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ACTIF Funded projects: The Right to Health and Healing

Project partners

  • Stephen Lewis Foundation – SLF (Canada)
  • Freedom and Roam Uganda – FARUG (Uganda)
  • Sexual Minorities Uganda (Uganda)
  • Ice Breakers Uganda -IBU (Uganda)
  • Men Against AIDS Youth Group – MAAYGO (Kenya)
  • HIV and AIDS People’s Alliance of Kenya – HAPA (Kenya)
  • Health Options for Young Men in HIV, AIDS & STIs – HOYMAS (Kenya)

Project description

Leaders of LGBTIQ organizations in Kenya and Uganda work and live in a context characterized by violent homophobia, legally entrenched discrimination, and political and social persecution. These human rights defenders put their safety on the line every day to stand up for the rights and health of LGBTIQ communities and to fight for a safer, freer, and more equitable future for themselves and their communities. This project, The Right to Health and Healing, responds to the immediate need for inclusive, quality mental health and well-being support for LGBTIQ leaders and community members in Kenya and Uganda. In the face of discrimination, violence, and persecution, LGBTIQ leaders and communities consistently face direct and vicarious trauma with little to no access to meaningful respite and support. Mental health is a human right, a right that these communities are denied. To address the dire need for mental health and well-being support, the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) in Canada and six Southern partners in Kenya and Uganda (FARUG, IBU, SMUG, HAPA-Kenya, HOYMAS, and MAAYGO) jointly developed this project. The goals of this project are to: Strengthen LGBTIQ organizations by investing in the professional capacity and mental health of their staff and volunteers, who in turn will be better able to respond to the needs of the communities they serve; increase access to quality mental health and well-being support for LGBTIQ. communities; facilitate collaboration among project partners, share best practices with LGBTIQ organizations throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and increase support for LGBTIQ mental health work among Canadian audiences and global stakeholders.