Update posted by cenix callejo garcia On Feb 06, 2019

Joel and Diemercie, LGBT members of the Angels Refugee Support Group were brutally attacked last week by a gang of 10 homophobic neighbours.

Joel was gravely wounded and his jaw was shattered.

We managed to arrange a bit of for a small emergency operation, but he needs much more. He urgently needs a much more expensive operation to insert a metal to his jaw, and he and his roomates must move to a safer apartment.

Joel is in extreme pain, unable to eat or speak, and scared while the situation is getting worse with every day that passes.

This is exactly why the emergency accommodation is so essential. We must make sure that we ARSGA can keep supporting its LGBTQ refugee members.

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Update posted by cenix callejo garcia On Jan 28, 2019

This is a very important audio testimony of an LGBTI person who came to Uganda in search of refuge, but unfortunately encountered more discrimination and threats. Please listen and take an active stand against homophobia and gender based discrimination.

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Update posted by cenix callejo garcia On Jan 28, 2019

This is a very important audio testimony of an LGBTI person who came to Uganda in search of refuge, but unfortunately encountered more discrimination and threats. Please listen and take an active stand against homophobia and gender based discrimination.

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Update posted by cenix callejo garcia On Jan 27, 2019

Bibe Kalalu, fundator of the LGTBQ refugees NGO ARSGA, explains their situatino (in french).

The Angels Refugee Support Group Association (ARSGA) was established by a proactive group of young refugees who fled to Uganda to escape persecution in Burundi, DRC and Rwanda due to their sexual orientation. However, Uganda’s laws prohibit homosexuality and LGBTQ members are threatened both by legal prosecution and street violence. We aim to empower young LGBTQ refugees and sex workers through individual and institutional capacity-building, allowing them sustainable and dignified livelihood and to equip them with skills to protect themselves and defend their fundamental human rights.

Subtitles coming soon.

Please, donate, share, spread the word.

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Update posted by cenix callejo garcia On Jan 15, 2019

Angels Refugee Support Group are involved now in a beautiful participatory photography & video project. They are educating themselves and each other in video and photography techniques.

By doing so, they are creating a great and powerful awareness series of video and audio testimonies, which means, as well, a very important tool for empowerment, where they can express themselves and share their stories, struggles, needs and wishes with their community and the world.

Exposing themselves to the cameras, being part of a community that is strongly criminalized in their countries, implies a strong act of bravery and involves risks. They are, despite the consequences, deciding to do so, in order to help other LGTBQI+ refugees to feel less isolated around the world and in order to reach awareness and to be able to create an open-conversation for society to finally understand and embrace the LGTBQI+ community everywhere in the world. Furthermore, in order to create a platform where everybody is safe enough to share their stories, videos and photos are edited to hide and protect the identities of those in danger.

This grasroot project sets up a great example for other LGTBQI+ refugees of all the power they hold when owning the proper safe spaces to meet each other and work together towards an improvement of their own situation and the whole society they live in.

All these opportunities for change would be impossible without the existence of that safe space. A safe space that, despite providing them only with the very basic needs cover, takes them out from the streets and, hence, takes them out from the isolation, the life risk and from a place of strong vulnerability; and places them instead in a place of communal power where they can, not only survive, but also work together to create a better world for them and for the next to come.

Please, help them to keep up this amazing work by keeping them safe.

Donate to this campaign and help to stop the imminent eviction that will send them out to the streets and that will put their lives at a strong risk again.

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Update posted by cenix callejo garcia On Jan 14, 2019

"Yesterday I filmed/audio recorded these brave, beautiful people telling their personal stories. The stories are heart-breaking; they described themselves being rejected, neglected, demonized, violated, humiliated and repeatedly arrested. All because of their sexual orientation. But they are very strong and they chose to open up for two main reasons:

First, because the economic situation of the organization is critical, the organization owes one year of rent for their office/safe space and they will soon be evicted. Being thrown to the street is extremely dangerous for them. There is no electricity in the building for the last four months and there is no food. Members must get their food anyway they can and as no one would employ them, they work in the streets to gain some food which they share between them. They are begging for support!

Second, they understand that much of the local homophobia is based on disinformation and in order to achieve any improvement in their future, they will need to change people’s perspectives. They fully understand the risks involved in exposing themselves, and they choose to act, some of them showing their face and some don’t, depends on their personal circumstances.

The series of interviews will be published during this coming week.

It is a great honour for me to be able to work with this group and I really hope that together we can make a real change in their lives and in the lives of many other African LGBTQs.

Please share and/or donate to this urgent campaign, it can save and change lives."

Noga Shanee

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Update posted by cenix callejo garcia On Jan 10, 2019

Do not miss this great job from our ARSGA friends.

Uganda deeply needs this amazing initiatve to keep on going.

LGTBQ African community needs for these words to keep spreading around.

Please, consider donating so the NGO and their refugees are alive and safe, and so they can keep reminding the entire world that Africa is also this.

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Update posted by cenix callejo garcia On Jan 08, 2019

Image may contain: cloud, sky and outdoor

As a conservationist, I kept seeing all the wrongs NGOs do to nature. Lately, I started to understand the horrible things big aid NGOs are doing to African societies (will talk about that soon), but yesterday, for the first time, I got pissed off with LGBTQ NGOs…

Many African countries are extremely and increasingly homophobic. Same sex interactions are illegal and can bring life imprisonment, and in a few countries, even death sentences. This institutional discrimination facilitates and promotes horrible street violence towards these people, resulting in “corrective” rapes, beating and even occasional lynches. To protect African LGBTQ people, Western NGOs are helping individuals to move to different, more accepting places like Europe and Canada. This is of course very helpful for the individuals, as they get a chance to live in a developed county which is normally much less homophobic (although much more racist), but is devastating to the individuals and communities who remain in Africa.

African governments are trying to present the “Gay Problem” as something of the West. Many times I heard people (even highly educated friends) say that America promotes homosexuality and tries to force it on Africa. I often heard exactly the same argument while living in Peru. Many Africans really believe LGBTQs are not born this way, but are being converted by Western "promotion". The fact that many are leaving Africa, and the rest are forced to hide, supports this theory that homosexuality is not naturally occurring in Africa, and must be stopped from being introduced.

Yesterday, with the Angels Refugee Support Group, we started looking at the funding opportunities for LGBTQ organizations in Africa. The great majority of funds were offered towards resettlement, while very few were available for in situ advocacy and support for local organizations. The application for resettlement is usually in English, and requires quite high verbal, organizational and sometimes even economic and professional skills. Not everyone can go. Most of the gay community leaders have already left, and many others are waiting for their turn. By taking all the natural leaders, the capable, vocal, strong people away from here, NGOs leave the vulnerable, weak and uneducated members of the community alone, without protection. By taking away high numbers of LGBTQ people from Africa, NGOs do not solve the problem and actively hinder the possibility of solving this and new problems that will inevitably arise. They weaken and break the communities, and support the governments’ discourses which facilitate these discriminative, horrible policies.

The relative openness of Western societies to sexual minorities did not happen by itself; it is not the result of their government’s sudden enlightenment, but of a long struggle led by strong local gay communities.

This is yet another way that NGOs, based on colonialist, paternalist ideas, are hindering Africa’s chances for change!

Noga Shanee

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