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Restore Safety and Security for LGBTQ in Uganda

by MBARARA RISE FOUNDATION
Restore Safety and Security for LGBTQ in Uganda
Restore Safety and Security for LGBTQ in Uganda
Restore Safety and Security for LGBTQ in Uganda
Restore Safety and Security for LGBTQ in Uganda

Our dear donors,

Because of the safety and security education that MRF have championed, rural LGBTI community in western parts of Uganda have been able to live safely, which has reduced insecurities and threats.

The security management tool kit that Mbarara Rise Foundation developed is guiding the Community on theirdaily to-day activities and below, Joan explaining how best she has gained from the security trainings and the Kit.

“Applying the security management tool kit in my daily routines has guided me on how best I can take care of myself and friends. Before I acquired the training, I was arrested by the police and harassed by the society for acting like a transman. But since my security training completion, I have been able to hide my gender identity. Currently am Raising funds to help fight HIV/AIDS infections http://goto.gg/38404 Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Thank you

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programs director during the training.
programs director during the training.

Dear our valued donors

Thanking you for your kind cooperation and financial support. Without your generous donations it is very difficult for us to '' Stop insecurities in rural Uganda!!''

When Bogere participated in the Mbarara Rise Foundation Safety and security trainings in December last year, he acquired better understanding of putting personal security first and he is teaching the same to fellow LGBTQI especially those who have faced security challenges before.

Because of the safety and security education you provided for bogere, he was able to work his way through giving voluntarily services to MRF. Today, Bogere is championing Safety and security dialogue meetings in western Uganda! He was so inspired by the trainings we have carried out that he has dedicated his life to offering other LGBTQI safety skills and measures to reduce insecurities, threats and other security challenges.

Activities

Mbarara Rise Foundation organized safety and security awareness/training workshops in a distant village of Rukungiri District for 20 LGBTQ participants, including 7 transgender men and 4 transgender women, 6 gay men and 3 lesbians and in kabale District with 20 participants which included 6 gay men, 4 Lesbians, 5 transgender men and 5 transgender women.

MRF Finance manager Mr. Flavour Kamugisha and Programs Director Janet Mutesi organized the trainings respectively, Team MRF met with MRF members in Rukungiri district on the 05th to 6th January 2019 and Kabale district on the 7th to 8th January 2019, most of the participants were victims of insecurities, and those who have been arrested before because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. We had an experience sharing session in each of the training per district and it showed more light on what needs to be done to overcome security incidences.

Dialogue meetings

During the dialogue meetings in Ibanda, Bushenyi, Ntugamo and Mbarara districts that were facilitated by MRF Administrator Mr. Osbert Mweji together with the cell coordinators in each of the two districts.

Members who had participated in the safety and security trainings have been able to come up with their security management tool kit to guide them on their daily to-day activities, the tool kit explains the four Ws that is who, when, what and where, this helps to plan for daily routens and activities in order to avoid threats and insecurities. The same security tool kit has helped Mbarara Rise Foundation to reduce insecurities, the 4Ws for example help to know when we want to carry out an activity, we use it to measure our security and threats that might occur, when is the best time to carry the planned activity, what type of activity do we intend to carry out and what are likely threats to occur, Where do we carry out the activity from and who are involved in the activity/participants.

The four Ws have helped us carry out activities successfully.

Next Steps

We assure you, our Safety and Security program is making a big Impact, last year in only December 2017 we documented 18 insecurity cases under the GBV project compared to December 2018 were we have only documented 4 insecurity cases, it your efforts that is making an impact in the rural grass root areas. We still have more dialogue meetings to carry out which we will be working on in the coming months.

Thank you

Our Executive Director during group work exercise
Our Executive Director during group work exercise
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Training of 60 rural LGBTQ community members on their safety and security.

Dear Donors

Your response to our cause has been phenomenal; I am grateful and very excited about the coming year because of the lives that will be transformed because of your faithful partnership and generous support.

Unlike other projects I want to develop this reporting process into something more personal and more engaging. I want you to know that you matter to us.  

