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Anti-Gay Law - Ugandan Queer NGO Rent Support

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We are raising funds for mutual aid for the Foaster Foundation for Health Care Uganda (FFHCUG). Uganda has passed some of the most strict anti-gay laws and has been actively trying to shut down NGOs that serve the queer community. The FFHCUG has offices to run programs on HIV education and prevention, a shelter space for members of the queer community, and economic empowerment programs that include urban gardening. Check this video of the founder of Foaster Foundation explaining the NGO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqK_AJS1mkg Please check the updates listed below

UPDATE 3 April 2024 (scroll to the bottom for past updates)

The Foaster Foundation For Healthcare Uganda (FFHCUG) would like to take this opportunity to thank all the donors that have supported us during this Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA) period where the lives of LGBTQ+ people are in serious danger due to increased insecurities in the country and the increased discrimination of the LGBTQ+ members in their communities of residence.
The FFHCUG has undergone a lot of insecurities from the community including attacks and raids/arrests from both the local leaders and the police/army under the allegations of promoting homosexuality. These attacks have not only caused fear, but have hindered the provision of our services to the LGBTQ+ community. Police raids and brutal searches have resulted in the destruction of property, including the destruction of furniture in the office and shelter space.
The Executive Director, Muwonge Gerald, of the FFHCUG attended a village meeting with local leaders and community members, who suggested reducing the number of people at the shelter/office to make the premises a suitable office for services and to improve the security of the Organization and its staff/members. The FFHCUG is currently in urgent need of support of 20,250,000 Ugandan shillings ($5785.7), of which $2,785.7 will be used to help relocate shelter members to new areas of their choosing, and to provide their up-keep support for three months. The other $3,000 of this fund will support the FFHCUG in advanced rent payment for May, June and July, as requested by their landlord, for the shelter/office premises so they may continue their projects in the country. How the funds will be used is explained in further detail below under "Housing" and "Nutrition and Sleep":

  • Housing: Foaster Foundation For Healthcare Uganda through the funds from this Gofundme paid their back rent debt from December 2023, as well as covered rent from January to April 2024 for the shelter and the office premises. Currently FFHCUG is in urgent/immediate need of 10,500,000 Ugandan shillings ($3,000) to pay the rent for May, June and July 2024. The landlord insists on paying three months in advance in order to keep the premises and continue established projects including the farm project, poultry project, FFHCUG clinic, Hands On craft projects and Safe Havens Transitional Shelter program.
  • Legal Support: On 13th of Feb, 2024 we were raided again by the police and the army under the allegations of promoting homosexuality. Six members, including Mr. Muwonge Gerald the Executive Director, were arrested and taken to a near-by police station. Four shelter members were released with no charges, Muwonge and one other shelter member were arrested and held in jail for allegedly promoting homosexuality and the possession of marijuana. They were released on police bond, and fortunately their case was later dismissed by the court. Due to the various raids undergone by the FFHCUG, there are still five shelter members including one staff member who are still on Police bond under the allegations of promoting homosexuality. Due to the funds raised from this Gofundme we also managed to release two members who were held in prison by the help of Human Rights And Promotion Forum (HRAPF)
  • Nutrition and Sleep: The increased discrimination and insecurity of LGBTQ+ people in Uganda is a major reason for the increasing number of members in the shelter. Currently FFHCUG, under its program Safe Havens Transitional Shelter, is hosting 16 members. Following the last raid, a village meeting was held and Mr. Muwonge was told to reduce the number of people living at the office/shelter. We are currently in urgent need of support of 9,750,00 Ugandan shillings ($2,785.7) to help FFHCUG relocate thirteen (13) FFHCUG shelter members to safer areas of their own decision. The funds will support FFHCUG to give every shelter member rent support of 450,000 Ugandan shillings ($128.6) to pay rent of 150,000 Ugandan shillings ($42.9) per month for three (3) months and up keep support of 100,000 Ugandan shillings ($28.6) to nutritional upkeep per month for three (3) months for each member. Due to the increased number of the shelter members and insufficient funds, the FFHCUG has continuously face the problem of poor nutrition. We are looking for support to help FFHCUG to improve the health and immune systems of the shelter members at Safe Havens Transitional Shelter. FFHCUG managed to use the funds from this Gofundme to purchase bedding (5 double decker beds, 10 blankets, 10 pairs of bed sheets, 10 mattress), which has helped to reduce the problem of insufficient beddings where shelter members were sharing beds and beddings.
  • FFHCUG Medical Clinic: FFHCUG has managed to set up a modern clinic facility with two medical resting beds through the support/funds from this Gofundme. The clinic will provide medical support to the community, including its LGBTQ+ members. The FFHCUG is out of funds to support the purchase of further medical equipment/machines and to pay the salary for medical worker(s). The FFHCUG wishes to be able to open its health clinic to serve the community by the end of April.
  • Economic Empowerment: The FFHCUG through the help from this Gofundme has purchased a stock of poultry (chicks) and poultry feeds to improve its sustainability financial plan. Selling the hens and eggs has supported the FFHCUG to pay its utilities (electricity and water bills). The hens and eggs have supported a boost in the nutrition of its shelter members. Additionally, the shelter has begun a new economic empowerment project, called "Hands on Craft Project," which was created collectively by the shelter members to reduce the rate of unemployment by providing skills, training, and experience in craft work (shoes, bags, etc). Upon completion of the training period, members will receive capital/materials to help them start their own business, and later refund the initial investment to the FFHCUG

