For Christmas, here are three good causes to consider offering your help to. Two are from Africa and one is to help a gay African desperate for American sanctuary.
1. The Tanzanian group WEZESHA is raising money to support LGBT people who face violence and rejection in Tanzania. The group says that they currently have 25 gay people in Dar es Salaam who were rejected by their families and lost their permanent homes.
They need help in supporting them with accommodation, health services and food.
You can contribute online to help the group here.
WEZESHA is a volunteer-powered organization founded two years ago and run and managed by LGBT.
2. Joseph Bukombe, a San Diego man, has been in detention for two years because his attorney was unable to prove to the court that Joseph was a gay man and by returning to his native Uganda, it would endanger his life. Even though Joseph’s story attracted publicity and a petition organized by his friend Hector Martinez and some other legal advisors, Joseph is a tragic local reminder of how broken the American asylum system really is. The good news is that Joseph can be released from detention if $10,000 can be raised for his bail and allow him a fair trial that will incur additional legal costs.
The St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation is a San Dieg0-based non profit agency concerned with LGBT global equality and has been supporting the work of Ugandan Bishop Christopher Senyonjo this past year. They are also sponsoring a young transgender Ugandan who was abducted and tortured before being granted asylum.
Any funds raised that are returned or left over from Joseph’s bail and legal fees will be used to support this second victim of Uganda’s horrific anti-gay laws. You can read more about this at blog.stpaulsfoundation.com.
They are looking for 400 people to each donate at least $25 to free Joseph for Christmas. He has been promised his old job and friends will accommodate him until he can get back on his feet.
“We can give one gay man, a fellow San Diegan, the gift of freedom,” said Canon Albert Ogle who co-chaired a holiday party event at LifeHOUSE on Thursday December 15th to pay for Joseph’s bail.
Tax deductible donations can be purchased through the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation.
“This money will really help both Ugandans to find a place where they no longer live in constant fear and stress”, said Canon Ogle.
“I can think of no greater gift that we could give to anyone this season than to give someone the gift of freedom. Joseph’s haunting story makes that biblical passage from Isaiah, also used by Jesus in his first public sermon so relevant to this season of Advent: that we are to “bring good news to the poor.. to proclaim release to captives and to let the oppressed go free,” reflected Ogle.
3. Gay Kenya needs donations in making their project “A place we can call our Own” a reality.
Many individuals who come out to their family and friends in Kenya are often thrown out of home, schools, estates and even assaulted because the society is generally intolerant of sexual minorities. With nowhere to go, these individuals are sometimes taken in by abusive relatives and the internal and external pressure push some to the streets and some succumb to depression.
Gay Kenya has enlisted to the GlobalGiving Challenge (a website that supports small organizations to fundraise online). The immediate challenge is to raise $4,000 from a minimum of 50 donors in 30 days (by December 31, 2011). Once this target is reached, the group will then have a permanent spot on the website and continue fundraising for the current and other projects.
The Safe-spaces facility will provide for immediate safety evacuation, an opportunity to engage with career counselors for them to explore beneficial career options and where possible engage with family seeking their reconciliation and reintegration.
Says Elphas Njeru, Board Chairperson:
This is a game changer in advocacy – fear will no longer rule our lives.
You can donate with your Visa card.
To donate by US Mobile Phone, text GIVE 9333 to 80088 to donate $10 to Multi-Purpose Safe-Space Shelter.
See the information on Gay Kenya on how to donate by bank transfer, for both domestic and international transfers, indicate in the notes field that this is a donation to Multi-Purpose Safe-Space Shelter (Project #9333).
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