I must begin by expressing my feelings about the current political situation in the country after the general elections. We feel unsafe and insecure because the gross violation of human rights by the pas regime and there is no hope for anything better than the past. We are not going underground but we must use a low profile to avoid any confrontation by the law enforcers.
Let me also use this opportunity to extend our sincere gratitude to you all for standing with us since the beginning of this year and during the unprecedented times of COVID-19 Pandemic. This year was the most difficult year for our organization and the LGBT community at large. We remained active and worked hard to protect, defend and promote LGBT rights but we were also forced to reduce or drop some of our services due to lack of funding.
With your support our offices remained open though we could not hold our monthly meetings but we still had our emergency services to the needy LGBT individuals run smoothly, it is during this time when we became aware of the importance of mutual aid and community care to the LGBT community and the situation helped push us to get more involved in health related advocacy with the aim of defending, promoting and protecting the rights of LGBT rights as we now emphasize that there should be an inclusive response to pandemics to help alleviate the danger posed to vulnerable LGBT communities because of discrimination against and criminalization.
Due to COVID-19 and the financial constraints we were unable to finish our project named Backlash and resistance that aims to better anticipate, pre-empt and counter resistance and backlash and develop taxonomy of resistance and backlash and to develop a report addressing different forms of resistance and backlash and counter tactics. We hope to implement the final stage early next year.
But we were able to document cases of Homophobia and discrimination against LGBT people and learned that members of the LGBT community experienced 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 also forced many LGBT people to move in with haters because of the lack of alternative places to stay. The social discrimination, which had 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. These taught us that it is the LGBT community itself and the allies that can provide support to this lonely community
That is why we still need your generosity to empower LGBT persons, and include them in finding solutions to their needs. Pushing our government to incorporate gender considerations into national responses to Pandemics is slow and need more efforts, but we promise to continue working hard to achieve it.
We have designed a project that aim to train 25 LGBT activist from Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar to equip them with skills and the knowledge required so that they can understand how to advocate in their own communities (regions) and informing policymakers and politicians about inclusiveness and effective participation. They should also become trainers at district level.
The technology in our country is still not advanced and we are unable to use a digital space to serve more LGBT individuals who need counseling, emergency and support for trauma recovery, the general planning and administration so there is still a need for an office space to run our organization
We urgently need some extra funding because of additional challenges caused by COVID-19 Pandemic because now our budgeting is a real challenge; the organization is run on a shoestring so we are not even securing enough to cover administrative costs, which means it will be more difficult to implement our projects. We sent out an appeal for $3,000 and we were able to raise $1,400 that means we still need $1,600 to cover the general running of the organization which include part of the rent, utility, internet, and communication and staff allowances, kindly consider making any amount so that we can reach our goal and continue serving the LGBT community.