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  April 2015
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umuntu is a bulletin in black and white for friends and funders of the Other Foundation.
Everyone should be free to live a safe and dignified life, have a family and make their contribution to society. The Other Foundation works to change the views, practices and institutions that prevent people – because of who they are or who they love – from being able to do that in southern Africa. We gather support for those who are working to protect and advance the rights, wellbeing and social inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities – and we give support in a smart way that helps groups to work better for lasting change.
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A Million Ones africa-icon
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Overseas financial support for the rights and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people in Africa is tricky because it is often seen as promoting a foreign agenda and way of life, sometimes unintentionally alienating African sexual minorities from their own societies. To avoid these harmful risks, it is necessary to build social giving in Africa to support LGBTI community organisations, research and advocacy groups in a more sustained and credible way, and at a larger scale. This will give a big boost to the movement for the rights and social inclusion of LGBTI people in Africa.

A Million Ones is a community support campaign in which the friends and supporters of the Other Foundation take the lead. They host special pledging dinners in their homes with the support of the Foundation and get their friends to sign up to give regular donations to good projects.

The dinners are personalised, intimate, and extra special with guest chefs and smart table arrangements – or can be customised to your preference. It is a sociable way to build giving by LGBTI communities and their friends, especially in urban settings, in a way that sexual minorities are accustomed to socialising in the absence of affirming public social spaces in many parts of the region. And it helps to build our diverse community. This gives expression to the Other Foundation’s identity as a community foundation.

quote-left The ask is small so that everyone can participate. quote-right

The campaign wants to build up to raise R1 million a month. The ask is small so that everyone can participate in it: R1 a month – but the scale is big so that enough is raised: one million people. Many people do, of course, sign up to give more.

Guests who come to a dinner are asked to do two main things: make a giving pledge and host a similar A Million Ones dinner for their friends with the support of the Other Foundation.

The good news is that the Other Foundation has already raised support from a few very generous people who have agreed to match whatever funds we raise directly. In this way, for every R1 you give now, the Other Foundation can get R3 to R4 to support projects. It is a great way to multiply the impact of what you give.

Whatever you give will go directly to support LGBTI projects. We will not take any part of it for the administrative costs of running the Other Foundation – because other funders are making sure those costs are paid.

We will also keep you updated about the projects funded with your support.

Are you interested in attending or hosting a dinner?
Contact Shekeshe Mokgosi at smokgosi@theotherfoundation.org or +27 82 890 3406.

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In the Chair africa-icon
Meet our co-chairs: Bella Matambanadzo and Xhanti Phayi were unanimously elected on 21 February 2015. Bella is a journalist and media freedom activist from Zimbabwe, with a strong commitment to amplifying the concerns of women. Xhanti is an economist, policy researcher, media commentator and entrepreneur with a corporate and investment banking background in South Africa.
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Bella Matambanadzo

Isabella is a development specialist from Zimbabwe, with 15 years professional expertise working in 36 African countries. As a print, radio and television journalist she has reported widely on developmental and breaking news stories in and around Africa. She has a strong commitment to amplifying the concerns of women in and through the mainstream and alternative media. She was a member of the UN Secretary General’s Task Force on Women, Girls and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa. In 2007, Amnesty International named her one of 11 Zimbabwean Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) on the Front Line for her press freedoms activism following her arrest as a trustee of Radio Voice of the People, an NGO providing alternative news views on Zimbabwe.

“We look forward to constructively tackling one of the most thorny issues facing our societies today. We will do so boldly, melding courage with empathy,“ she says.

“Our region has no choice but to make sexual freedoms and liberties amongst the body of human rights that we respect and protect,” she says.

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Xhanti Phayi

Xhanti is an economist who now leads research at Nascence Research Insights, an economic policy research institute focused on labour and international trade, especially in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. He was previously country risk manager at Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking, and an economist at Stanlib Asset Managers (focused on research in BRIC countries as well as key African economies such as Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya) and a portfolio analyst at Investec Wealth Management – all based in Johannesburg. Xhanti is a regular columnist for South Africa’s Business Day newspaper and the Daily Maverick, the trendy online news publication. He occasionally hosts radio shows on the Johannesburg-based PowerFM radio station.

