Support LGBTQI Haitians directly with Earthquake Relief

Since 1999 SEROvie an LGBTI-identified organization has an established network of eleven (11) centers that serve various communities across Haiti’s ten departments.  Because of the challenge of being an openly LGBTQI-identified organization in a rights constrained country, SEROvie has focused on health and entre to our human rights and community building work. In addition to LGBTQI people, we also serve at-risk adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) and sex workers.  

Today, SEROvie works on numerous program interventions: health care and basic nutrition, quality education for the LGBTQI and their children, household economic security benefiting 22,000 clients and their families in 36 communities.

In the aftermath of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that rocked southwestern Haiti, 1,400 people are dead and more than 6,900 others injured, 10,000 people left homeless while hundreds more are still missing.  The southern and western parts of the country, particularly the Sud, Grand’Anse and Nippes departments, have withstood the worst of the quake, while some communities closer to the epicenter, yet to be reached and out of contact, and are thought to have been completely devastated.

Despite Tropical Storm Grace weakening into a depression, the system still threatens to dump more than 10 inches of rain over the areas hardest hit by the earthquake this week potentially triggering deadly flash floods that could complicate humanitarian response efforts.

Recognizing the unique challenges faced by LGBTI people, SEROvie developed a specialized disaster response and recovery effort. As an established LGBTQI organization, SEROvie has a unique role in providing support directly to our Haitian LGBTI community. In the past, more generalized disaster response efforts have been quite discriminatory against LGBTQI community members, and our communities have suffered.  Hence, we need to provide support directly to our community!

Based on initial assessments with LGBTQI community members in the Southwest, our priorities and recommendations reflect in that an urgent response is needed – specifically for safety, food and potable water.  Substantial funding is urgently for SEROvie to offer relief in Les Cayes and Miragoane:

  1. Food distribution at our two southern facilities—we estimate we have 320 beneficiaries Cayes in 127 in Miragoane who will need help for at least a two-week period. 
  2. Hygiene kits (water bucket, soap, paste and toothbrush, toilet paper and hygiene pads) distribution for at least 500 beneficiaries.
  3. Tents, pillows, and sheets for at least 500 beneficiaries.
  4. Potable water for at least 500 beneficiaries; and
  5. Organizing emotional first aid and psychosocial support to help LGBTQI cope with grief and trauma within our LGBTQI Friendly Spaces (Biomed articles will be needed and cook food will be offered daily to 450 for a week period).

Please support us with what you can, and the funds will go directly to impacting LGBTQI people in Southwest Haiti.  In partnering with the Rustin Fund, 100% of the funding will go directly to these impacted communities.  

SISTERS

About the organization:

“SISTERS” is the first foundation to provide counseling and guidance exclusively for transgender women by transgender women in Thailand, also known as SISTERS Center Pattaya, which was founded in June 2004.  SISTERS was registered as a foundation in Thailand in September 2014. For almost 17 years, SISTERS has been serving the transgender community in Pattaya and is the largest trans-led service provider in Thailand.  Pattaya is known as capital city of transgender people in Thailand.  SISTERS is run by professionally trained transgender leaders and staff; the largest hiring agency of trans individuals in Thailand.  SISTERS not only works to promote equal access to healthcare services and to advocate for a healthy-lifestyle and well-being of trans people in Pattaya and in Thailand.  Annually, SISTERS serves over 3,700 to 4,300 clients in Pattaya and nearby provinces.

About the campaign:

In Thailand, SISTERS Foundation has worked hand in hand with the trans communities to provide support during the pandemic by starting the campaign titled “Toey Cha-Na” or “Trans will win”. This project aims to provide food pastry to trans people including immigrant workers who are LGBTIQ+ in Pattaya city, Thailand and nearby provinces. With the support from private sectors and the international agency, SISTERS is being able to provide more than 600 bags to the community members whom they cannot reach out the government programs due to their citizenship and discrimination against trans people.