In 2019, we will be starting with a new program. Firstly, the new program to fight HIV/AIDS for the rural LGBTQ people. We piloted this program in 2018, all the bugs have been ironed out and so it’s full steam ahead in Jan 2019. The Community is so excited because the new program enables them to learn ways of preventing HIV/AIDS so as to achieve a 90-90-90 target. This is the outward display in fighting HIV/AIDS among the LGBTQ. 2019 is going to be a brilliant year, due to your support! None of this would be possible without funding, with ongoing support. You are making a difference in the lives of so many sexual minorities here in Uganda.

As 2018 closes, I just want to once again say thank you for your support throughout this year and for some of you who have been supporting us since November 2017 when we first started with Global Giving. I pray you and your family have a safe, peaceful and relaxing Christmas Season.

 "My name is bogere, I am 21yrs old from kizunji Village in mbarara district. Before joining MRF’s safety and security project I never knew what it means to put security first, I used to do wrong things that I shouldn’t do. I used to show off my sexuality, not setting strong passwords and get into fights with other people. My friends have always tried to make me a better person but with friends around I wasn’t a better person.

Since being in the program, I put security first. This program has changed me to be a good human being. It has helped me with things and taught me many good things. Thank you to everyone who brought such wonderful people in the world from MRF now I am a better person in the present and will be in the future.”I put security first”

 

60 rural LGBTQ recently participated in this program, 20 people were selected in each of the three districts.

On the 7th-8th December 2018 MRF carried out a two-day safety and security training in Ibanda District for 20 LGBTQ participants, including 7 transgender men and 4 transgender women, 6 gay men and 3 lesbians.

9th-10th December 2018 in Ntugamo District with 20 participants which included 6 gay men, 4 Lesbians, 5 transgender men and 5 transgender women.

13th-14th December 2018 in Mbarara district with 20 participants were also trained, they included, 2 bisexual men, 1 bisexual woman, 4 transgender men, 2 transgender women, 5 gay men, 6 lesbians.

MRF Finance manger Mr. Flavour Kamugisha and Programs Director Janet Mutesi organized the trainings in three districts.  

Topics and activities carried out during the trainings included an introduction to digital and physical safety, understanding rural working environment, Analyzing security incidents and threats, group work exercise on risk assessment to develop sustainable strategies, tactics and individual safety management approaches. Mr. Flavour, Miss Janet and Mr. Osbert who had been early equipped with skills, information and a training of trainees (TOT) from Defenders protection Initiative, supported participants in an open discussion where lived life insecurities and threats were shared.

At the end of the trainings which aimed at equipping rural LGBTQ community members with knowledge and skills necessary to enhance their personal and digital safety and security, participants promised to put their security first so as to create a safe working environment/space, Report any threats and insecurities so as to curb ways of responding to them. 

We are truly greatful to provide the LGBTQ community with information, skills and knowdelge and thank you for your Kind support. 

Happy Hoildays. 

Janet Mutesi

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Special Regards from MBARARA RISE FOUNDATION – UGANDA (MRF)

20 LGBTQ community members in Bushenyi District have been equipped with skills and knowledge on their safety and security.

Introduction and Background

Mbarara Rise Foundation (MRF) is a grassroots, community-based lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) organization based in Mbarara,western Uganda.Incorporated in Uganda in 2016, MRF isa registerednot-for-profit company limited by guarantee, bearing the registration number 80020000015131, MRF was formed in 2016 by a group of social activists and educators led by Raymond Twinamatsiko, who serves as MRF’s Executive Director. Experienced in the fields of development and social education, we have come together as MRF to give our services voluntarily, with the vision of a society that understands, appreciates and accepts diversity. MRF's mission is to foster a united voice for the rural, grassroots LGBTQ community in western Uganda, empowering and raising awareness on equal rights for all.

Through MRF lobbying and constant dialogues with health service providers, MRF has managed to bring on board The AIDS support oeganisation (TASO) to provide HIV health services to the LGBTQ in Mbarara district without discrimination and stigmatization. This Cleary shows MRF is on the right track towards the realization of human rights for all especially the right to health that has been nonexistent among LGBTI in western Uganda.

