Front-line work of any form among marginalized communities is as challenging as it is life threatening

Between July 1-July 22 2013, Communities around the world have witnessed, heard and been devastated by incidents of brutality, horrific violence resulting in the deaths of many people because of their sexuality or because of their work among sexual minorities or marginalized communities.

On July 1st and 13th in South Africa two different cases in which lesbians were bodily abused, raped and murdered was shared from various media outlets e.g.,http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2013/07/14/moving-pictures-as-slain-lesbian-laid-to-rest-amidst-controversial-memorial/. On July 13th Dutch tourists were charged for engaging in gay propaganda. On July 15th, the Executive Director of the Cameroonian AIDS organization CAMFAIDS Eric Lembembe Ohena was found murdered in his Yaoundé home. The grotesque experience showed marks of strangulation on his neck. His feet were broken. His face, hands, and feet had burn marks supposedly from an electric cable. This was in different media outlets e.g.,http://76crimes.com/2013/07/16/cameroon-activist-tortured-killed-the-nation-must-respond/.  On July 21 in an anti-gay march of over one thousand people in Haiti, the killing of two gay activists occurred  On July 22 a gender non-conforming 17-year-old attending a party in Jamaica was stripped naked by a crowd, stabbed to death, and dumped in the bushes on the side of the road. Many activists as well as persons working with LGBTIQQ, or those persons of a different gender other than a heterosexual gender are persecuted, tortured and killed.

This experience is not so remote, the author went through a grueling and painful beating for working with marginalized population groups in Uganda. There are many other people who are killed and have no one following up on them. Yet more are working to make change possible. They are doing their work quietly, silently without so much aplomb, outside media cameras and have never attended spaces gaining them international exposure. It is to all these that sponsors, donors and allies should look out to.

The  author was privileged to work with a very dedicated team in reaching out to marginalized communities in Uganda. A nation-wide community diagnosis was carried out into who MARPs were and where they were sustainably engaged in livelihood activities. This was made into a document which is attached.

 BEING PART OF THE SOLUTION in uganda.pdf

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