Pandemic reduces Heroes and Zeroes to a Reflection on 2020

Each Year I write a top 10 Heroes and Zeroes. This year it is very simple! Or should I say Pandemic worn down – renders it simple- The Heroes in each and every category are LGBTQI asylum seekers and refugees and the Zeroes are Donald Trump,  his grifter family and each and every single Republican who supported the greatest debacle in leadership of all time. There are 330,000 dead Americans, greatest deficit ever, millions unemployed, and millions about to be evicted during a pandemic! We are now poised for a Biden Harris administration and actual leadership with the hope of  COVID 19 Pandemic control though a vaccine as well.

With that said, my entire 2020 reflection will be posting the African Human rights Coalition’s annual thank you and reflection e-mail, here for all to see!

Thank you for reading and supporting.

Dear Friends and Donors,

We are thanking you on behalf of the LGBTQI displaced persons who have benefitted from your support, collaboration, and partnerships over this past year. We look forward to your feed-back and continued support of our work. Please read our annual gratitude briefing:

African Human Rights Coalition (AHRC) works with displaced and persecuted LGBTQI individuals in and from African countries:

AHRC – YEAR 2020:

AHRC’s year in the trenches was unprecedented. We rose to the call and could not have done it without your help:

HUMANITARIAN
AHRC has a unique space in African countries for displaced LGBTI individuals: We have focused this past year on West Africa, East Africa, and the Great Lakes Regions. We also worked in other countries on the continent. This support included safe-shelter rentals, food, medicine and transport. Our work in Nairobi and Kakuma Camp has been significant. We fill a critical gap. Often undocumented LGBT displaced persons have nowhere else to turn. We provided COVID-19 related relief and the advocacy in some instances to secure resources. In Kakuma our building and shelter fortification grants brought much relief. With your help, we look forward to amplifying this program in the new year.

The amount of cases we received this year defied our resources, yet we were able to stretch, maximizing for greatest impact. We are grateful to all the partners we reached out to, who were able to come through or gave our requests their consideration.

I would like to thank Marc Cohen who directs our Humanitarian department, for his commitment, dedication, and generous philanthropy, without which so much would not have been accomplished.

Also a special shoutout and thank-you to ALLOUT for the critical and successful joint campaign, to bring urgent food and supply relief during the Pandemic.

CAPACITY BUILDING
To the many partners we worked with, I express much gratitude for your generosity, commitment and fortitude during this very difficult time. We are also proud to be spearheading newly forming self-governance unity models and livelihood projects. There will be more reflection on this in the new year.

ADVOCACY
We worked very hard this past year and believe were extremely valued for our advocacy contributions. We worked with UNHCR, governmental and non-governmental agencies, hand in hand with displaced LGBTQI persons and asylum seekers, all across the globe. This work brought new treasured friendships and has established a path for more coalition building.

Our work continued to involve ad hoc advocating for individual cases, to include aspects of refugee status, resettlement, medical needs, and advocacy related emergencies.

We conveyed Africa’s LGBTQI stories, filling an important gap, when participating in the chorus to oppose the Trump administration’s regulations that sought to impose the most hateful of policies poised to eviscerate asylum, as we have known it. We also served as a voice for Africa’s LGBTQI refugee community by advocating against the unconscionable travel bans and cruel reductions in the refugee admission numbers.

PRIDE
AHRC participated in GLOBAL PRIDE and was deeply honored to have our Kakuma message video headline the online main-stage. This honor was deeply felt in Kakuma. We also participated in several local PRIDES across the globe, with our Video a true international effort, produced from San Francisco and Canada, edited by my daughter, a recent NYU film graduate, and themed to traverse continents, while messaging hardship couched in hope! Version of Video – HERE.

VOLUNTEERS
The miracle of AHRC is the extensive amount of work, global standing and accomplishment given that we continue as an all-volunteer organization, with no operational funding, other than what is provided through the self-funding of our directors. So many of you joined our call, in love and friendship. Our hope is to seek operational funding for the coming year, so that we can amplify our exceptional and unique impact even more significantly in LGBTQI lives on the continent and beyond.

