The Other Foundation is an African trust dedicated to advancing human rights in Southern Africa, with a particular focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.
We envisage a continent free of all forms of moral prejudice and discrimination and a region where there is justice and freedom for all.
Supported primarily by African philanthropy, The Other Foundation aims to contribute to a self-sustaining human rights movement in Southern Africa, where people actively defend each other’s rights.
Underpinning our mission are three core commitments:
- Advancing and defending human rights for all
Across the region, we have a common history of achieving political liberation from slavery, colonialism and apartheid. However, our common challenge of the ‘promise of liberation for all’ remains elusive. The rhetoric and vision of liberation is that no one be left behind. Yet, discrimination, fear, prejudice, stigma and hatred of difference – of ‘the other’ – continue to fester in all our countries, cities and communities. LGBTI people are particularly under attack, as are migrants, immigrants, foreigners and people who have a different skin colour, ethnicity and/or religion. Our contention is that we need to assume a united stand against violations if we are to achieve meaningful social and political transformation.
- Enabling LGBTI people to attain their fullest potential in society
LGBTI people are amongst the most marginalised in our region, suffering multiple violations that threaten their sense of safety, well-being and belonging within families, in the workplace, and in faith-based and other communities. LGBTI people need to be free to make their own choices, to define their own destinies and live free of the fear of discrimination and exclusion. In the spirit of Ubuntu, we must commit to enhancing the capacity of LGBTI people to live life to the full and contribute as active members of society, whether young or old, parents or not, worshipers or not, caregivers, workers or migrants. To achieve this we also need to educate and sensitise families and communities in our countries to the human rights of LGBTI people.
- Building African philanthropy and thought leadership
The Other Foundation is committed to contributing to the expansion of the field of African philanthropy. This involves raising money within Africa to promote and support innovative and effective strategies for social change, with a particular focus on supporting LGBTI people to realise their full potential as individuals and full members of society.
With the primary purpose of expanding resources available for defending and advancing the rights of LGBTI people, The Other Foundation works both as a grant maker and a fundraiser. We support change through others, rather than directly ourselves.
As a grant maker, we provide direct support to partners and will help facilitate the building and sharing of knowledge. As a fundraiser, we support campaigns and will build awareness and reinforce appreciation for LGBTI people to enjoy their rights within a broader human rights framework.
We are registered and based in South Africa and our grant-making will extend to Southern Africa.
The Other Foundation supports existing and emerging initiatives of LGBTI people and organisations that seek to transform the politics of sexuality, allowing for self-determination at all levels of sexual, social, political and economic lives.
The Other Foundation supports affirming and responsive institutions, services and spaces in religious, traditional, cultural, legal, psychological and political spheres, and seeks to foster partnerships that include the full participation of LGBTI people.
The Other Foundation supports the work of organisations that:
- aim to build and strengthen partnerships and alliances, understanding, solidarity and bridges between those working on sexual orientation and gender identity, and those working on other social justice issues
- defend LGBTI people and support their families and communities against all forms of violence and hate crimes
- promote LGBTI people’s sense of security and social cohesion
- address and respond to the economic struggles, unemployment and other class-based challenges of LGBTI people; and that
- take on systems and practices which criminalise or seek to reinforce the criminalisation of LGBTI people, organisations, knowledge creation, sexual and cultural (self-)expression(s), and organising for change.