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LGBT Rights Ghana - THE FAMILY HOUSE PROJECT

THE FAMILY HOUSE (Abusia Fie) PROJECT

Introduction
The Family House Project, sponsored and managed by LGBT+ Rights Ghana, is a long term goal of developing physical communities consisting of well-thought out initiatives and programs geared towards serving the LGBT+ community and general Ghanaian communities holistically. This is in response to the rapid rise in the challenges of the LGBT+ community in Ghana; while maximising efforts to bridge the gap that exists between Ghanaians and the LGBT+ community, encouraging tolerance and collaborative work towards cultural preservation and sustainable empowerment of the locals and LGBT+ identifying persons.

An assessment of the current status of the LGBT+ community unveiled the differences between the needs of every community member based on their culture, environment, educational level, social status amongst others. In this light, LGBT+ Rights Ghana aims to develop and implement diverse strategies to meet these diverse demands in a sustainable manner. As part of the mandate at LGBT+ Rights Ghana to realise safe and inclusive Ghanaian societies where the LGBTQ+ person can live up to their full potential, the organisation sought to curate out initiatives, programs and systems under the Family House Project that will encourage the development of communities across the country, providing resources to Ghanaians of diverse backgrounds, sexual orientation, gender identities, creed, etc. These communities are envisioned to collectively create/produce/source, share and utilise resources within these planned communities.

This vision was born out of a past initiative themed “Together we build '', where members of the LGBT+ community came together to open a community space intended to provide health asistance, economic empowerment initiatives, psychosocial and paralegal services to members of the LGBT+ community. Unfortunately, this dream was short-lived when the space was raided and closed down by National authorities. This event led to the need to raise funds and solicit monetary support from friends and allies of the community to realise an even bigger and long-lasting vision that will be inclusive of the general Ghanaian populace; hence making every Ghanaian a custodian and stakeholders of the Family House.

LGBT+ Rights Ghana set up a GoFundMe account within the last two years and it generated a tune of USD 65,501.00. The Board of Directors and Executives unanimously decided to apportion this sum to different unfunded projects within the organisation. 20% of the funds were allocated to the Community Support Fund; this fund is managed by the Welfare Department of the Organisation to support and empower members of the LGBT+ community who are financially constrained. 10% went into the support of “We are all Ghana '' project. This project was initiated after the introduction of the Promotion of Proper Sexual Human Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021; geared towards developing strategic advocacy campaigns to derail the progress on this bill in Parliament. Whereas 70% was allocated to purchasing parcels of lands across Ghana to initiate the Family House Project. Therefore this project has seen its initiation thanks to the kind courtesy of friends, allies, partners and fellow community members. To facilitate the continuous progress of this project, we appeal to each and every one of the aforementioned to keep up being as generously supportive.

Committee for Land acquisition
During the third quarter of 2022, after a finalised executive and board meeting on the Family House Project, the Executive Director set up a committee to oversee the purchases of lands across Ghana. The committee consisted of the Finance Director, Deputy Welfare Director, Executive member for Gays, the organizational lawyer, an outsourced team of Surveyors and chaired by the Executive Director. The committee held its preliminary meeting to discuss and draft a blueprint for the land purchases. The adopted blueprint by the committee consisted of a budget for the purchases, identified land agents and agencies to be engaged, four geographically demarcated areas that are easily accessible from every part of the country, reasonable sizes of lands to be purchased in respective locations and timelines to activity execution. The team divided the country into four areas where lands will be purchased; 4 acres of land was purchased in South Eastern Ghana that will serve community members in the Easter region, Greater-Accra region and Southern Oti region, another 4 acres of land in the South Western part will serve persons in the Central, Western and Western North regions, 5 acres of land within the middle belt of the country and intended to serve persons in Ashanti, Bono Ahafo, Ahafo and Bono east regions; and finally 4 acres of land in northern Ghana to serve people in the Northern, Savannah, Upper west, Upper east and North eastern regions. In a nutshell, the committee has been able to oversee the purchases of 17 acres of land nationwide; these are evenly dispersed geographically across the country to foster easy accessibility by anyone located in any corner of the country.
The purchasing of these lands covered the last quarter of 2022. The committee is finalising its work by following up on the documentations of these lands to be sealed in and presented to the organisation.

Land Development
The committee is set to finalise on its task within the second quarter of 2023. This will entail presentation of land documentations to the executives and board of LGBT+ Rights Ghana. Afterwards, another committee will be set and chaired by the Director to plan and implement developmental projects on the respective lands. The primary use of these lands will be to construct housing units that will provide permanent shelter for members of the locality, particularly the LGBT+ community. Also these lands will be utilised to create tangible spaces for the provision of economic empowerment programs on commerce for the community tailored to their respective needs; various localities in Ghana are noted for the production of indigenous products/foods like shea butter, Cocoa, coconut oil etc.. empowerment programs will focus on how to capitalise on these available resources to economically empower themselves. The family house will also include healthcare, library, paralegal and psychosocial centres; these centres will be open and accessible to all within the locality. Conference halls, office spaces and spacious event centres will be established within the family house to facilitate the work of activists and develop curators. Furthermore, parts of these lands will be utilised for organic agriculture in an eco-friendly means that will be geared towards promoting self-sustainable and healthy living within the family house and the locality.

The family house project will seek collaboration with individuals and institutions equipped with the expertise and resources to help realise the overall dream.

Chiefs and local leaders will be engaged to facilitate events tailored to promoting the culture and identity of the community.
The dream of the Family house project is one that will require a lot of work, commitment and dedication. However, these will not suffice without monetary support from organisations, philanthropists, allies and friends of the LGBT+ community. In this light, the next action on this project is to initiate a massive campaign to solicit funding for these initiatives under the project.

We are most grateful in advance for all incoming contributions.



#QueerGhanaianLivesMatter

#GhanaSupportsEquality

#BornFreeAndEqual

#LGBTRightsGhana

#GhanaGetsBetter

#TogetherWeBuild



Thank you!



“Never underestimate the difference you can make in the lives of others. Step forward, reach out and help. This week reach to someone that might need a lift” ~Pablo




(If you would like to contact LGBT+ Rights Ghana, please contact them directly through their website.)
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Organizer

John Hanig
Organizer
San Francisco, CA

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