LGBT Voice Tanzania provides a wide range of services to support the LGBTQ+ community in Tanzania.
We believe in a fair and equal society where all LGBTQ+ people can achieve their full potential. Our work is as vital and urgent as ever. The LGBTQ+ community still faces health inequalities, persecution and discrimination. Through our services we reduce isolation amongst our communities, help people feel safe, confident and in control of their lives, and enable people to flourish.
Every year we give a voice, provide help and offer hope to 200 people. We work in partnership with others to build strong, cohesive and acceptable LGBTQ+ communities and promote attitude change in our society. Our services and activities include:
- a range of support groups
- legal aid
- face-to-face counselling
- a sexual health program
- a substance-misuse project
- security training
- a range of guides and resources
- a national website
- trauma counselling
- temporary shelter and emergency support
- policy advocacy
1. Political Advocacy
Through the following political work for LGBT human rights in Tanzania, we seek to improve the understanding and recognition of an inclusive and diverse perception of gender identity and sexual orientation:
• Protecting and promoting LGBT’s human rights. We advocate for recognition, acceptance, respect and protection of LGBTQ+ people as guaranteed in Tanzania’s constitution.
• Mobilization of support for LGBT’s rights at grassroots level through networking and empowerment of community based organizations (CBOs).
• Monitoring policies and legislation that infringe upon LGBTQ+ human rights and sharing that information with the global community.
• Establishing community networks to promote and advocate for LGBT’s human rights.
• Training in leadership and advocacy for public advocates on LGBTQ+’s human rights. We educate local leaders and influential people on how to combat anti-LGBT ignorance and prejudice. Everyone needs to know LGBTQ+ are normal people, not dangerous and immoral.
• Eradication of discrimination and violations of LGBT rights through legal and policy reform. One of our greatest goals is to repeal the penal code (section 154) that criminalizes homosexuality.
2. Health Care Access
Have you, or has a member of your family, ever been seriously ill? Imagine, for a moment, the pain and frustration of being refused treatment at a hospital or clinic, simply because of who you are.
Millions of LGBTQIA+ people in Tanzania do not have access to quality health services, including HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support, due to prejudice based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Denying health care access in Tanzania, including HIV prevention and treatment, is simply unjust.
Free LGBT Clinic Project
LGBT Voice works in partnership with health providers who run LGBT+ friendly facilities in Dar es Salaam that provide the following free quality health services to LGBT+ people who do not access services due to homophobia based on their sexual orientation:
- HIV testing
- TB screening
- treatment care
- free condoms
- HIV-prevention education
- physical and emotional support
This is the only way we can help and ensure that LGBT people access free quality health services.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
It isn’t always easy to know what constitutes as trauma in a true psychological sense, but it’s typically defined as a sudden, expected event that is life threatening in nature of someone.
LGBTQIA+ people impacted by unjust arrests, detention and torture in Tanzania need mental health and wellbeing to rebuild their lives because trauma have very negative and distressing effects on their families, relationships, work and career, and quality of life.
That’s why LGBT Voice Tanzania plays a major role of providing free trauma-informed care to individuals impacted by unjust arrests, detention and torture to help them cope with the emotional response caused by traumatic incidents they experienced.
3. Crisis Aid / Emergency Support
When a person is evicted from his or her dwelling by a landlord simply because of anti-LGBTQ+ prejudice, we negotiate with the landlord for additional time, so that we can help the person find new accommodations, or provide a temporary shelter for those who are in need.
When parents or relatives throw a person out of their home for who they are, we help them find a new place to live and avoid homelessness.
When a LGBT student is expelled from school for discriminatory reasons, we help them obtain private classes and sit for their exams as private candidates. Without our intervention, these bright young people would not complete their education.
If the situation becomes intolerable for a LGBT person in Tanzania, we help them obtain asylum in other countries.
We file claims and attempt to gain compensation for employees who were fired from their jobs solely because of anti-LGBT discrimination. Although we have won compensation from one employer, your donation will help us hire a legal officer to prosecute more of these cases.
We’ve managed to force the police to drop false charges that were filed against several gay men, simply because they were gay.
4. Free Legal Aid
LGBTQ+ persons in Tanzania constantly face stigma and discrimination, harassment and arbitrary arrests, alienation from family and faith, and lack of access to social services including health, justice, housing, education, and dignified livelihoods.
LGBT Voice Tanzania hires lawyers who provides free legal Aid to LGBTQ+ people who are victims of unjust arrest, torture, detention and violence.
Our lawyers help file claims and attempt to gain compensation for employees who were fired from their jobs solely because of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination.
5. Education Through Media
LGBT Voice Tanzania acts as both watchdog and advocate to the media, empowering real people to share their stories, while holding the media accountable for the words and images they present. As more Tanzanians see our stories in newspapers, on our website and social media sites, or in entertainment media, they will grow to respect and understand our community, paving the way to full equality.
Why are we so optimistic?
At LGBT Voice Tanzania, we believe that people are basically fair. When they see LGBT people and hear our stories, they will come to understand that this is about people just like them – their brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends – who deserve to be accepted, respected, and valued. LGBT Voice Tanzania will continue to bring this message to Tanzanians, in one newspaper article, one TV character, one story at a time.
LGBT Voice Tanzania reaches media insiders, but also impacts millions by uncovering and sharing the stories of hate crimes and injustices.
Educating Community Leadership
In Tanzania, widespread misinformation and misperception about homosexuality encourages oppression and violence towards those of us who are LGBT. The fear of rejection and isolation from family, community, employer, or school, along with the threat of imprisonment, causes many LGBT to keep their sexual orientation hidden. This leads to devastating consequences–not only for the individuals who do not access HIV-preventive education, contraception, testing, and care, but for the entire community.
We must educate and equip our community leaders to combat this cycle of blame and shame, and increase understanding and acceptance of homosexuality. In 2010, we organized training for more than 30 local leaders. Your support of our mission makes this education, and change, possible.