A group discussion during one of the training
As the year draws to an end, I would like to sincerely thank you for your support of LGBT Voice Tanzania; our organization has counted on your generosity to support our work toward LGBT rights for in 2015. We are extremely grateful for your support of our programs, and we hope that you will continue to show your compassion for LGBT people in Tanzania.
A few achievements in 2014
2015 was a historical year for both the organization and the LGBT community in Tanzania regardless of the political environment in the country. We have documented many stories of harassment including: forcibly detaining individuals without charge, blackmailing LGBT individuals for release, corrective rape/and or sexual violence, beating LGBT individuals while in custody, and dismissing or disregarding complaints brought by LGBT people about harassment from others and for the first time we were able to make a UPR submission that identifies shortcomings in Tanzania’s human rights laws and practices related to its treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people with recommendations to improve the lives of LGBT Tanzanians. The submission focused on three areas identified by LGBT Tanzanians that require the Tanzanian Government’s immediate attention: (a) police treatment of LGBT Tanzanians, (b) access to health care, (c) and the right of LGBT youth to education
Secondly we also managed to train 20 LGBT activists on organizational, informational and personal security and then formed an LGBT reference group track developments and provide frequent updates on the status of implementation of the proposed anti-homosexuality bill and the support it was receiving in parliament. Unfortunately the bill was kept pending.
Thirdly we managed to serve more than 200 LGBT in all our programs which include emergency support, counseling and guidance, referral for HIV testing and treatment and relocation to those who were forced to flee persecution.
Through your generous support, for the first time we were able to hire some good lawyers and file a ligation against the media that continually perpetuate Homophobia and Transphobia by publishing false, malicious and defamatory articles to damage the reputation of LGBT groups and activists who spearhead the good work in the opinion of right thinking members of our society. It is our hope that we win.
Lastly we managed to hold advocacy meetings with leaders from 33 non-governmental organizations and discussed the need to unite in the fight for equality, 18 leaders promised to stand with us in the fight but they still need to learn more about homosexuality.
Future Plans and need for funding
Our plan for the year 2015 was to prevent the passing of the new legislation entitled ‘The Bill to Prohibit and Control any form of Sexual Relations between Persons of the Same Sex, 2014’, but the legislation was not discussed and voted for in parliament. We still plan to continue creating awareness about the negative implications of such legislation.
Kindly continue supporting our work so that we can implement all the planned activities that were not implemented this year. We cannot rest till we see #EqualityinTanzania.
Comments from beneficiaries:
A comment from Baina
My religion taught me to hate gay people because they are sinners, one day I read an article about the LGBT movement in one of the western countries and thought that was western, but meeting LGBT people who are educated and learning from them during this training, I was totally wrong about you guys and now understand that we are all equal regardless of our sex orientation, I promise to work hand in hand with you and make sure there is no discriminative law that will suppress the rights of LGBT in this country, please print books and reports and I personally will distribute them to my network
A comment from Alan
I believe that the work of LGBT Voice has brought light to most of us and but also has created a platform where LGBT people can stand and air their needs