OUT Wellbeing, a LGBTI health NGO based in Pretoria, received a $350,000 grant to support the rights of LGBTI individuals in South Africa at a ceremony on Monday, August17, 2015, attended by U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, Patrick Gaspard, Chilean Ambassador to South Africa, Carlos Parker, and South African Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services John Jeffery. The Global Equality Fund, a multi-donor fund supporting interventions to protect LGBTI individuals, is funding the grant.
“We applaud the LGBTI activists for their bravery and taking a stand. We want to validate the voices of these activists by granting them money to combat hate crimes so that their rights are protected. President Obama said in Kenya, that he believes in the principle of treating people equally under the law, and this is exactly why we support LGBTI activists to ensure that they are not discriminated against based on their sexual orientation.” said Ambassador Patrick Gaspard.
The Global Equality Fund is a multi-donor initiative in the LGBTI sector launched by then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in December 2011 and managed by the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. The Global Equality Fund supports programs advancing the human rights of LGBTI persons worldwide. To date, the Fund has provided over $20 million in assistance in over 50 countries. Current partners of the fund include: Chile, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the Arcus Foundation, the John D. Evans Foundation, LLH: the Norwegian LGBT Organization, the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund, Hilton Worldwide, the Royal Bank of Canada, Deloitte LLP, Out Leadership, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The grant will support OUT to work with six partner NGOs in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Western Cape to strengthen the ability of community-based organizations to report hate crimes against the LGBTI community, provide safe spaces for LGBTI activists to gather and increase civil society participation in the South African Department of Justice and Correctional Services-led National Intervention Strategy for the LGBTI sector.