Once every two months, friendly faces arrive at two grim prisons in west central Africa bearing gifts for imprisoned victims of Cameroon’s homophobic laws. Those deliveries of food and hygiene supplies are heart-felt gifts from this blog’s readers. To allow those deliveries to continue, please join us.
Ibrahim, Abdelaziz and Ismael are locked in prisons so filthy that they’re plagued by skin diseases. They must survive on one meal a day. Their families abandoned them years ago, after police arrested them for being gay. But the visits from the Not Alone / Pas Seul Project provide comfort for them and possibly even the hope of early release from prison — but only if additional donations support the work.
In late June, the Not Alone / Pas Seul project made its third bimonthly delivery of food and emotional support to the three men in the Tcholliré and Guider prisons.
Passing along readers’ donations, the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation sent $445 (about 256,800 CFA francs) to reporter Steeves Winner (a pseudonym). That amount includes $301 (about 173,700 CFA francs) for the food deliveries for the three prisoners — 112,000 for the food itself and 61,700 for transportation costs and prison entry fees. This time, the transfer included an additional $144 (about 83,100 CFA francs) to allow Steeves to travel to northern Cameroon to verify in person that the previous deliveries had been carried out as planned.
June’s deliveries were made by Steeves, accompanied by M. and B. from our partner in northern Cameroon, the LGBT rights group Association Jeunes Solidaires Garoua (AJSG), which also made the deliveries scheduled for January-February and March-April.
Steeves submitted this report about the prison visits:
VISIT I: Guider Prison — Ibrahim and Abdelaziz
Both prisoners are doing very well in terms of health and morale, despite skin problems (scabies). They expressed their thanks to all the donors who are thinking about them. In recent months, they have not experienced any attacks by guards or other prisoners.
VISIT II: Tcholliré Prison — Ismael
We met Ismael in the large courtyard reserved for visits. He has received the eyeglasses that AJSG purchased for him with help from one individual’s special donation. Unfortunately, part of the left lens was damaged in an accident but it was repaired with a soldering iron.
Ismael is doing well and, after two years in prison, is nearing the end of his sentence. He is scheduled to be released on July 20, but only if he somehow manages to pay his fine and court costs, a total of 142,000 CFA francs (about $246). If he cannot pay, he won’t be released until the fall.
Evaluation of the project
AJSG is doing a good job delivering food as planned. One glitch: A letter of support from a donor to the prisoners was misplaced and not delivered. AJSG will deliver it when they next visit the prisons. The two latest letters of support were received by the prisoners during this round of visits.
The prisoners did not immediately have a chance to read the latest letters, but they expressed their thanks and were touched to have received them. They also were curious about who these people are who do not know them but nevertheless think of them.
To make recurring U.S. tax-deductible donations, go to the project’s account at DonorBox. (You can stop those payments at any point.)
If you want to make one-time U.S. tax-deductible donation for this food immediately, you can do so:
- On Facebook (“Donate” button at https://www.facebook.com/saintpaulfound/ ) Please send a message that the donation is for the Pas Seul / Not Alone project.
- By PayPal.com (to the foundation’s account at [email protected] (Please send a message that the donation is for the Pas Seul / Not Alone project.)
- By sending a check to St. Paul’s Foundation, 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.) Please write “Pas Seul / Not Alone” on the memo line.
Earlier articles about the Pas Seul / Not Alone project in northern Cameroon:
- Messages (and a little money) needed for 3 victims of homophobia (
- Generous readers donate to feed 3 gay Muslim prisoners (, 76crimes.com)
- Cameroon: Have a male partner? 3 years in prison (November 2018, 76crimes.com)
- Gay Muslim in a Cameroon prison, ‘almost a slave’ (November 2018, 76crimes.com)
- 6 years in prison because Abdelaziz loved a man
Article about the previous phase of the project in Yaoundé:
- Our readers’ success: 3 gay prisoners fed (then freed) (October 2018, 76crimes.com)