In addition to this project, SISTERS operates day-to-day to provide healthcare services including HIV/STI testing, health consulting, and HIV/STI treatment referral. However, the pandemic has affected SISTERS on their operation due to a decreasing of trans people in Pattaya. Many trans people in Pattaya and nearby provinces now have lost their jobs since the Thai government announced its border restrictions combining with several occasions of lockdown policies due to the pandemic; many members of Sisters decided to move back home where some of them are facing harassment from their unaccepting families. Despite of the government’s policies, trans people are always left out from the governmental programs socially and economically. Also, healthcare services and facilities are not welcome trans people because the services are designed to serve only male and female which has created discomfort to many trans people who desperately need healthcare services. For example, many trans women are forced to stay in the governmental quarantine facilities where they have to share with all male patients because their sex at birth is male.

To continue supporting the trans communities, SISTERS will need support from you to help the organization sustain its work for the trans people as well as to continue hiring experienced staff who help run the program while funding is at stake during the pandemic.

Your donation will help SISTERS run their program and continue to be a “second home” for trans people as this reputation is perceived by the clients/members of SISTERS since its inception. Following are examples of how your donation will contribute to SISTERS’ program and activities:

For more information, please visit the following link:

Website: http://www.sistersthailand.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sistersfoundationTH/

St Vincent Volcano LGBTQ+ Fund #prayforstvincent

Summary

On April 9, the La Soufriere volcano erupted, causing the evacuation of thousands from surrounding villages in St. Vincent. We will provide immediate assistance to LGBTQ+ evacuees affected by the volcanic eruption and already battling with COVID-19 and discrimination in a region that criminalizes their conduct. Our relief assistance will include food packages, clean water, hygiene kits, sanitary products, clothing, heavy-duty face masks, relocation and housing support.

Challenge

LGBTQ+ and PLHIV, already on the margins, face barriers in accessing shelter, food, medical and other assistance during emergencies. With many displaced after the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano, LGBTQ+ and PLHIV can fall through the cracks or feel forced to hide their status, sexuality and/or gender identity to access help or avoid discrimination.

Solution

Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE) will co-ordinate with partners on the ground in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Dominica, and Saint Lucia to provide emergency assistance to LGBTQ+ persons who have been evacuated from their homes in St. Vincent. This will bolster efforts by eastern Caribbean governments already mobilised to shelter, feed and clothe thousands in need. This project will also provide relocation and housing support, care services, mobile credit for emergency communication and *safe spaces* for those most-at-risk.

Long-Term Impact

The discrimination faced by PLHIV and LGBT+ people in a criminalised environment does not dissipate during an emergency, that the existing challenges are amplified/exacerbated. This is of utmost urgency especially this time with the COVID-19 pandemic still a problem and with the start of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season (June 1st – November 30th) fast approaching LGBTQ+ Vincentians still face a number of challenges. This fund will prevent many LGBTQ+ Vincentians from going back into the closet in order to access emergency assistance and will improve, safety and well-being. It will also strengthen the network of advocacy organisations and their connections to the community.

In Memory of Yves Yomb – a founding member of Alternatives-Cameroon

Two months ago, the Rustin Fund was deeply saddened by the death of Yves Yomb – a founding member of Alternatives-Cameroon, one of the first and most dynamic LGBTI organizations in Cameroon.  Based in Douala, Yves had formerly been the Executive Director of Alternatives, serving thousands of LGBTI persons in Cameroon with health and rights programming, as well as helping to build movements of LGBTI persons throughout West Africa.  Yves was humble but bold and brave leader, always championing his community in an extremely homophobic context.
In honor of his life, on what would have been his 45th birthday (Aug 23), the Rustin Fund has teamed up with Alternatives-Cameroon to host a matching grant fundraiser.  The Rustin Fund has secured funding to match donations (up to $2500), towards supporting activities of Alternatives-Cameroon.  Yves championed younger LGBTI people, and there are plans to set up a scholarship fund in his honor.  Your donation will serve to support this effort, as well as continuing the visionary work Yves did in Alternatives-Cameroon.
Please join us in reaching our goal of $5000 to be raised in Yves honor.
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RUSTIN FUND

We here at the Rustin Fund operate as an all-volunteer organization so that all of your funding can do directly to LGBTI organizations all over the globe.  We do still have a few expenses, however, such as website hosting and credit card processing fees.  If you would like to donate to the Rustin Fund’s operations so that we can continue to direct all campaign contributions directly to organizations in low- and middle-income countries, please donate on this page. A donation made on this page may also go to one of our partners at the board’s discretion.