TOMORROW IS “GIVING TUESDAY”
Support our fight for LGBTQ rights abroad and double your gift to help more queer Nigerians access mental health counseling.
The Qtalk app for Android phones has helped thousands of LGBTQ Nigerians. Now it’s time to expand its coverage to iPhone users. That will cost $1,800 for programming and related expenses. A generous donor has agreed to match donations 1-1.
In total, this fundraiser seeks $3,600 including the $1,800 for the iPhone expansion plus web hosting, app maintenance and subsidies for the data charges incurred by Qtalk counselors, who do the work without pay.
Here’s how you can help:
- $26 pays the cellular data charges for a month for one Qtalk counselor
- $34 pays for Qtalk’s web hosting for a month
- $132 pays the cellular data charges for a month for five Qtalk counselors
- $900 covers the 50% upfront payment that’s needed before the app developers will start work on the iPhone version of Qtalk
The St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation is sponsoring the project along with its ongoing support for LGBTQ rights advocacy journalism.
Qtalk is a life-saving initiative for desperate members of the LGBTIQ+ community. It is a counseling service that allows LGBTIQ+ Nigerians to safely access legal and psychosocial support for free on their mobile phones.
It is currently available only on Android phones, which puts it out of reach for the growing number of LGBTIQ+ Nigerians who use iPhones. Reaching our fundraising goal would allow us to improve Qtalk and expand its capacities so it can serve iPhone users.
The app was developed in 2019 by NoStringsNG, an LGBTIQ+ media advocacy organization in Nigeria that is supported by the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation.
Currently, the app has about 2,500 registered users, including 2,000 who engage daily on the app.
Counseling is provided for free by pro-bono counselors who are qualified legal and health experts.
Since its launch, the app has helped many LGBTIQ+ Nigerians deal with challenges they face. With permission from users, we publish monthly articles that highlight the problems that LGBTIQ+ Nigerians experience and the suggestions that counselors make to them on Qtalk.
Earlier this year, as part of our efforts to evaluate the impact of the app, we collected responses from a few of the counselors who shared their experiences using the app.
Here is the response from Pamela, who serves for free as a Qtalk counselor:
“Working to support the LGBTIQ+ community in Nigeria has always been something that I have been passionate about.
“Connecting and staying in touch with like minds is therapy itself. For a marginalized community, a platform such as Qtalk can be therapeutic. It isn’t only timely but also very much needed. Thanks to all those responsible for such a wonderful initiative.
“For me, one of the most significant sessions for me was helping a gay man cope with the loss of his dear son. For me, this was something that I could very much relate to as I have also lost someone very close to me, and I know how grief can destroy a person if not properly handled.”
Qtalk has also helped to spark conversations in various national and international media on issues such as mental health and the state of homophobia in Nigeria.
NoStringsNG founder Mike Daemon observes that, despite the impressive progress and positive reception of the app, improvements need to be made in order to remove some of Qtalk’s limitations:
“With iPhones increasingly popular in Nigeria, demand has grown for the app to be made available on iPhone’s IOS platform. Creating an iPhone version of Qtalk will allow us to reach more members of Nigeria’s LGBTIQ+ community and to accommodate new counselors who are not currently using Android.
“We also hope to improve the overall user experience of the Android version of the app to allow for a seamless and bug-free experience.
“After consultation with experts and an app development firm, we estimate an $1,800 total cost of development of the IOS version of the app and new features of the current Android app. This will cover improvements in security, UI/UX design, server development and hosting.”
For more information, see the archive of selected Qtalk counseling sessions.
Here are ways to make a donation (tax-deductible in the U.S.)
- DonorBox. (Through the end of the year, new donations to the St. Paul’s Foundation via DonorBox will go to the Qtalk project.)
- Donations via Facebook, which charges no processing fees for non-profits like us. (This Facebook fundraiser is specifically for the Qtalk project.)
- Donations via PayPal by credit card or PayPal transfer. (Through the end of the year, new donations to the St. Paul’s Foundation via PayPal will go to the Qtalk project.)
- Donations by mail: Send checks payable to St. Paul’s Foundation to 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA. Write “Qtalk” on the memo line.