Yesterday I was contacted by an organisation in Uganda – a country where LGBT+ people experience the most appalling atrocities.
Below are the messages they sent me and I then devoted a page on my website called “Views from Uganda” – the messages are below.
“Social Health and Empowerment Youth “Initiative” (SHEYI) , is a voluntary nonprofit and non-partisan community-based organization. It was established in 2019. SHEYI understands the need for broad and intersectional approaches to the issues facing the transgender community in western Uganda. This means that community engagement and community-driven activism is at the heart of our engagement.
We have a presence in numerous communities in western Uganda, building relationships with individuals, governments, the policy and wider communities and giving transgender communities the tools they need to make their rights real. Vision The development of anon discriminatory society, where organizations such as social health and empowerment youth initiative are a choice and not a necessity. Mission To maximize a fully developed transgender community through respect, recognition, capacity building, research and advocacy.
SOCIAL HEALTH AND EMPOWERMENT YOUTH INITIATIVE’S OBJECTIVES:
Raising intense awareness on MTB and HIV/AIDS on what to do, how to manage, counselling, stamping out stigmatization and discrimination, wiping out revenge syndrome, the importance of retroviral drugs, campaigns for more centres in local communities and free drugs for all. To sensitize the transgender community about their rights and about the available access to justice mechanisms. To build the confidence and visibility of transgender youth communities and transgender sex workers. To establish and utilize both functional and developmental partnerships. To eradicate lobbying and advocate against harmful stereotypes, attitudes and behaviours towards transgender communities and transgender sex workers”.
I asked if they had a website – the answer was a no. Then I got –
“Not yet But we are trying to work on it the soonest. After getting resources. Your work inspires a lot and it motivates us to push hard beyond boundaries regardless of the hardships in Uganda You are our inspiration”.
How could I not help? – Now a content warning. The first post from Social Health and Empowerment Youth “Initiative is in the “Views from Uganda” page. It contains a very graphic image of violence.
Not for the faint-hearted.