Many LGBT+ people in Uganda and other Eastern Africa countries face unbelievable discrimination and violence, forcing them to flee their homes and seek refuge in a neighbouring country. They can end up stuck in impoverished and homophobic refugee camps or unwelcoming cities for years, with very little resources or help. Transgender refugees often face additional challenges, the grassroots empowerment campaign reports.
According to them, in order for these LGBT+ refugees to survive, many have no other choice but to resort to dangerous or illegal ways to make money, like sex work. Government neglect and hateful discrimination keep them out of the workforce, even though they want to work and have valuable skills and experience to offer.
However, the Refugee Coalition of East Africa in partnership with All Out;
a global movement for love and equality is working hard to change that.
The Refugee Coalition of East Africa is an umbrella organization uniting LGBTQI refugees across East Africa charged with a mission of advocacy, strategy, fundraising, and research.
Through the SPARK Fund, The Refugee Coalition is providing funding and mentorship to LGBTQI refugee entrepreneurs in East Africa to either launch or expand their small business idea(s).
With an injection of capital, ranging from US$1,000 – US$2,000 each, these businesses will be able to take flight – providing a sustainable and safe means of living, an escape from poverty, self-reliance, and real hope for the future.
The recipient businesses of the SPARK fund are; a group of sandal makers, a poultry farm, a restaurant and catering company and a photography and film studio. (The names of the businesses are not published for safety reasons).
To read more about the businesses and donate to the any one of the businesses, follow the link here.
You can watch the promotional video created for the project below