Local Bangladeshi fundraiser link here.
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Thank you for your kind contributions!
The outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent closure of offices, schools, and non-essential businesses has created a huge void in the earning capabilities of the most vulnerable, marginalized communities in Bangladesh.
While most of us can stay home and stay quarantined, many members of the transgender community can’t. They continue to be one of the most marginalized communities in Bangladesh, and social stigmas limit their access to basic needs like food, shelter, and healthcare; they can’t quarantine, or practice safe social distancing.
We are partnering with the founder and current President of the non-profit Somporker Noya Setu , Joya Sikder. She is a transgender rights activist who has over 20 years of experience working with the trans community in Bangladesh, and she is also part of the Salzburg Global network.
We’re already seeing that this pandemic will have a long term impact on everyone. With that in mind, the money we’re raising will help cover rent, food, healthcare, and other necessary costs for the transgender community.
A $33 donation will help one person ensure their livelihood for a week during this crisis.
1. Where will the money go?
The funds we collect will be donated to Somporker Noya Shetu (SNS), a community-based organization in Dhaka, Bangladesh, that works closely with the transgender community, and other sexual-minority groups.
2. How will the money be used?
The money will be used to help members of the transgender community cover their cost of living.
Cost of living for each individual in the community:
Months Person Rent (Tk) Food (Tk) Misc.(Tk) Total(Tk) Total(USD)
1 1 5,000 5,000 2,000 12,000 $141.23
3. How will you transfer the money to Bangladesh?
We will transfer the funds collected on GoFundMe to Joya Sikder, and she will be distributing the funds to the community that SNS is working with. The majority of our team members are based in Bangladesh and will ensure that the funds are transferred to the community members.
4. Why the transgender community?
While many of us can take social distancing, washing our hands, and staying at home for granted, it’s a luxury for many members of the trans community. They remain one of the most marginalized communities in Bangladesh and social stigmas limit their access to basic necessities like food, shelter, healthcare, proper hygiene, etc. Most members of the community earn a living by blessing* newborn babies and dancing at weddings. They also collect donations from store-owners and many are sex-workers.
The widespread closure of shops and businesses is having a huge impact on the transgender community’s ability to earn a living. They don’t know where next month’s rent will come from and they face eviction not only for financial reasons, but because very few landlords are willing to rent their properties to transgender community members. One transgender sex worker we spoke with, Pakhi, explained, “I don’t have enough money for food, but I can go many days without eating. I don’t know how to survive without a roof over my head when being outside means [risking exposure to] the virus.”
5. Who are we?
We are a group of friends, coworkers, and like-minded individuals currently working in different parts of the world with one common goal -- to contribute to a community we stand with during this crisis. With experience in the development sector, start-ups and corporations, for- and non-profits, we are working with renowned transgender activist Joya Sikder to raise funds and provide support to the transgender community in Bangladesh.
6. Learn more about Somporker Noya Setu, Joya Sikder, and transgender communities of South Asia:
About Somporker Noya Setu
Share Net Bangladesh
Reclaiming Spaces; The Daily Star
Pride and Persecution; The Telegraph
Atlas of Humanity (Photo Series)
*It’s considered auspicious to have a newborn blessed, or to have members of the transgender community provide blessings for your business, wedding, etc.
- Jarifa Purna
- Daryl Quay
- Intekhab Hossain
- Saurav Roy