IRCA Casabierta is a San Jose-based organization that assists LGBTI international migrants in seeking asylum and settling into safe living situations in Costa Rica. Costa Rica promises freedom, security, and equality to LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers in Latin America. Threats of violence against queer people are far lower in Costa Rica than nearby countries like El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

IRCA Casabierta focuses on all aspects of a migrant’s relocation and resettlement journey by covering costs associated with international migration, offering food and rent stipends for LGBTI refugees and immigrants in Costa Rica, and supporting resettled LGBTI folks through psychological, legal, and health services. They are planning to finance the relocation of 11 transgender women from around the greater Latin American region and need financial support.

IRCA Casabierta wants to raise enough money to relocate 11 transgender women and support them for a total of six months: one month to relocate to Costa Rica, plus their first five months in San Jose. Per person, the costs of relocation ($560) plus six months’ worth of living costs in Costa Rica (6 x $500 = $3,000) costs $3,560. In their plans to assist 11 women, IRCA Casabierta needs your help to raise a total of $39,160.

All contributions made toward this goal will make a substantial impact. Consider whether you might be able to support the costs affiliated with a specific aspect of IRCA Casabierta’s demonstrated needs. Can you contribute $30 to cover fees associated with immigration procedures? Are you able to donate $50 to cover IRCA Casabierta’s institutional services? Can you help pay for some or all of the $290 needed to make rent each month?

Your donations will save lives and enable 11 transgender women to create new futures for themselves in a safe environment. We thank you for your support!

CHIYN/COVID-19 Relief – Addressing Mental Health and Food Insecurity

Community Health Initiative for Youth in Nigeria (CHIYN) is a LGBTIQ-led organization base in Abuja (FCT) and Minna (Niger State) Nigeria.  Our focus is on the health and well-being of our community.  We exist because of major challenges in Nigeria regarding human rights for LGBTIQ people.  Due to the 2014 Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, as well as the existence of Sharia law in parts of Northern Nigeria, our community members continue to suffer; lacking support from families and communities, as well as lacking access to quality health (including mental health) services. 

CHIYN Mental Health Campaign CHIYN Staff arriving at Community Clinic

Already marginalized, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our LGBTIQ community severely. Many members have lost their jobs and housing; and are struggling to survive.  Mental health challenges and depression have increased.  Just last week, we had three members seriously threaten to commit suicide. Many of our community members have been shunned by their families and communities because of their LGBTIQ status, hence, we have stepped up to help each other survive. 

CHIYN has been a beacon of hope for many.  Over the past few years, we have grown to not only advocate for better conditions for LGBTIQ people, we now are operating our own mental health service, and helping to manage physical health services specifically for LGBTIQ persons via USAID and other donor funds. We also are forging relationships with our local government to promote the health of our community.

Over the past 12 months, we reached over 23,000 LGBTQI people with health messages; and to date we are assisting over 600 LGBTQI people to remain on HIV treatment.  We also are currently helping to house 80 LGBTQI persons in Abuja and Minna (Niger State).  In the past year, we also documented and responded to over 450 cases of gender-based violence.

For the past eight months under COVID-19 lockdowns, we have pooled our limited personal resources to provide emergency food assistance, temporary safe housing and mental health support for numerous community members. However, the need greatly outpaces the minimal resources we have.  We really need additional support.  A small amount goes a long way.  Please consider supporting us!

Thank you so much for your support!

CHIYN Community Forum on Human Rights CHIYN Community Member

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.


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.