Our LGBTI Refugee Support project has been officially launched. To celebrate the launch in style and put the project on the map, we attended the Cape Town Gay Pride Festival on Saturday (see image below).
We are certain that it will go a long way in advocating for the rights of LGBTI refugees in South Africa and supporting them in the many adversities they are faced with. The project is the first of its kind in South Africa and it supports LGBTI refugees in a number of ways, including:
Providing paralegal support for documentation, labour, health care, education, housing, banking and other community issues;
Searching for employment opportunities;
Creating a solidarity network;
Holding community workshops and integration events;
Providing short-term humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable cases.
Another major aspect of the project entails advocacy and research. At present, the rights of LGBTI refugees are often disregarded in an often homophobic environment. Raising public awareness through the media and civil society, building up partnerships, peer-to-peer learning and training between different civil society organizations; and monitoring and conducting research on the South African government’s sexual refugee policies and their implementation are all part and parcel of this.
Project Coordinator, Guyllain Koko, is excited about the many things the project has set out to achieve throughout 2012: “we have set ourselves ambitious goals, but we are positive that we will reach these and help many disenfranchised and vulnerable LGBTI refugees in the process”. We encourage anyone interested to come visit us at our newly rented office (adjacent to the main office) at 37 Church Street in Wynberg. For more information, or if you want to find out how you can get involved, please contact our office, or Koko directly at: 0785029626.