Tanzania TRANS Initiative (TTI) have several social media accounts. You can click on them below to find out more about TTIs work.
Tanzania is a very conservative country that is guided by a combination of Christianity and Islam. The government acknowledges the existence of the LGBTIQ community, but there isn’t good understanding around what LGBTIQ means. For many it just means gay and there is a strong focus on men. For Trans people the situation is different as the society doesn’t really understand Trans issues. Most of our members run away or are chased from their homes when they share their sexual identity and orientation with their families, which in itself possess other challenges around safety as well as access to accommodation.
Fear of violence, stigma and discrimination, and a somewhat homophobic society makes it difficult for trans people to live to their true self and also hard to work as a trans organization in some communities.
The Trans community suffers high levels and targeted crime and public mistrust from the surrounding community, who have no exposure to the trans community. This leads to trans people living in constant fear. Trans people are tortured psychologically and are being verbally and physically threatened, weather in the places that they live or at work. Trans people are even being abused sexually and raped. Many trans people experience elevated violence as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is currently no support system that will standing up for trans rights and there are limited reporting on these abuses and human rights violations. Despite the small and private initiative taken by the trans community that deal with human rights, trans people still face abuses and transphobic attitudes from the surrounding community.
Tanzania TRANS Initiative (TTI) sees the community empowerment shelter as important for the Transgender youth, it will provide safety and secured environment for LGBTIQ people to access cheap friendly health services. The shelter spaces provides learning, skill growing space and a good environment to manifest talents and being innovative in which this will also help build confidence and self-esteem to the SOGI minority persons.
The shelter is needed for Transgender people to escape from violent environments. To reduce exposure and effects of COVID-19 to Transgender who resulted from living in the streets, having space to conduct income generating activities, doing small productions that generates income, this will reduce dependency and create opportunity for Transgender persons to live a normal sustainable life.
As payment of office facilities is costly, TTI is planning to purchase and construct about 5 square acres of land in a remote area of Dar es Salaam. On this land TTI will construct a safe house, a health facility to provide secure space, cheap, quality health services to LGBTQI persons and other TTI secondary target groups. The site will also have venues/conference rooms for training, knowledge transfer and capacity building of its members. The conference rooms can also be rented out to other people to conduct their meetings and coordinate for TTI to secure future funding. There will also be facilities such as frames for shops that provides basic needs (water, soap, accessories) and restaurants (food), as economic activities for income generation for TTI to be able to cover its administrative costs. The building will also have a lodge for accommodation for those who are coming from far away for training and meetings. This will help reduce hotel costs for participants. It will also provide a playground for athletics, football and netball, as well as 4 classrooms (form 1-4), for those who did not attend secondary school. This will provide an opportunity for them to complete school and later be able to go to Vocational Training Colleges for skill training or higher Education.
As a shelter and an institution, the logical remedy for non-accepting and frequently hostile responses to Trans people, most especially victims in society in general, is through education. This education mission would be fulfilled by creating a safe “drop-in” space; developing programming in support of visibility, education, and outreach; opening a trans community library, playground, providing advice, referral, and counseling; and maintaining stability and continuity in developed programs. Also, to have a legal team that will help Trans people to stand up for their rights and provide legal advice whenever needed. It will also give room to victims to bring their complaints and report the people that abuse them. In this sense the shelter and the services it will provide will empower the trans community and create a space to further equal rights.
The overall amount of money needed to develop such a shelter or institution is 30 000 EUR, and the following will be in the particular institution should comprise conference rooms, offices, and library/computing resource space, accommodation rooms. The money will also be used to pay some of the material and staff costs for developing the place to our expectations.
The sheltered place will provide support and shelter for the transgender community victims who have been harassed in different ways, whether physically, emotionally or psychologically by the community at large that they are living in. These abuses are endangering the lives of Trans peoples and the entire trans community in Tanzania.
We thank you for your love and support!