What is life like for someone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered in Tanzania?
Imagine trying to live a normal life while being constantly scorned, mocked, rejected, maligned, harassed, beaten, imprisoned, and possibly even killed, simply for being yourself. This is reality.
Fear causes many to hide their feelings and relationships, denying themselves the social support that could improve their health and quality of life. Others who do “come out of the closet” and openly admit their sexual orientation do so at great personal risk, knowing they could become victims of anti-LGBT violence at any time.
How does LGBT Voice help individuals who have been denied their rights?
- We take legal action against those who’ve been the victims of injustice.
- We find shelter for those who’ve been evicted from their homes because of their sexual orientation.
- We enable students who’ve been expelled from school for discriminatory reasons arrange private classes and sit for their exams.
- We arrange medical care at private clinics, at discounted rates, for those who’ve been refused treatment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. One of our most exciting projects is creating the country’s first free LGBT-friendly health clinic in Dar es Salaam. You can donate here.
- We pressure the police to drop false charges when they are filed for discriminatory reasons.
How does LGBT Voice help the larger society?
When one person commits a hateful act against another, both are harmed. When children are taught ignorance and hate, rather than knowledge and acceptance, our entire society is damaged.
Our aim is to educate our brothers and sisters to understand that we are just that — brothers and sisters, aunties and uncles, neighbors and friends, normal people like themselves. In 2010, we trained 30 local leaders in how to promote LGBT acceptance. With your support, we will expand this education to more Tanzanians through workshops, publications, and media.
Is there hope that Tanzania can change its treatment of LGBT?
We are very hopeful that Tanzania can change its treatment of LGBT people! The best way for this to happen is for us to influence the policy makers to repeal the penal code that criminalizes consensual homosexuality between adults and include LGBT rights in the new constitution that is currently being written.
Can you tell us the story of a person whose life has been improved by LGBT Voice’s actions?
We made it possible for 23 people who were refused medical treatment because of their sexual orientation to receive treatment at private clinics, at discounted rates. Without our help, these people would probably not have received medical care of any kind, and some of them might not be alive today.
Dealing with this frustrating injustice led us to the decision to create the country’s first free LGBT-friendly clinic in Dar es Salaam, where 500 people will receive care, counseling, and treatment who would not have received it before. We can’t do it alone, though. The dream depends on you. You can learn more about this project here.
Is my donation tax-deductible in my country?
All the donations made to LGBT Voice Tanzania are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada. Donations for projects with Global Giving are tax-deductible in the U.K. Donations are collected by our US 501(c3) registered nonprofits, Global Giving Foundation and Alliance for Global Justice.
Please describe your system of financial oversight or accountability.
We issue financial accountability reports for any funds received and spent to the specific donor on a quarterly basis and at the end of the project, according to the donor requirements. We contract external auditors to audit our financial statements every year. Because we depend greatly on volunteers, rather than paid staff, we are able to keep our operating costs very low.