Summary of Future Plans/Goals:
1. Opening FFHCUG Medical Clinic - boost the health of the shelter members, LGBTQ+ community, and the surrounding community.
2. Hands on Craft Project - starting up the craft work training center so participating members can showcase their work, generate income, and improve the economic sustainability of the Organisation and its members
3. Relocating 13 Safe Haven Transitional Shelter members - the shelter premise is not safe for the members due to insecurities they have faced from local and police raids, attacks, and imprisonment
4. Constructing a bigger modern poultry house - to strengthen the economic sustainability of the shelter and improve upon shelter members' nutrition



The Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 criminalizes same-sex conduct, including potentially the death penalty for those convicted of "aggravated homosexuality." It violates multiple fundamental rights guaranteed under Uganda’s constitution and breaks commitments made by the government as a signatory to a number of international human rights agreements.

Anyone advocating for the rights of LGBT people, including representatives of human rights organizations or those providing financial support to organizations that do so, could face up to 20 years’ imprisonment for the “promotion of homosexuality.”

Human Rights Watch research found that people faced a notable increase in arbitrary arrests, police abuse, extortion, loss of employment, discriminatory evictions by landlords, and reduced access to health services because of their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

The institutionalization of discrimination and stigma caused by the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 would drive communities away from life-saving services, and obstruct health workers, including civil society groups (like the Foaster Foundation), from providing HIV prevention, testing and treatment.

Further Information about the hosts and fundraising beneficiary:

  • Foaster Foundation for Health Care Uganda (FFHCU) is a grassroots youth-led organization to promote meaningful involvement and collective organizing of youth living with HIV to strengthen a unified, vibrant, national, and sustainable youth-led movement in Uganda.

  • Hosts: Slightly Conscious Monkey’s (https://shorturl.at/tU356) is a queer not-for-profit solidarity collective based in Berlin, Germany. We self-organize solidarity events that showcase queer talent in performance art and music and raise funds for organizations that serve queer and marginalized communities.

We thank you for your time and consideration, and hope you have the capacity to share this page/donate!



UPDATE 2 January 2024:

There are several factors affecting the Foaster Foundation into the new year. The funding goal has thus changed from 6,000 to 15,000 euros. Additional funds would go towards supporting the Foaster Foundation and its members for:
  • Housing: Unfortunately the landlord has increased their rent from 3 million (~625£, or ~725€) to 3.5 million (~725£, or ~845€) Ugandan shillings. As of now, FFHCU have no money for rent and need to backpay December 2023. The landlord is requesting rent money before the end of January 2024 and wants 6 months payment in advance.
  • Legal Support: There was another police raid and three members were arrested and taken to court, two were remanded to prison and the other was given a police bond.
  • Nutrition and Sleep: The number of members in the shelter has increased to 25. Sufficient food is one of the greatest immediate problems they are having. The increase in people means there are not enough beds and people are sleeping badly. Currently two people are sleeping per single bed.
  • Future Goals and Economic Empowerment: The shelter wishes to be able to open their health clinic to serve the community by the end of April. Additionally, the shelter has independent economic projects, like raising hens to sell eggs. The shelter did not have electricity for some months, which resulted in security issues and dozens of their hens being stolen. Additional funds would help support these projects, and ensure greater security for the office and shelter space from police raids and thieves.

UPDATE 1 September 2023:
Since the start of this fundraiser, the members of the Foaster Foundation have faced numerous new challenges. While the director was visiting a member in the hospital who had been beaten, the shelter space was raided by the police and 10 members within the shelter were arrested on charges of homosexuality. They are currently in jail so the funds that have been raised since the middle of September are going towards paying their bail and legal fees.


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Organizer

Hania Hribal-Kornilowicz
Organizer
Berlin

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