MRF has been able to train 149 LGBTQ youth in Cake baking and income generating activities. The training has resulted into formation of members gaining skills in bakery This project is supporting MRF members to experience real life experiences in starting businesses and also earning income for them and their family members. Under this project the organization is supporting and building the social economic capacity of the LGBTQ to become financially independent and overcome challenges of poverty and unemployment.

Thank you for your donations made on Global Giving, to fund a program that would train 120 LGBTQ people with safety and security skills and tools necessary to protect themselves in western Uganda that have consistently faced threats due to their perceived or real sexual orientation and gender identity.

Activity

120 LGBTQ will participant in this program, 20 LGBTQ will be selected in each of the six western districts. As the first of six trainings.

From 4th-5th October 2018 MRF carried out a two-day safety and security training in Bushenyi District for 20 LGBTQ participants, including 8 transgender men and 3 transgender women, 5 gay men and 4 lesbians. MRF Executive Director Raymond Twinamatsiko and Programs Director Janet Mutesi organized the training and were held at Busiime Gardens, a local meetings and conference center.

Topics and activities carried out during the training included an introduction to digital and physical safety, understanding rural working/living environment, Analyzing security incidents and threats, group work exercise on risk assessment and at the end of the second day, participants were able to develop sustainable strategies and tactics and individual safety management approaches. MRF staff engaged in an open discussion where lived life insecurities and threats were shared.

Mbarara Rise Foundation’s Programs Director Janet Mutesi carried out an ice breaker – getting to know each other and welcomed participants. MRF Executive Director Raymond Twinamatsiko gave his opening remarks and key note address

Objectives of the training included:

  • To equip community members with knowledge and skills necessary to enhance their personal and digital safety and security.
  • To enhance the LGBTQ knowledge and understanding of the concepts of security and their safety and security strategies.
  • To create safe working environment/space.
  • To discuss and lay practical strategies for better cooperation to further protect and promote safety and security for the rural LGBTQ in Uganda.

An initial challenge in implementing the training was the fact there was delay of donations to make this happen. We had planned to carry out both our first and second activities in early August. 

At the end of the first day, participants had acquired information, knowledge and skills on their safety and security.

The participants appreciated the training methodologies, particularly the structured learning experiences. These included the use of participants’ own examples and the sharing of their own experiences,

The safety and security training was most successful as at the end of a two day training, participants came up with a risk assessment tool, developed sustainable strategies and tactics and individual safety management approaches which will guide them in their daily to daily life.  

“If I have had a chance to be equipped with safety and security skills earlier, I couldn’t have been arrested by the police in February 2018”

Reuben, I renown pastor in bushenyi district explains his brutal arrest by the police which was a result of lacking knowledge about his personal safety as a gay man….. “It was evening hours around 17:45hrs when I and my best friend decided to take a nap in one of the lodges around mbarara town before heading to bushenyi, my home town. After 30 minutes when we had entered in the room, police came banged the door and entered forcefully. They brutally started beating me and my friend claiming to have been practicing homosexuality. We were later taken to the police station and spent their one week and later set free with no charges.    

Next Steps

20 trained participants will be given security tips on a monthly basis to continue guiding them on their daily to daily life and activities. MRF is hopeful that there will be reduction on insecurities and threats often results in feelings of depression or desperation, leading to members of our community developing suicidal thoughts.

As per our project, 5 additional safety and security training for 100 people are already planned and ready to be implemented provided enough support. That is, one training for 20 people in each of the districts of Mbarara, Ibanda, Ntungamo, Rukungiri and Kabale.

MRF continue working to save LGBTQ communities from causes like insecurities, poor education, poverty, unemployment, gender-based violence, human rights violations and lack of access to quality health care services. And all the credit goes to all of you. Thank you for supporting and empowering members of the LGBTQ community in rural Uganda! Your support and donations allow MRF to have a positive impact on the activities performed for the LGBTQ Community.

We thank you for your generosity in order to ensure the financial viability of MRF.  Any donation of any size will be extremely appreciated!

Thank you very much for your continued support!

Janet Mutesi

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Organization Information

MBARARA RISE FOUNDATION

Location: MBARARA - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @MTRF2016
Project Leader:
Mutesi Janet
MBARARA, Uganda

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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