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  September 2021
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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 advance equality and social inclusion of homosexual and bisexual women and men, as well as transgender and intersex people - and we give support in a smart way that helps groups to work better for lasting change.
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World Pride Copenhagen 2021 africa-icon
Photo by Ewa Godd on  Copenhagen 2021 WorldPride & EuroGames
The Other Foundation joined the globe in celebrating and commemorating World Pride Copenhagen 2021, which aimed to pave the way to a more inclusive and equal world. World Pride was an opportunity to amplify the voice and visibility of the work happening in our region towards freedom and equality, and the Other Foundation participated to give voice and visibility to the ongoing work in our region at this global event.

Southern Africa is at a tipping point of change in the recognition of the fundamental human rights of LGBTI people. Almost half the countries in the region have decriminalized homosexual sex or are in the process of reviewing laws that discriminate against LGBTI people, through voluntary legal reform or challenges in the courts. The momentum of LGBTI activism in the region that has yielded significant progress towards equality, freedom and social inclusion in previous years has stalled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Work still needs to be done to achieve just and democratic societies, where everyone is free to live a safe and dignified life, have a family and make their contribution to society.

World Pride Copenhagen 2021 presented a unique, catalytic opportunity to contribute to advancing several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially those on safe, inclusive and resilient communities, achieving gender equality, social and political inclusion to reduce inequality, access to justice, non-discriminatory laws and inclusive institutions. Click here to see what we did for World Pride 2021.

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Where the Money Goes africa-icon
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An Islam that is Compassion Centred
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Photo by Shweta Sengur on India Times
Misinterpretations of texts in the Quran are used to justify homophobia and transphobia in the Muslim community. Although queer people are protected under South African Law, many Muslim communities are still ignorant about sexual orientation and gender identity issues. The Al-Ghurbaah Foundation is an organization working to change this reality by giving support to individuals who are marginalized within the Muslim Community.

The teaching that homosexuality is a major sin punishable by death can lead queer Muslims to unhealthy ways of negotiating their religious beliefs, with their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Many lead double lives or are forced into marriage to conceal their true identities. Al-Ghurbaah works to promote an Islam that is inclusive and centres compassion, to eradicate religiously motivated homophobia and transphobia, and to improve the acceptance of queer Muslims by their families and communities. It has held training of religious leaders and individuals to shift the paradigms of understanding of sexual diversity in Islam, and provided safe spaces for queer Muslims to help them reconcile their sexualities and their faith.

The Other Foundation supported the work of Cape Town based, Al-Ghurbaah Foundation with a grant of ZAR100,000 in 2020.

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There will be no Limiting our Rights!
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Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash
Trans and gender diverse persons continue to be marginalized in the LGBTI and broader South African community. Despite South Africa’s progressive Constitution, there is a general exclusion of some human rights when it comes to those of trans and gender diverse people causing inequalities. The Legal Resources Centre in partnership with Gender DynamiX are working together to systematically and intentionally challenge the exclusion of trans and gender diverse persons in Law, increase their visibility, and realise equality and non-discrimination as entrenched in the South African Constitution.

Sexual orientation, gender identity or any other identities may not be used as a ground to limit an individual’s entitlement to all the human rights which accrue to them. The lack of protection of trans and gender diverse persons against stigma, discrimination and violence is apparent in the continued failure to adequately distinguish, recognise and protect their human rights related to gender identity and gender expression and bodily diversity and autonomy. Legal advice, workshops and training on strategic litigation and advocacy will promote the knowledge of human rights so that trans and gender diverse people realize their human rights in the manner intended for everyone by the South African Constitution.

This initiative by the Legal Resources Centre and Gender DynamiX received ZAR200,000 in support from the Other Foundation in 2020.

