-period to achieve this, understanding that an error could have dire results for our youth which cannot be easily reversed through later policy amendments.

As we move into a more movement-based space, we will still be hosting the three support group spaces: for the youth, their parents/guardians, and educators across South Africa. Although the educators’ group is a closed group and only allows new members periodically, we are still welcoming minors and parents/guardians monthly into their respective spaces. We also look forward to debuting a podcast currently in the development phase which will be led by the children, delving into their lived realities by centering their voices and stories. This project is exciting for us and we hope you will be equally excited once it is live.

We look forward to re-introducing Matimba to all of you in the next few months, as we continue to advocate for the rights of trans and gender-diverse children and teenagers.

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