HQ (Harare Queers) Collective is calling out to you for your support.
We are a volunteer-run group of queer bodies seeking to redefine the sociopolitical climate for queers in Zimbabwe through events and discussions that celebrate queerness. Due to the mounting effects of COVID-19, we are taking this time as a group to create a mutual aid fund for the queer community here in Zimbabwe.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans are in an increasingly dangerous situation: out of work and out of range for aid. The lockdown has seen (and will see) many people suffering due to the lockdown measures that are and were enforced by the state. Movement and transport have been restricted, and many marginalized individuals are subject to police and military violence as a result of attempting to provide for themselves and their families. The majority of Zimbabweans are self employed or work in the informal sector, which has been particularly hard hit. Poor people are criminalized in their movement towards aid, and resources such as food and healthcare. Much of the aid that is circulated comes from NGOs in the larger cities which are both inaccessible and not trustworthy based on fund circulation in the past. Out of the large percentage of people who regularly struggle to find stable work due to home environments and access to resources, a disproportionate number are LGBTQIA+ Zimbabweans. Many members of the community were not formally employed, and were not living at home with their families (due to them being forced to leave home, because of familial rejection around their LGBTQIA+ identity). Most are or were staying in rented accommodation. As a result of these conditions, and arising during the lockdown period, many LGBTQIA+ people reported an inability to feed themselves or retain their rented accommodation (due to lack of access to income). Some reported experiencing increased amounts of intimate partner violence and abuse at the hands of family members they were forced to stay with. Many also indicated an inability to access healthcare such as HIV medication and preventatives due to movement restrictions. As a result of all the aforementioned, reports of mental health issues have risen drastically in this period. It is disheartening to note that due to widespread social stigma and criminalization of LGBTQIA+ folks, such persons are unable to benefit from many of the aid initiatives launched during the period that could help to mitigate these unique challenges.
We recognize that these issues require a strong response from the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies. We further recognize that such LGBTQIA+ care is and has always been a collective and communal effort. Thus, we want to provide care and mutual aid within and for communities in the face of ongoing infrastructural failure. We will not leave our community behind simply because of an inequitable access to resources.
Our goal is to gather and distribute funds and aid for one of the most marginalized communities in Zimbabwe, many of whom are without income, healthcare, secure housing and food during this time as well as after. Our aim is to raise $15 000 USD to assist as many as 300 queer individuals with $50 stipends, care package (food and household items), mental health resources, rent payment, medical payments. Even after the lockdown is lifted, we plan to continue supporting members of the LGBTQIA+ community as we anticipate the effects to be long lasting and unpredictable. Due to the Zimbabwean economy's hyperinflation, we are no longer able to solely fundraise amongst ourselves. We are therefore expanding this mutual aid project beyond borders and across countries, time zones, and lived experiences. With donations raised, we would like to provide financial support, mental health resources and any essential reliefs to those unable to obtain them.
We are asking for donations from queer community members, allies, organizations, mentors, friends, peers, and family members. HQ recognizes that this time is monetarily precarious for many, so no amount that you can give is too small. We appreciate any support whether that be via monetary donation, an unused portion of your stimulus check shared via PayPal or Venmo, sharing our fundraiser, following our social media, reposting to your network, and spreading the word. The work of mutual aid is a collective effort and we are calling on you to aid us in our efforts to make sure our community is also taken care of.
If you are looking to apply to the fund please find the link here: HQ Collective Mutual Aid Intake Form for Zimbabwe LGBTQIA . If the google form is not accessible for you please reach out via email, Instagram, Twitter, or WhatsApp to access the application or to even share your situation with us, and we will then work to get you access to the resources you need. Again, although this fund prioritizes and is focused on the livelihood of queer Zimbabweans, we also want to be an accessible resource for marginalized folks during this time as well.
We will be posting regular updates here, and are available to answer questions you may have via email, Instagram or Twitter DM, or WhatsApp.
Thank you for your support and for showing love during this time. We wish you and your loved ones good health and safety.
Email: [email redacted]
Whatsapp: (+263) 788 804 493
Twitter and Instagram: @hq_collectivezw
Facebook: HQ Collective ZW
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