Free to be Me

Hivos believes in a world that’s open to diversity. Where you’re free to be yourself and love whomever you want. But did you know that anti-gay laws still exist in around 70 countries? In some of them, same-sex relations are even punishable by death!

We work for equal rights and people’s freedom to be themselves. In over 25 countries, we support courageous activists who are leading the fight for inclusion and justice. How do we do that?

Emergency fund for LGBTIQ+ activists

LGBTIQ+ activists are particularly vulnerable to threats and attacks. Our emergency fund we can help them quickly when they face immediate danger. For example, by providing safe houses and medical or psychosocial care. This immediate assistance can mean the difference between life and death. Thanks to our private donors, we were able to act swiftly in 41 crisis situations last year.

Support for organizations

We’ve been supporting the work of courageous LGBTIQ+ activists since the 1990s. We help LGBTIQ+ movements working for equal rights and inclusion in Africa, Asia and Latin America become stronger, more influential, and more independent. For example, by financing important projects, training activists, and bringing organizations together so that they can learn from each other.

Political leadership

In many countries, the rights of LGBTIQ+ people are not well enshrined in law, if at all. We train and support activists in political advocacy, spokespersonship, and leadership so that they can convince politicians and policy makers of the importance of these rights. We also report on the broader human rights situation of LGBTIQ+ people, including cases of violence.

Socio-economic justice

We see that discrimination creates inequality early on in people’s lives. LGBTIQ+ people are more likely to drop out of school, have more difficulty finding a job, and often cannot safely be themselves at work. Our projects and campaigns aim to improve their social position and economic status. For example, by training LGBTIQ+ activists to lobby for economic justice or by getting companies to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.