LGBTI refugee leader in Kenya seeks aid for relocation to U.S.

One of the leaders of LGBTI refugees from Uganda is preparing for relocation from Kenya to the United States.

Kamarah Apollo is seeking assistance from online supporters through a appeal.

Kamarah Apollo and his friends in Nairobi (Photo courtesy of Kamarah Apollo)
In Nairobi, Kenya, Kamarah Apollo is preparing to say goodbye to his Ugandan LGBTI refugee friends, whom he has served as group leader. (Photo courtesy of Kamarah Apollo)

I’m Kamarah Apollo, an LGBTI refugee from Uganda who recently was fortunate enough to receive permission to travel to the United States, where I will seek asylum. I have endured years of persecution in Uganda followed by two years of hunger and repression in Kenya.

Now I seek  your help with preparations for my travels.

You can read my story here: Out of Kampala’s frying pan, into Nairobi’s fire. That’s on the Erasing 76 Crimes blog. Its editor, Colin Stewart, is helping with this appeal.

These are my current needs:

  • Suitcase — $100
  • Trousers — $100
  • Shirts and T-shirt — $100
  • Backpack — $100
  • Three pairs of shoes — $150
  • Transportation — $70.
    The $70 is for four days’ travel to and from the International Organization for Migration as I make pre-departure preparations there.

If possible, I would also appreciate help with these expenses, so they are included in the total appeal:

  • This month’s rent in Kenya — $250. The rented house has two bedrooms and five permanent occupants. Often it serves as a home to many other asylum seekers without a place to stay or who are experiencing rent problems and have been thrown out on the streets.
  • Cosmetics — $40

Please help me. God bless you.

Kamarah’s appeal has attracted criticism.

“He needs $120 max for travel clothes and a bag. And will get money and help when he gets here,” stated one  supporter of LGBTI refugees who is based in the United States.

Although he is seeking more than the bare minimum, Kamarah denies that his requests are extravagant. He responded to the question, “Why buy additional clothing, and why the amounts that you seek? You do already have clothing and you will receive some assistance on arrival in the U.S.” His response: “I asked for things at their best prices available in Nairobi. I need to travel with these things because here I get to buy them at cheaper rates. Here in Nairobi I know where to buy these things, unlike the USA, where am just going for the very first time and it would be costly.”

So far, Kamarah has received $10 from his appeal, plus the equivalent of $39 sent directly to him in Kenyan shillings.

Of the future, he says:

“I worry about the fate of my housemates, because it has always been through team work and dedication that we have been able to contribute rent and all other household necessities. We pray that God will provide a way. Once am settled in the USA, I hope to chip in and help them keep the house going.

“Right now what scares me most is that we have come to the end of the month without paying rent yet and the second month is now also due.”

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at

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