Thanks to our supporters and friends for standing with us during these unprecedented times of COVID-19 Pandemic, LGBT Voice Tanzania is still Active and working hard to protect, defend and promote LGBT rights in Tanzania but there is the risk that our helplines and shelters for poor homeless LGBT individuals are getting shutdown due to lack of funding
The public health threat of COVID-19 has shown us now, more than ever, the importance of mutual aid and community care. Since our commitment is to protect the general wellbeing of LGBT people in Tanzania we have become more involved in health related advocacy but with the aim of defending, promoting and protecting the rights of LGBT rights as we call and emphasize that there should be a nuanced and inclusive response to the pandemic to help alleviate the danger posed to vulnerable LGBT communities because of discrimination against and criminalization.
We are documented cases of Homophobia and discrimination against LGBT people that show many of the members of the LGBT community reporting higher levels of physical, sexual, and emotional violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Experiences range from being forced to go and stay with family that are homo-,lesbo-, or trans-phobic, to being denied food, or a place to stay, suffering abusive behavior, insecure accommodation arrangements have also forced many LGBT people to move in with haters because of the lack of alternative places to stay. Social discrimination, which had already placed such people in a precarious position prior to the COVID-19 crisis, has seen them put under even more severe stress during the pandemic, yet no local authorities have rallied to offer some support them. It has been mostly the LGBT community itself and we the civil society organizations that have provided support, and some small funding and relief.
Due to the inequalities in the socio-economic systems in Tanzania, which sexual and gender-based violence is a primary one, our work here is advocate for consideration of Gender discrimination in every response to this unprecedented public health crisis with hope that our country still has the opportunity to empower LGBT persons, and include them in finding solutions.
We are also working hard to push our government to adopt guidelines already developed by Agencies such as UN Women and UNFPA to incorporate gender considerations into national responses to COVID-19.Which means that services such as emergency helpline services and shelters remain available not just to women and girls who are considered socially acceptable, but also to other groups who are discriminated against, for example, trans-diverse people who sell sex, and queer people who are homeless. The LGBT community must be equally included in the provision of services to combat COVID-19, and this must be up front and central and not done in an ad hoc manner.
LGBT Voice is also active in helping the LGBT community to understand how they can advocate in their communities and informing policymakers and politicians about inclusiveness and effective participation.
Four months ago, we wouldn't have imagined that the pandemic would upend life as we know it. LGBT individuals have reported an increased demand in services and support; disruption of services and supplies; higher operational costs; and decreased revenue. Over half of centers are experiencing cancellation of fundraising, reduced fee-for service, and reduced individual contributions.
Despite the hardships, it's been phenomenal to see how we have turned on a dime to continue serving our local communities. We are still learning on how to use a digital space to serve more LGBT individuals who need counseling and support for trauma recovery.
Please allow me to make an official appeal for continued financial support we need to cover administration costs i.e.
1. Office Rent
2. Utility bills,
3. Staff allowances,
4. Purchase of 1 desktop computer
If you are able kindly make a donation and also create awareness about our work within your community.