Xhanti was attracted to accepting the role of being co-chair because of the part the Other Foundation plays in maintaining, defending and extending hard won human rights both for the LGBTI community and broader society, he says.

“There's work to be done in creating safer communities, for everyone to feel protected and safe from discrimination and violence, and free to be themselves,” he says.

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Where the Money Goes africa-icon

Creating change from the social base

In southern African countries, the message communicated in churches plays a significant role in shaping people’s beliefs, moral judgements, and actions. Church leaders have a big responsibility for how this plays out.

The KwaZulu-Natal Council of Churches (KZNCC) recognises this responsibility. To prevent prejudice, discrimination, exclusion, and violence against sexual minorities, KZNCC sends out fieldworkers who organise community dialogues on sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, and spirituality in the province. In these safe spaces social trust is being built, allowing groups to discuss issues which they otherwise would not have a chance to reflect on together.

Over 3,000 families and 12,000 people have participated in the dialogues which involve gay and lesbian people talking about their experiences of living in such communities. For the communities in Impendle, Pietermaritzburg, Escort, Watersmeet, Edendale and Colenso, it has meant a huge growth in awareness about sexual and reproductive health rights, gender based violence and an integrated spirituality.

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Dr Lucas Ngoetjana, the director of programmes at the KwaZulu-Natal Council of Churches, making a presentation about a theology of equality at one of the community dialogues.

Young people have been supported to use drama to reach other youth with a message of inclusion. Theologians have been engaged in research that is helping to change the church's narrative about sexuality, shifting it away from prejudice and exclusion to a more affirming love of all people. Bible study groups have allowed for reflection among church leaders and congregants about homosexuality. And a directory of caring pastors has been developed so people can find accepting church ministers in communities across the region.

On the strength of this rich experience, the KZNCC has worked with gay and lesbian groups in KwaZulu-Natal to engage the provincial government and parliament to defend the safety, promote the social inclusion, and advance the protection of the rights of sexual minorities.

quote-left To prevent discrimination, exclusion, and violence against sexual minorities, the KZNCC sends out fieldworkers. quote-right

However, change is slow. Fieldworkers have found that church leaders and church members find it difficult to speak freely about their views on sexuality in front of each other for fear of saying the ‘wrong’ thing. More effort is needed to empower individual church leaders to openly express their views in support of the dignity of every person, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity. The community dialogues need to be deepened and expanded.

But the remarkable fieldworkers conducting many of the dialogues have been working without pay or adequate information and publicity materials to back their efforts. The Other Foundation is committed to giving the KZNCC further support to do more – if it can raise funds to give more support.

In 2014, the Foundation gave a grant of R200,000 to the KZNCC to do this work over two years. With more support, KZNCC wants to partner with the Gauteng Council of Churches and the Western Cape Council of Churches to expand this work across other major parts of the country.

Amplifying Lesbian Voices

In Namibia, as in many parts of Africa, young lesbians negotiate and navigate various intersecting racial, cultural, gendered, sexual, religious and professional identities. Being caught up in this nexus, particularly when they represent some degree of oppression, can be a disempowering experience. Organisations such as Women’s Leadership Centre (WLC) in Namibia have worked tirelessly in the last 10 years to help young lesbians build resilience to deep-seated patriarchal ideas and develop the inner wealth of self-awareness and confidence. These efforts help to build a strong feminist, lesbian voice in a continent struggling with a rise in fundamentalism that threatens to erode hard-won human rights gains.

WLC has used its visibility in the women’s sector to host feminist forums in Windhoek with lesbians from neighbouring towns. The participation of young lesbians builds next generation activism for human rights related to sexual orientation and gender identities. Although WLC works with lesbian women from various small towns and villages across Namibia, it also reaches young rural women living under customary law as well as young San women in indigenous communities, uniting them in their understanding of how patriarchal ideas shape homophobia as much as gender stereotypes.

WLC champions the use of creative interventions such as writing, dance and photography. Through training in community photography young lesbians express themselves, their communities and their sexuality in positive and empowering ways. One result of these efforts has been the travelling photo exhibition “Creating ourselves in our own image”. Some of these images (along with related texts) have been translated into a photo book that has been widely distributed, including to policy makers.

