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Building Acceptance Of and Rights Awareness for LGBTIQ Youth in Kenya

A member of ELITE sits in front of a rainbow Pride flag with a sign that reads "I will help forge a gender equal world. #EachforEqual"

Priority Community | LGBTIQ Girls

Region | Africa

The Challenge:

LGBTIQ+ people in Kenya frequently face violence for their gender and sexual identities. Despite legal victories in the courts, same-sex marriage is still illegal and LGBTIQ+ people confront daily discrimination.

ELITE's Contribution:

Empowered Ladies Initiative for Equality (ELITE) connects LGBTIQ+ youth through workshops that focus on empowerment and protection from discrimination. The workshops ensure that LGBTIQ+ people know their rights and can document violence against them, devise prevention strategies, and respond to abuse in the community. In their advocacy work, ELITE trains members of local government, police, and media on LGBTIQ+ rights issues. These community leaders positively influence public perceptions and create a peaceful and just environment for LBQTIQ+ communities.

COVID UPDATE

As a direct result of the COVID-19 quarantine orders in Kenya, many of the members of the ELITE LBGTIQ+  community have reported an increase in discrimination. Many members are home with family members who may not understand or respect LGBTIQ+  rights. The ELITE LGBTIQ+ community reported a need for food, sanitation, and personal hygiene supplies as well as an immediate need for psychosocial support within their communities.

ELITE adjusted their programs to respond to these needs. They are hosting mental health education and counseling sessions via phone and text to community members. Additionally, they are hosting weekly phone and text health sessions to spread important information about COVID-19. They are  also distributing food, sanitation and personal hygiene products to those within the LBGTQI community.

How You Can Help