Supporting LGBTIQ+ activists in East Africa

Thanks to the financial support of individual donors, Hivos is able help LGBTIQ+ activists around the world escape life-threatening situations. We do this with the Bessy Ferrera Fund: a fund named after a courageous trans rights activist who was murdered in Honduras in 2019. In 2023, we were able to take action 41 times. For example, in East Africa where we supported Joseph, Wenty and Nancy*.

Direct support

Joseph runs an LGBTIQ+ organization. He and his team members were attacked. They were beaten up and their office was destroyed. We helped Joseph and his team get counseling after the traumatic experience and find a new office. “Thanks to the fund, our work environment has become safer,” Joseph says. “We now operate from a new office in a secure location. And we use a secure online work environment and secure laptops.”

Wenty was arrested for allegedly ‘promoting homosexuality.’ Four of her colleagues were also jailed. Through our Emergency Fund, we were able to provide Wenty with a lawyer who negotiated the team’s release.

Nancy works to advance the rights of LGBTIQ+ people in an environment where homosexuality is not accepted. She explains, “We are constantly discriminated against: we don’t get the health care we need, we don’t get jobs and we can’t hold political positions in order to exert influence. We are just not seen as people.” Her work made her a target of the anti-LGBTIQ+ movement. Her office was raided, she was evicted from her home and had to go into hiding. Fortunately, we were able to help Nancy. “I now have a new and safe house in a friendly environment. I also got a new laptop. Thanks to secure software, I no longer have to fear being hacked. If it is not safe to go to the office, my colleagues and I can now work safely from home.”

LGBTIQ+ activism

LGBTIQ+ activists are all too often the targets of hateful political campaigns and face discrimination and violence. Yet they dare to fight for a fair society even in the most difficult of circumstances. But it’s not without risk. Not only do activists have to deal with threats and physical violence; digital hacking and legal prosecution also disturbs their work and threatens their safety.

With our Emergency Fund, we can provide help when it is needed most. Right now, the work of courageous LGBTIQ+ activists is critical. Your donation provides direct support in life-threatening situations. Will you join this IDAHOBIT in helping to protect activists?

*Hivos does everything it can to guarantee the safety of activists. That’s why in most cases we don’t share the full names or details of the activists we help with the Bessy Ferrera Fund.