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WLC has long been a player in the feminist space in Namibia beyond its decade-long presence. Its founders have been outspoken activists for lesbian and women’s rights for over 20 years. It is committed to long term and strategic change by collaborating with like-minded organisations such as the Coalition for African Lesbians and the Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action.

WLC also feels strongly about empowering friends, families and communities about issues facing lesbians and factors this level of awareness-raising into their programmes in concrete ways. The booklet “Loving and supporting our lesbian daughter: A guide for parents, families and friends of young lesbians in Namibia” has been translated into Afrikaans and Oshiwambo, the two most widely spoken and read languages in Namibia.

quote-left WLC feels strongly about empowering friends, families, and communities about issues facing lesbians. quote-right

The organisation’s 10th anniversary celebration in December 2014 was an entertaining and high profile event attended by approximately 100 people including artists, musicians, donors and members of civil society organisations.

The Other Foundation was drawn to the holistic nature of WLC’s work. Deeply personal transformation through creative interventions is married with strong feminist critiques. With a grant of ZAR150,000 from the Other Foundation in 2014, WLC continues its important work of empowering lesbian women to dismantle patriarchy, stigma and discrimination.

Grants available from the Other Foundation

Four different types of grants are made available, from grants tailored for individuals to national organisations.

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Namaqualand Daisy Grants are intended for individual activists (including artists and researchers). The maximum award under this grant is ZAR10,000 for work over a 3 – 12 month period.

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Inyosi (Honey Bee) Grants are intended for smaller organisations that are seeking support for a project or for core support. The maximum award under this grant is ZAR50,000 over a 6 – 12 month period.

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Hungwe (Fish Eagle) Grants are intended for established organisations seeking support for a project or for core support. The maximum award under this grant is ZAR150,000 (12 months) or ZAR200,000 (24 months).

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Mosu (Umbrella Thorn Tree) Grants are for core support to organisations working at a national or regional level. The maximum award under this grant is ZAR500,000 over 24 months.

For a full list of grants allocated in the inaugural round of grant making in 2014,
go to http://theotherfoundation.org/grants

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Meet our Team africa-icon
We are building our team and recently made a few appointments.
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Carla Sutherland

Head of Programmes

Carla was an Associate Research Scholar at the Center for Law, Gender and Sexuality, Columbia University Law School (New York). Her specific interest is in exploring how ‘tradition’ has been used as a barrier to advance sexual rights within global and regional human rights mechanisms, and developing resources that can be used by LGBTI activists to counter this phenomenon. Carla previously worked at the Arcus Foundation where she led the Foundation’s international Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity programme. Before that, Carla led the Ford Foundation’s Education and Sexuality programme in East Africa. She began her professional career as a policy researcher at the University of Cape Town for the then Vice-Chancellor Dr Mamphela Ramphele. Carla holds a PhD in Social Policy from the London School of Economics, earned while on a Commonwealth Scholarship.

Carla believes the challenge in global advocacy for LGBTI rights is to find a way for voices from the global south to shape the global agenda. This can't be done, she says, unless there's a substantive platform from which these voices can be heard.

“The Other Foundation promotes a strategy to strengthen authentic voices from Southern Africa," she says.

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Shekeshe Mokgosi

Public Engagement Manager

Shakes was the executive special projects and campaigns officer at the Southern Africa Trust. He previously worked independently as a brand and change management consultant. Prior to that he worked as an events project manager in a private project management agency, a training coordinator at the University of Witwatersrand, and project management in agencies of the South African government. He has completed an advanced management programme at the Wits Business School, and has done several courses in financial management and auditing, event management and change management. Shakes has a background in television broadcasting as a child media personality and is a well known persona in social networks in South Africa.

Shakes finds it motivating to work in an environment where he is helping to change lives and where he's playing his part in creating a better society.

One of the recent highlights of his work was the first A Million Ones dinner where R11,000 was raised. He is working on organising 50 such dinners this year.

“Knowing that I'm playing my part is what gets me up in the morning,” he says.

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Among Peers africa-icon
PeerReviewers
If you ever wondered whose desk your grant application ends up sitting on, it doesn't end up on a desk. Rather, it is discussed by a team of carefully selected peer reviewers to ensure minimal bias, a wide range of expertise, transparency and accountability, diverse perspectives, as well as a geographic spread. This is essential for a good grant application review process by the Other Foundation.