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All Genders. All Sexual Orientations.
All Sex Characteristics. One Voice.
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Photo by Josh Rocklage on Unsplash
Sexual and gender minorities in Namibia have not yet successfully managed to build a strong movement that can change the social and political landscape through a coordinated and comprehensive response. Existing LGBTI programming has been informed by a “Key Populations” public health approach which aims to address the health needs of the most vulnerable groups in societies. However, this approach has done little in advancing all the human rights of sexual and gender minorities as citizens of Namibia. A new collective has emerged to encourage and assist a more wholistic LGBTI programming approach in the country within a broad human rights agenda.

The Diversity Alliance of Namibia (DAN) is an intersectional movement working to reclaim equality for LGBTIQ+ persons, sex workers and feminists within the broader human rights agenda. It envisions a collective action around a cohesive and coordinated national strategy to address and redress the legal barriers that contribute to social discrimination of sexual and gender diverse persons and movements in Namibia. DAN aims to institutionalize itself as a vehicle to build the movement, coordinate and support action, and carry this encompassing agenda. Through the appointment of a coordinator to oversee the implementation of an operational plan and five-year strategic plan, DAN will encourage and assist LGBTI programming in Namibia to fall within a broad human rights agenda, and pursue joint outcomes for its 10 member organisations.

A grant of ZAR200,000 from the Other Foundation was awarded to help the establishment of DAN in 2019.

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Meet Our Team africa-icon
Sophia Masina

Sophia Masina

Sophia joined our team from Shamrock Prints in Benoni South Africa, where she worked as a printer for ten years, and previously worked in several informal jobs. Sophia maintains a pleasant and welcoming environment for our team and all visitors to our foundation, and provides support during our events and gatherings.

Samuel Shapiro

Samuel Shapiro

Samuel is the former national organizer of Equal Education, the social justice campaign for equitable and good quality education in South Africa. He was previously Equal Education’s senior researcher. Samuel has worked across all parts of South Africa to establish community structures and train activists for campaigning, backed by a strong focus on building a body of data and evidence.

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Resources africa-icon
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A Sub-Saharan Africa LGBTI Safety Guide
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National Diverse Women’s Association (NDWA) of Namibia, and The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERS) in Nigeria have collaborated in developing a Sub-Saharan Africa LGBTI Safety Guide for the LGBTI community. The guide has been developed to assist LGBTI persons and their families and friends to access information that will help them safely navigate the digital space and protect themselves.

The guide has been developed for Facebook which is one of the most popular social networks in Africa for the LGBTI community. Social media is often the only space for LGBTI people to make connections, particularly in countries where same-sex sexual activities are criminal. Even so, LGBTI people continue to experience homophobia and various forms of discrimination online, including hate speech, blackmail and state-sponsored brutality. It is important that LGBTI people and their allies remember that they are not powerless, by reading the guide and learning about the various ways in which they can protect their rights and safety.

The guide is available for Namibia, Nigeria and South Africa with more African countries to be added.

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The Safe To Be Me Fund
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The Baring Foundation is a United Kingdom based independent foundation which protects and advances human rights, and promotes inclusion. It believes in the role of a strong, independent civil society nationally and internationally and it uses its resources to enable civil society to work with people experiencing discrimination and disadvantage.

To this end, the Baring Foundation has made available a resource that calls for the creation of a new UK supported fund – the Safe To Be Me Fund – to resource local LGBTI+ civil society and support the progression of global LGBTI+ rights. Produced by Equal International with contributions from government donors, private foundations and civil society worldwide, Safe To Be Me Fund provides an update & evidence on the increasingly urgent case for greater UK support for global LGBTI+ rights. It then goes a step further by outlining the steps which the UK Government can take to demonstrate international leadership in safeguarding and promoting LGBTI+ rights.

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The Other Foundation is grateful for the support it has received from:
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T1087/2013G | 168-094NPO | PBO930056168
Miguel DE BRITO [Mozambique] | Nalumino LIKWASI [Zambia] | Isabella MATAMBANADZO [Zimbabwe]
Alice MOGWE [Botswana] | Alan MSOSA [Malawi] | Xhanti PAYI [South Africa] |
Paula SEBASTIAO [Angola] | Caine YOUNGMAN [Botswana] | Neville GABRIEL (CEO)

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