Friends, from the bottom of my heart, I am asking for your help to save the lives of a vital family in our international queer community. Please take a moment and read.
My name is Marea Stamper. I am a DJ under the name, the Black Madonna but I am also a global ambassador for the organization, Help Refugees. I love to make people happy with music, but I am just as passionate about helping queer people who are seeking asylum due to persecution in their home countries.
And this family in particular needs all of us to come together now and support their journey to safety and new life and home for themselves as they can no longer safely live as they are in Uganda, which has outlawed homosexuality. Everywhere around the country, queer people are being hunted and fear for their lives.
I'm fully in this fight with them. I have paid part of the legal fees for the entire family out of my own pocket as they seek legal asylum in the United States. The case is now pending. The attorneys from the legal team are experienced and passionate about fighting for the family’s rights as asylum seekers.
But the legal battle is only the first part of the challenge.
This family remains in dire financial straits as they are unable to legally work during the legal process and we need your help now.
Funds from this GoFundMe campaign will go directly to the family and will help them cover: rent, food, school necessities, health care, and additional legal fees and living costs until their asylum process is complete.
We love you! We still believe!
Madge & Maren
HERE IS THEIR STORY IN THEIR WORDS:
"We are a lesbian family of four, a couple, our child who’s a minor, and our adopted (now adult) daughter. We came to the United States last year with our son, but our adopted daughter unfortunately was not able to join us. Despite being separated from her, we cannot return to Uganda because of the extreme violence against gay people and gay families like us.
For safety, we can not share our names with you. Our family is very creative—we have worked/still work in the music and fashion industries—and through our artistic work and worldview, we see hope. Our 10-year old loves to sing, act, and play soccer and basketball, and we are hopeful he can pursue his passions in the United States safe from harm because of who his parents are. Our adult daughter, still in Uganda, loves to braid, cook, read and investigate, and we are hopeful we can one day reunite with her.
While living in Uganda we were increasingly targeted and harassed. We were thrown in jail, treated inhumanely and threatened with violence because we are lesbian and because we helped other LGBTQ people who needed help. We lost jobs, gigs, self-esteem, and family relationships and friendships. As Uganda became increasingly homophobic and started passing laws against gay people, our pictures were plastered in newspapers and gossip columns, and our daily safety was threatened. Returning to Uganda is not an option. The country is re-introducing the "Kill the Gays Bill" that was in place in 2014, and people like us will be locked up for good or even face the death penalty. The government has stirred up a mass attack on the LGBT+ community, and several gay people have been murdered in the past few months. The country has become ever more dangerous for people like us.
We are seeking asylum in the United States because we want to be safe, and we want to have a normal human life again, in a new home where we can still have hope. It's been a hard struggle not being allowed to work while our applications are being filed. For the first few months, we were able to sell some of our belongings back home, but it is now a struggle to pay our rent and bills, and to keep our child doing the things he loves and that provide him normalcy, like music and sports activities.
We have always worked hard to support ourselves, but we are now looking for some financial support to help us pay additional legal fees, our rent, and our child’s education expenses, and to help us survive until we can work and establish ourselves again in safety. We are determined to make it here and we will make everyone proud. We intend to achieve success. Thank you for your generosity in helping make that possible!"
WHAT WE ARE ASKING FOR
- $30,000 to cover 10 months of rent and bills
- $5,000 to cover educational costs for our child
- $15,000 to cover remaining legal fees
Per the GoFundMe code of conduct I am writing to inform everyone that I (Maren Rosenberg) will be withdrawing the funds and delivering them to the family. This is because it is not possible to connect this GoFundMe page directly to this family with out disclosing their identity. For this reason I am taking the responsiblity of withdrawing funds and delivering the donated funds to the family.
I will collect the funds as they are raised in my American checking account and sending them to the family via Zelle to their Amrican bank account.
Thank you for your generosity and support. If you have any other question or if I can be of assistance in any way please don't hesitate to reach out.
NEWS ARTICLES ABOUT THE CURRENT SITUATION IN UGANDA
- James Lucas
- cara schwartz
- Jen Collins