The Gay Kenya Strategic Plan recognizes the need to create safe spaces for gay people in Kenya. As an organization, "coming out" and embracing our sexuality and identity is very important as individuals and as an organization.We however realize that embracing our sexual identity and leaving the closet comes with huge risks, including rejection and ejection by family, rejection by friends, ejection from schools and shrinkage of friendly social space. Thus the need for Safe-space Shelter.
Coming out voluntary or being involuntary outed either by family, friends, school-mates or other members of the society presents very serious challenges to personal security. In our context, many youths are ejected from their families or more often, even when not ejected, the pressure on them to change and become heterosexual creates most unhealthy environment to stay in.
The Safe-spaces facility will provide for immediate safety evacuation, an opportunity to engage with career counsellors for them to explore beneficial career options and where possible engage with family seeking their reconciliation and reintegration.
This will address an immediate problem faced by our community. The facility will also house an entrepreneurial training center. One of the single important factors mentioned by our members for their increased vulnerability to HIV and violence is their inability to have meaningful and sustainable means of earning a living. Entrepreneurial training will address these vulnerabilities.
The facility will also provide a retreat facility - offered on a "camp-site" basis for our members.