COUNTRY CONDITIONS
What an extraordinary year this has been considering the odds. Many thanks to the law firms, attorneys, immigration clinics, law-students, supervising professors, and courageous asylum seeker clients who placed their trust in AHRC and me personally. It was an honor as much as it was a challenge, to have served as a country conditions expert witness in the Immigration Courts this past year, testifying on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender asylum seekers from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, DRC and in our first case from Niger. This year yielded a 100% grant rate or withholding of deportation in all our cases.

SPECIAL THANKS

CGRS – Thanks to CGRS at Hastings, San Francisco, for their ongoing leadership, webinars and commitment and for their expert witness database that provides such critical connectivity.

HIAS– As the Jewish granddaughter of Pogrom refugees, who were denied entry to the USA, instead resettling in South Africa, I value the crucial trajectory of HIAS. HIAS was born from serving persecuted Jews and now serves an arena that is fully inclusive of all refugees. AHRC’s birth shares a similar path, born from a deep personal place. Many thanks for paving the way, and the continued leadership and ongoing commitment to African LGBTQI refugees.

UNHCR– I would like to extend a special thanks to UNHCR. To Dr. Felippo Grandi and his team at UNHCR for their hard work and ongoing commitment to the plight and protection of LGBTQI refugees across the globe. UNHCR is faced with sustaining programs in countries which are hostile hosts to LGBTQI people. The challenge could not be greater, especially at a time when the amount of displaced persons is growing at alarming rates.

PRESS– Than you the ongoing coverage and importance in creating awareness for the plight of LGBTQI refugees and asylum seekers. Many journalists, investigative reporters and documentarians have sought us out for sourcing, stories, interviews and comment, and we are grateful for these important platforms.

TEACHERS AND STUDENTS:- A thank you for the invitations into your classrooms and the special events to which we have been invited. Zooming has amplified the possibilities. We have assisted in student thesis and classroom projects and welcome the platform, not only for education and awareness, but also for the future of the leadership this inspires.

AMBASSADORS- Last but most importantly and absolutely not least, a special thanks to our extraordinary courageous and diligent Ambassadors on the ground in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, Tanzania, DRC, and ALL the other countries you are in as well as the activists and advocates on the ground – you are the light and soul of AHRC’s work, giving selflessly to your fellow LGBTQI, often without recompense. Without you our work would be impossible.

A special thanks to our Ambassador- Refugee Advocate Ibrahim, in Kakuma, Kenya, for his guidance, dedication and efficiency, especially leading our food distribution efforts and with thanks to his entire team.

We would also like to particularly thank RefCEA and its leadership for all the hard work and excellent representation in Kenya.

THE HOPE
We hope that our supporters will continue to help keep this all going by extending your generosity to end of year donating and the New Year. With the change in the U.S. administration and the ‘light at the end of the COVID tunnel’ there is renewed hope and hence opportunity to make even greater strides and inroads, than in the past year. At the same time, we are clear that the emergencies continue to mount and so we must brace ourselves and be at the ready. Our hope extends to forming new alliances and partnerships with many of you, to strengthen the work and funding opportunities.

THE ASK
With this and hope in sight, we have received a promise of a matching donation up to $30,000 toward our 2021 humanitarian fund. Whatever donations we receive over the next several weeks, up to and including Inauguration Day, January 20th, will be matched by our generous donor, for our emergency fund. Generously, this includes all that we have taken in for this December month.

Please consider donating HERE to help us accomplish our 2021 goals, or contact us at nathan@AfricanHRC.org for further fund designation information.
Many, many thanks to you all. May you be blessed with love, safety and good health during this holiday season.

Warm regards,

Melanie
With the very same thanks and wishes from
Marc Cohen and all of us at AHRC

Melanie Nathan
Executive Director
African Human Rights Coalition
(nathan@africanHRC.org)
Executive Director
AfricanHRC.org

Please follow us on face book HERE.
Donations HERE


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