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Nigerian safe house might close without your help

Anti-terrorism protest (Photo courtesy of Jide Macaulay via Facebook)
Anti-terrorism protest (Photo courtesy of Jide Macaulay via Facebook)

 

A safe house for persecuted LGBT people in Nigeria needs financial help — specifically, US $2,000 to pay the annual rent for the shelter, which has been operated by the gay-friendly House of Rainbow Fellowship for the past three years. 

If the safe house has to shut down, its five current residents would have to leave its protection and again be exposed to whatever homophobic threats they had endured before turning to House of Rainbow for sanctuary. The shelter opened in 2012, long before Nigeria enacted its latest repressive anti-gay law in January 2014.

This is House of Rainbow’s appeal on the fund-raising site YouCaring.com:

Safe House @HouseOfRainbow in Nigeria

House of Rainbow safe house appeal. (Click image for link to YouCaring.com fundraising site)
House of Rainbow safe house appeal. (Click image for link to YouCaring.com fundraising site)

Since March 2012, House Of Rainbow has provided a Safe House for the safety and protection of persecuted LGBT people in Nigeria. The work by the House became more poignant in the rise of violence against LGBT persons since January 2014.

The house is in danger of closing down by 31st March 2015.

Since 2012, we have provided emergency accommodation to LGBT people. We continue to maintain a safe place for those who needed somewhere when there is violence and or crisis at their homes or communities based on [their sexual orientation or gender identity].

We need your HELP NOW to save this project.

The Safe House provides immediate shelter to LGBT people in Nigeria. We have been supported by NGOs [non-governmental organizations] in Nigeria and others abroad, however the demand on this unique service is unprecedented in the wake of Nigeria government’s sponsored criminalisation of gay people.

We support those:

  • Fleeing physical abuse and or harassment
  • In fear of being ostracised
  • Made homeless by families or careers

There are currently 5 out of a possible 9 residents in the house, we are fearful we would ask them to leave placing them in further danger.

We need your help to raise as much as US$2,000 to cover the annual rent due on the 31st March 2015.

Your donations will help towards the cost of providing:

  • Housing (less than US$1 a night per person to keep them safe);
  • Free counseling, welfare and support;
  • Free sexual health information.

We are appealing to you to support this incredible and life-saving project.

For more information, visit us at HouseofRainbow.org.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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