In 2009 The Naz Project London broke new ground by extending its work mobilising South Asian, East African and Latin American communities to take control of their sexual health to include men who have sex with men from African Caribbean backgrounds.
Having identified a particular need they appointed academic and activist, Mudia Uzzi who chose to start by working closely with a group of younger men, building their skills as advocates and helping them gain experience through working with existing voluntary sector organisations working on racial and social justice. These organisations benefited from accessing the perspectives of young black gay men on their work. The project was named Catalyst as a marker of its intention to build a new generation of activists for sexual health, to spark ‘conversations that matter’ between the participants as peers, and to inspire the organisations which sought to serve their needs into more appropriate actions.
In this promo film for the project, three of the participants talk about their experience of being involved. You might also recognise two of the project advisors from the BlackoutUK editorial team!
During the three years it was funded, the Catalyst Programme trained 20 service users per year using 4 OCN‑accredited community engagement modules. The NAZ Project London intervention aimed to reduce isolation and increase a sense of community for young men through the training and support of peer leaders and advocates. Those taking part committed to delivering ten Empowerment Projects (totalling 500 volunteer hours) benefiting black gay/bi men in London.