Sokong Team
Thu Apr 25 2024

Introducing LEV8: Empowering Communities, Changing Lives

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In the dynamic tapestry of Malaysia's social fabric, a beacon of hope and support emerges – LEV8 (pronounced as “alleviate”). Led by Benjamin Thain, the Founder & Chief Empowerment Officer, LEV8 transcends the boundaries of mere organisation, embodying a movement dedicated to fostering safer spaces, providing essential resources, and championing the rights of marginalised communities.

A Visionary Journey

The story of LEV8 begins with Benjamin Thain, an accidental advocate turned visionary leader. Reflecting on his journey, Benjamin shares, "Back in 2019, I found myself immersed in HIV advocacy, working on projects like Take Charge Today. It was then that I realised the pressing need for support within Malaysia's underserved communities, particularly the conservative ones."

Driven by a desire to bridge gaps and provide accessible resources, Benjamin embarked on a mission to establish LEV8. With unwavering determination and a passion for change, he laid the foundation for an organisation that would redefine community support and advocacy in Malaysia.

Empowerment Through Knowledge

At the heart of LEV8's mission lies education and awareness. Benjamin emphasises, "We are a knowledge-based organisation, dedicated to ending ignorance, discrimination, and stigma towards HIV through education." Through innovative programs and initiatives, LEV8 strives to empower individuals with the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions about their sexual health and well-being.

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From weekend HIV STI testing to educational workshops and peer support groups, LEV8 offers a comprehensive range of services designed to meet the diverse needs of the community. Benjamin adds, "Our goal is to create a safer, more inclusive space where everyone feels welcome and supported."

Belonging Recovery Centre

Recently, LEV8 unveiled its latest milestone: the Belonging Recovery Centre. This groundbreaking facility serves as a sanctuary for individuals seeking support on their journey to recovery from substance abuse, particularly chemsex addiction.

Benjamin explains, "Belonging Recovery Centre is not just about addiction recovery; it's a place where individuals can find belonging, support, and hope." Through programs like Beyond 66, a mindfulness-based recovery program, the centre aims to encourage individuals to overcome their dependencies and live fulfilling lives.

Here are some testimonials of our Friends In Recovery who underwent the Beyond 66 Recovery Program for meth and chemsex dependent individuals.

Looking Towards the Future

As LEV8 continues to make strides in uplifting community and advocacy, Benjamin shares his vision for the future. "I hope LEV8 will serve as the leading voice for sexual health education and advocacy in Malaysia," he says. "Our goal is to create a ripple effect of positive change, empowering individuals and communities to live their best lives."

With the Belonging Recovery Centre as a shining example of LEV8's commitment to change, the future looks bright for Malaysia's marginalised communities. As Benjamin aptly puts it, "Recovery is possible, and with support and compassion, we can build a future where everyone feels a sense of belonging and hope."

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He added “We aspire to set-up our Belonging Café (aka our backyard) by mid 2024 to enable members from marginalised communities and People Living with HIV to run a humble community café for supplementary income, and a chance to bring people together over wholesome home cooked food. On that note, we are currently raising funds for minor renovation, furniture, landscaping, and an edible garden.”

Join the Movement, Make a Difference

LEV8 is more than just an organisation; it's a community-driven movement dedicated to inspiring and uplifting marginalised communities in Malaysia. With your support, we can continue to create positive change and provide essential resources to those in need.

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Join them every Tuesday evening for ‘Pasar Malam Tuesdays’ at Belonging Recovery Centre, a space for marginalised communities to gather, connect, and enjoy a truly Malaysian pastime – the night market. RSVP early via WhatsApp: 0122309768.

Ready to make a difference? Visit LEV8 via Sokong today to learn more about their initiatives and how you can contribute. Together, we can build a future where everyone feels empowered, supported, and valued. Join us in creating a brighter tomorrow for all.

On average, eight individuals are diagnosed with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) daily in Malaysia, according to Health Minister Dr. Zaliha Mustafa. In a written reply to Parit MP Muhammad Ismi Mat Taib during a parliamentary session in November 2023, Dr. Zaliha highlighted that approximately 3,000 new HIV cases are reported each year. This rising number poses a significant challenge to Malaysia's goal of eliminating AIDS by the year 2030.

by malaysiakini

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