Equitas is excited to welcome you to its new blog. It will be yet another way to share news with you, update you on our ongoing activities and to share some of the dynamism of our programs and of our incredible alumni and partners. In the coming days we will be welcoming over 100 human rights defenders from around the world who will be attending our 33rd International Human Rights Training Program (IHRTP). Over the course of the program, which runs from June 3 to June 22 this year, the participants will share experiences and learn new skills and strategies to protect the rights of marginalized and vulnerable groups, hold governments accountable for abuses of human rights and empower their communities to participate more effectively in decision-making processes. They go home with a clear action plan to put their new learning into practice. The IHRTP experience doesn’t stop at the participant – it has a huge multiplier effect, starting with change in our participants and resulting in change in their organizations and communities. • In Haiti, civil society organizations are mobilizing and engaging communities in the camps to promote active citizenship and the integration of human rights into reconstruction efforts. • In Tanzania, local women have been empowered to reinforce economic justice and equality. The women formed a lending circle using democratic principles to generate increased income and economic security • An activist in Kyrgyzstan is working for equality rights for the LGBT community • An activist in Eastern Congo is documenting and denouncing sexual violence against women • An educator in Nairobi is helping community radio stations integrate human rights into their programming for the residents of the Kibera informal settlement Join us at the blog where we will be sharing some of the special moments of the program and also profiling some of the courageous and inspiring human rights defenders who will be with us for the next three weeks. We look forward to connecting with you and encourage you to post your comments or send us your questions.