In the Foundation’s last round of grant making, there were 12 peer reviewers, selected out of 32 applications received from the eligible countries: Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Other Foundation worked hard to ensure that as many of the applicants as possible were selected as peer reviewers. The group was expanded to 12, rather than the 6 – 9 originally envisioned.

The peer reviewers, working first individually and then in four teams, evaluated all 98 grant applications that qualified for consideration, in order to recommend to the Other Foundation’s board of trustees which applicants should be given grants.

Here are the names of the 12 peer reviewers.

Muhsin Hendricks, Florence Khaxas, Kumbukirani Ishmael Makhuludzo, Patience Mandishona, Zethu Matebeni, Pilot Mathambo, Nonhlanhla Mkhize, Nolene Morris, Chan Mubanga, Jabu Pereira, Janet Shapiro, Marinus Uys.

To understand a bit more about some of our peer reviewers, we wanted to tell you a bit more about Chan Mubanga and Muhsin Hendricks.

Chan Mubanga

What it feels like to inhabit a body whose sex is at odds with one's gender identity, is a psychological pain Chan Mubanga, a trans man in Zambia and one of the Other Foundation's grant proposal peer reviewers is familiar with.

In a moving self portrait, Chan says he was 10-years-old when he became aware of his attraction to girls but it was only when he begun menstruating that he realised he was not like the other boys, or his two older brothers. At the time, the word transgender was unknown. People were either gay, lesbian or bisexual.

“Night after night I prayed to god to stop the periods, to stop these breasts that had begun to grow where my proud chest used to be. But when these changes carried on, I began asking myself - Who am I? What am I?”

Misunderstood and confused, Chan tried to ignore what was happening to his body and found refuge in sex with other girls. Eventually under pressure from his mother, combined with the predominant Christian norms in the household, he had sex with a boy at age 17, an experience during which he says he cried throughout.

quote-left People who are transgender in Zambia need to feel a sense of belonging and worth. quote-right

Years later, after qualifying as an electrical engineer he struggled to find employment as he is viewed as a woman in a male-dominated culture. Chan says he is “passionate about driving big trucks across borders, discovering far and remote places”, but often encounters resistance from family, partners, and society when he tries to pursue his dreams.

But Chan says he is beginning to see change occurring, partly as a result of the work the group TranGend that he established with a few friends.

“I see TranGend growing over time, offering a safe space for sharing, research and character building. People who are transgender in Zambia need to feel a sense of belonging and worth, we need to know that there are others like us, and there are people who understand and accept us as we are without second thought. Only when this initiative has a solid foundation, can we look to improve our social environment by community organizing and information dissemination and begin to influence policies. Our major challenges for now are ignorance about gender identity, colonial laws that criminalize homosexuality, gender inequality and traditionalist customs that forbid sex/sexuality education,” he says.

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Click on the image above to watch a video about Muhsin Hendricks and his work.

Muhsin Hendricks

As a devout Muslim “innately attracted to the same sex”, Imam Muhsin Hendricks, who is a grant proposal peer reviewer for the Other Foundation, has had to struggle with the cultural and religious pressure that forces people to conform to social gender roles.

This pressure resulted in him marrying a woman he would never be able to fully satisfy, and with whom he would not be able to satisfy his own personal and emotional needs. Hendricks says that during the time he was was doing Islamic studies in Pakistan, to numb the pain of being married to someone he knew he could not physically and emotionally bond with, he immersed himself in his work.

However, after six years of marriage he decided to divorce, and his coming out led to him facing rejection by his family and community, resulting in him losing his job as a religious teacher and assistant Imam. With no support, he lived in a small room next to horse stables on a friend's farm.

This painful experience led him on a journey of reconciling his faith with his sexuality. A few years later, he founded the Inner Circle, an organisation providing support to Muslims who feel marginalised and victimised because of their sexuality and gender.

The Inner Circle, based in Cape Town, offers social and spiritual programmes to enable people to reconcile their Islamic faith with their sexuality, to help people reach a point of self actualisation.

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In Memory of a Visionary africa-icon
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The LGBTI movement in South Africa in its current form would not be possible without the vision, courage, tenacity and dedication of Gerald Kraak, who died in October last year.

