LGBTI hotline in Ukraine

Lighthouse NGO established a hotline for LGBTI teens in Ukraine, with support from PlanetRomeo Foundation. Currently, they receive 10 calls per month. Lighthouse continues to promote this service actively throughout the country, contributing to a slow but gradual growth towards a better environment for LGBTI youth in Ukraine. Since the project started in May 2016, the number of participants in their LGBTI Teens Union group has grown from 30 to 150 people.
Find out more about Lighthouse NGO here.

Heroes Campaign

Today, PlanetRomeo Foundation launched a 10-day campaign primarily targeted at PLANETROMEO members. The campaign focuses not only on raising funds, but also on raising awareness. It features short videos of four LGBTIs and one ally, who all initiated projects on improving LGBTI equality, funded by PlanetRomeo Foundation. Each of them tells their story about their initiative and their personal commitment to achieving their goals.
With this campaign, the Foundation accomplishes two objectives: it shows how brave and important these funded projects are; and that the Foundation is determined to continue and expand its support to even more heroes similar to them.

Pride in the Dominican Republic

Unión GTH Vegana joined the LGBT Pride Parade 2016 in Concepción de la Vega. They celebrated Pride and acknowledged the harassment suffered on a daily basis by sexual minorities, not only in the Dominican Republic, but also in the rest of the world.
“We want to show that we too are citizens and part of society with the motto ‘Yo también soy’ [I am too].” Find out more about Unión here.

Playing for Change in Jamaica

In Kingston, Jamaica, Pride in Action rolled out its Playing for Change project at the University of the West Indies. They established a permanent LGBTQ focused safe gym space. With PlanetRomeo Foundation funding, sports equipment was purchased and fitness, yoga and dance exercise sessions were organized. Also, an entire day of sports was held, bringing together 68 members of the LGBTQ community.
The Playing for Change program addresses the apprehension felt by many LGBTQ university students to join regular sporting and fitness activities. They may have feared experiencing stigma or discrimination for not behaving according to gender ‘norms’. One participant mentioned: “… It’s been really great to have a space and equipment where I can work out without feeling intimidated, because the gym on campus has a homophobic vibe…”. More information can be found on our project page.

Youth Workshop in Sri Lanka

EQUAL GROUND in Sri Lanka organized a 2-day residential workshop, bringing 20 youth organization representatives – both LGBTIQ and straight – together in the fight for equal rights. The workshop covered various topics such as: human rights and difficulties faced by members of the LGBTIQ community, gender identity, gender-based violence, communication skills and other topics.
The participants who joined the workshop also engaged in a field assignment in order to find the best approach for introducing human rights topics and LGBTIQ issues to peers. In follow-up monthly meetings, they shared their experiences and discussed the best advocacy practices in their mutual communities. More information can be found on the EQUAL GROUND project page.

Burundi Brochure

In Burundi, same-sex sexual activity is still criminalized. As part of its LGBT Human Rights Education program, Moulin des Libertés (MOLI) developed the first brochure on human rights related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. The brochure aims to address the gap of existing information that can be used by the LGBT community and workers dealing with LGBT individuals. Before this publication, no comprehensive information on human rights was available to the LGBT community in Burundi.
This program is the first dedicated initiative dealing with human rights education, which targets LGBT persons in grassroots communities in Burundi. You can view or download the full version of the brochure.

Russian Trans Advance

As part of their Trans Advance project, FtM Phoenix Group co-organized several activities. A film festival, called Side by Side, was held in Krasnodar, the southwest of Russia. Also the Summer Trans Camp was held, giving 12 Russian and Ukrainian trans* people an opportunity to participate in various activities, like sports.
It’s the first time FtM Phoenix works on a north-centre-south basis, together with LGBT social movement, Revers from Krasnodar, and Russian LGBT Network from St. Petersburg. FtM Phoenix hopes to make this camp an annual event. You can find more information here.

LBT Soccer Competition in Uganda

The first ever OGERA Cup Tournament, a soccer competition for lesbian, bisexual and trans* (LBT) women attracted a crowd of more than 100 spectators. The Organization for Gender Empowerment and Rights Advocacy (OGERA) gathered 42 LBTs, divided into 6 teams to compete against each other. PlanetRomeo Foundation funding enabled OGERA to organize the event, including preliminary human rights trainings and outreach activities.
The event also raised the attention of the Ugandan football association (FUFA). The champions of this year’s tournament were LMB The Smashers and the OGERA Titans came in second. All participants were awarded a certificate. OGERA hopes to turn the soccer competition into an annual event. Visit our OGERA project page for more information.

A Safe Space in Mauritius

In Mauritius, Young Queer Alliance has set up a Safety Centre for young LGBTQIA and Trans* people. The centre acts as an emergency shelter, office and meeting space – a true all-under-one-roof facility. This youth-led project is the first of its kind in Mauritius. PlanetRomeo Foundation funded the purchase of furniture, household appliances and other equipment for the shelter, as well as books and IEC materials for the information corner.
The Safety Centre is a safe haven for young LGBTIs to meet without fear of harassment, bullying, violence and being judged. The centre will also be used for existing and new programmes of YQA, which include meetings, support groups, trainings and psychosocial support. Visit our Young Queer Alliance project page for more information.

Project Update: HODSAS

HODSAS in D.R. Congo recently organized a second peer educator training session on communication techniques and human rights, in which 20 LGBTIs participated. In total, HODSAS now has 40 peer educators/LGBTI communicators available. They want to empower the local LGBTI community and help them to counter the current increase of verbal and psychological violence based on sexual orientation.
This is part of a larger project to counter homophobia, which includes an LGBTI leadership building program, radio broadcasts to educate and influence the general public on LGBTI topics, as well as the set-up of a database of anti-LGBTI violence incidents. Visit the HODSAS project page for more information.