LGBTQ+ Grassroots Empowerment in Eastern Africa

Out Right has launched a crowdfunding program called Grassroots Empowerment, where business proposals from LGBT+ refugees are available for seed funding from the All Out community.

Business proposals have been collected from LGBTQ+ refugees who have fled Uganda and other East African countries because of anti-gay laws, discrimination, intimidation and violence. Often LGBTQ+ refugees have to contend with little help from the countries and people who have granted them asylum, facing poverty, homophobia and transphobia in cities or refugee camps which are not welcoming to LGBTQ+ people. This is particularly difficult for transgender refugees as they often face additional challenges. These challenges are compounded when economic hardships due to LGBTQ+ and refugee-status discrimination are involved.

Out Right has chosen four business proposals, and is running a funding campaign for the LGBTQ+ refugees behind the proposals. As it is a crowdfunding endeavour, people are encouraged to donate towards these potential businesses. If the proposals do not raise enough money, the money will be refunded to the individual donors.

Tell us how you or your organisation promotes economic independence of marginalised people thereby reducing their vulnerability to SGBV and other SRHR violations. You could be featured on the Sex Rights Africa Network.

Find out a little more about the proposals below.

Photography and film studio – their business plan includes camera equipment, a computer, and a studio space. Their story is below, as the people involved with this project requested that they not be named, photographed, or filmed, for their own safety.

“Samuel* had to leave his home country after participating in Pride. He was harassed and tortured by police, fired from his job, and evicted from his home. That’s because Samuel is from Uganda, where it’s illegal to be gay.

After resettling in a neighboring country, it’s been hard to start again. As an LGBT+ refugee, Samuel has zero support and is unable to get a job. Police brutality and mob violence are constant risks. Resettlement to a safer place could take many years.

But Samuel is not asking anyone for charity – he has incredible drive and a very smart business idea.

Samuel has always loved photography and he’s really good at it. Together with a few fellow LGBT+ refugees, he’s come up with a business plan for starting a photography and film studio. By working together, Samuel and his friends can create sustainable and safer lives for themselves.

And they need your help to make this business plan a reality.

All Out and RefCEA are working together to launch Grassroots Empowerment because we believe in putting power and trust in the hands of LGBT+ people like Samuel. Donate today to fund his business plan for The Photography and Film Studio.”

Their target is $1950. Help them reach their target by donating here.

Sandal Makers – their business plan includes materials for shoes and professional tools. Learn more about the Sandal Makers in the video below.

Their target is $1904. Help them reach their target by donating here.

Mobile Restaurant – their business plan includes new cooking and serving equipment. Learn more about the Mobile Restaurant in the video below.

Their target is $1952. Help them reach their target by donating here.

Poultry Farmers – their business plan includes chickens, feed, and supplies for a chicken pen. Learn more about the Poultry Farmers in the video below.

Their target is $1964. Help them reach their target by donating here.