Who We Are
Established in 1992, the Mak Nyah Programme has fostered good rapport with the transgender communities (also known as Mak Nyahs) living in Kuala Lumpur. This community-based program focuses on issues such self-empowerment, human rights, personal development in addition to health concerns related to HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD).
In our drop-in center, we focus on empowerment through education. We offer gender and sexuality education for our clients, as they have dealt with years of stigma and discrimination. We believe it is important to provide support groups and education sessions which empower them to face the world and deal with the issues that they must face on a daily basis. We strive to support with life skills through providing education materials and support programs to the community members.
The Drop-in Center sees an average of 25 – 30 people per day, where they are provided with nutritious meals and a place to rest. In total, the PT Foundation Maknyah program reaches out to around 2,000 – 3,000 contacts per month through outreach and other programs.
In July 2014, the Mak Nyah Workers programme was successfully registered as Pertubuhan SEED and began operating independently from PT Foundation. PT Foundation is proud to have pioneered and developed this programme to where it is today. PT Foundation will continue its outreach activities for the Mak Nyah community and will work with the community through the ISEAN-Hivos programme and the Community Health Care Centre.
What We Want To Achieve
- To Provide access to Mak Nyahs the accurate and comprehensive information on HIV prevention, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), and safer sex awareness
- To provide a safe temporary space for community bonding
- To provide up-to-date and accurate health information to Mak Nyahs
- To provide peer counseling, group discussion and support to Mak Nyahs
- To empower our community based on gender and sexuality
- To educate Mak Nyahs on their basic rights as a citizen
- To provide life skills to Mak Nyahs
- To provide basic needs for Mak Nyahs in order to improve the quality of their lives
- To reduce stigma and discrimination against Mak Nyah by creating awareness and understaning to our stakeholders, the public, and the media
How we help the Mak Nyah community
PT in the Mak Nyah community
Supporting our clients through outreach work is one of the most effective ways that we can have an impact on the HIV/AIDS situation among the transgender community. PT Foundation had strategically designed outreach programs to effectively reach the most at risk population facing HIV/AIDS. Outreach for the Maknyah program is done 5 days a week, Day to Day, where outreach workers find and support community members in providing safe sex informational materials, as well as lubricants and condoms. Encouraging safe sex practices is a main objective of PT Foundation outreach, with the aspiration of decreasing the rates of infection among this community.
Outreach workers also extend a helping hand and open ear to families, as they organize home outreach info sessions where we provide information as well as facilitate discussion about important issues facing the Maknyah community.
The outreach workers encourage and maintain close relationships with clients as to ensure the trust and confidentiality through sharing sessions and continuous support. In the whole of 2009, TS outreach workers reached out to 29,696 clients and distributed 164,960 numbers of condoms and 76,666 numbers of lubricants. These condoms were disseminated mostly during outreach on the streets.
Mak Nyah community comes to PT
Through our outreach we make contact with thousands of community members and inform them about PT Foundation and our various services and programs we have to offer, with the hope that they will utilize our offerings. Our Drop- In Center is a safe space where clients can come to rest and be in the company of other community members. We strive to support street based PLHIV by providing a day time venue where people can come and rest and also receive 3 nourishing meals, to shower, wash their clothes, in addition to receiving basic healthcare and support for HIV treatment.
Clients also have full access to our resource center. We offer information for general HIV/AIDS information. We serve clients by offering referrals for the following: hospitals, legal aid services, job placement, identification documentation, and welfare assistance.
Social support groups are an essential part of the Mak Nyah program. We understand that each individual has different concerns and that it is our responsibility to ensure that the issues at hand are being addressed correctly and effectively to avoid stigma and discriminations. Our support groups are designed to cater to these various needs and concerns. We strive to create an opportunity for the community to be more visible and empower them in handling their issues. We offer religious sessions, team building and peer education sessions, and empowerment programs.
Our Mak Nyah clients have many questions and concerns they need to address. PT Foundation is here to support and advise on these important topics. Our various counseling lines provide many different opportunities for clients to discuss their concerns with trained professionals. The Sex Worker program offers both group and face-to-face counseling, in addition to telephone counseling. We strive to cater to each individual’s needs and preferences of dealing with the issues at hand.
All of our voluntary counselors have completed a training course which prepares them to be able to properly deal with the questions and concerns of the community. Our Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) service which operates at the headquarters. For more information on testing times, click here. It is free and anonymous. We understand that the stress involved in getting tested for HIV. Please call to book an appointment at (03) 4044-4611.
PT Foundation supports the Mak Nyah community by fighting against injustice and discrimination based on sexuality. We will look to support individual causes by working with legal aid centers and other human rights organizations. If you are or have in the past suffered from some kind of discrimination, please contact us at (03) 4044-4611.