Rainbow Teen Safe Space project: A third letter to our donors.
Since the website for the domestic fundraising (http://lgbtpride.or.kr/safespace) was opened on Apr 1, we have been making transparently a disclosure of the breakdown of our fundraising via the website once a month. On Apr 2, we had an opportunity to introduce Rainbow Teen Safe Space Project, along with LGBT human rights activists in Korea.
Rainbow Teen Safe Space as a first-ever project carried out in Korea has began with many expectation and concerns from more than 20 visitors, and they also gave good advice on the project. In particular, they worried about Korean government has never paid attention on planning a programe or project, and there are many institutional barriers in setting up shelters for LGBT youths. However, a shelter for LGBT youths is essential and they desperately need street counselling. They are suffering from abandonment from their family and school, and even churches are not supportive for them. Our proejct would be independently operated without any help from the government for the time being(perhaps it would be such a long time), and therefore, Global Giving fundraising must be going successful. We need funds to directly support LGBT youths, and from a perspective of care and changeover, we should actively address how wrong perception of LGBT youths the counselling groups for youths or the operators of youth shelters have, and how they make the dangerous the risky situation LGBT youths are facing even worse.
On Apr 27, we held a charity bazaar to support Rainbow Teen Safe Space project. It was the first fundraising event held for LGBT youth people in korea. So many people donated for the bazaar so we raised about 1,170 USD. We also made momentos like T-shirts and note pad. Through those the momentos, we are disseminating the significance of Rainbow Teen Safe Space Project.
We had met people who provide counselling for run-away youths, working at Moving Youth Center(EXIT). They gave advice on operational tips of the counselling and how we should maintain the relationships with youth people because we should start Street-Counselling for LGBT youths soon. They were very favorable to our suggestion of going with EXIT and meeting LGBT youth people. We also paid a visit to Youth Health Center. The organisation provides health check-up services to female youths who are engaged in prostitution and helps them stand on their own feet by providing vocational trainings. The Center workers showed their sympathy with the necessity of Rainbow Teen Safe Space Project and agreed to give full support when their helps are in need.
We have reached to one third of the goal amount through Global Giving nd the domestic fundraising. We are in course of preparation to meet LGBT youths from Sep. We appeal sincerely more your attention and participation in the donation.
Lastly, I would like to speak about myself. I have met so many LGBT youth people for the last 10 years while working in DongInRyun(Solidarity for LGBT human rights of Korea). I feel relief to see some of the youths I met came of age, some working, and some back to school. But, I have witnessed the death of three youth people in 1997, 2003, and 2013, who I had known. All their passing was mostly caused by family abuse, bullying from the school and sufferings or conflicts with religion. But it was not easy to figure out positive alternatives that can support them and save. There was no funds, no social attention and no space where they can go even if they desperately needed them. Those situation has not much changed. We can no longer postpone sparing safe space where they can go, rest, study, meet friends who have same sufferings and learn about human rights. Thus, we started up Rainbow Teen Safe Space Project to prepare the safe space for them. It may be taking long time to build the space, but if you, donors' help comes together, it would be such a great strength to all of us.
Please come and join with us.
With a thankful heart as always.
Min-seok, Jeong Project Leader from Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea
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