Gerald, who was a founding figure for the Other Foundation, was head of the South African office of the Atlantic Philanthropies.

“There are very few LGBTI organisations that have not benefitted from Gerald's dream of a better world. It is because of his courage to support an overlooked sector that our movement exists in the form it does,” wrote Anthony Manion in an obituary published in the Mail&Guardian newspaper.

In the 1980s Gerald was one of the leaders and organisers of the Committee of South African War Resisters in exile and prior to that, was involved in NUSAS in Cape Town.

Returning from exile in the '90s, LGBTI rights were considered as secondary to what was seen as more pressing issues in the country, but Gerald held the view that true transformation was not possible without all people being able to access their human and socio-economic rights. At the time, LGBTI rights were arguably the most sidelined of struggles.

“His vision,” wrote Manion, “created space for crucial transformation and after he joined Atlantic in the early 2000s new organisations were able to emerge and existing groups able to re-evaluate their approach.”

quote-left There is not an area of civil society work in fundamental rights, open, accountable, ethical, efficient and effective
government that he did not support.
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He also worked to broaden the field from its predominantly urban-based white-male-dominated structures and created space for a new generation of black community leaders to emerge. His vision also led to the transgender and intersex struggle being included in the broader LGBTI agenda.

Taking cognisance of Atlantic’s phased withdrawal from South Africa, as far back as ten years ago he had the vision and foresight to work toward an alternative, working tirelessly toward the establishment of the Other Foundation to ensure the sustainability of LGBTI work. Although he cannot see the ongoing fruition of his work, he was able to celebrate the Other Foundation's establishment before succumbing to cancer at the age of 57.

But while Gerald was central to strengthening and broadening the LGBTI agenda, it was not his exclusive focus, he worked for an inclusive transformation of South African society, ensuring funds were channeled to organisations contributing to all aspects of reconciliation, social justice and memory.

“There is not an area of civil society work in fundamental rights, open, accountable, ethical, efficient and effective government that he did not support through the funding organisations he worked for and led,” stated Zackie Achmat in his own moving tribute to Gerald published on Ground Up.

Gerald's legacy lives on in numerous organisations but none more so than in the Other Foundation, which his foresight and vision was central in creating. As a parting gift, he bequethed a financial gift to the Foundation that we hope to use to start building an endowment for the Foundation.

For a inspirational account of this particular aspect of Gerald's work, read Carla Sutherland's personal recollection of the efforts Gerald made to establish The Other Foundation at www.theotherfoundation.org/our-team/.

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The Other Foundation is grateful for the support it has received from
dreilinden arcus-foundation astraea atlantic-philanthropies

SIPHOKAZI MTHATHI, ISE BOSCH, MELODY MEMELA, BARBARA WRIGHT, SYLVESTER CHAUKE, GERALD KRAAK, JON STRYKER, SLOBODAN RANDEJELOVIC, GRAHAM PATRICK, SHEKESHE MOKGOSI, LORING MCALPIN, LAURIE ADAMS, HARRIET TOLPUTT, MAKGABO MAMABOLO, TERRENCE MECK, DAVID RYAN, BRETON ALBERTI, LEE-ANN CHAIN, MICHAEL FIELD, JEFF ARNSTEIN, ZETHU NKAMBULE, DNA BRAND SOLUTIONS, REID WILLIAMS, NOXOLO HLONGWANE, KAITLIN DAVID, MICHAEL ADEE, CHRISTOPH MINKE, NEDBANK PRIVATE WEALTH, MIRRIAM EDDING, TRACY GARY, INKA VON STERNEFELS, JAY BADZA, JODY COLE, NEVILLE GABRIEL, RHINO AFRICA TOURS, MARIUS VOS, NDUMISO MNGOMEZULU, SUE SOAL, CARLA SUTHERLAND, BARBARA BOHLE, EMMA KAYE, MARION GREEN-THOMPSON, ODETTE RAMSINGH, ZINI GODDEN, DEAN EBDEN.

TT1087/2013 / Hugo CANHAM [South Africa] | Isabella MATAMBANADZO [Zimbabwe] | Alice MOGWE [Botswana] | Xhanti PAYI [South Africa] | Shaun SAMUELS [South Africa] | Patricia WATSON [South Africa] | Neville GABRIEL (CEO)

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