Monthly Archive June 2017

ByNyarwek

Germany becomes 23rd country to approve gay marriage

Germany-Approves-Gay-Marriage

Germany Approves Gay Marriage

Berlin: Germany on Friday became the 23rd country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, after lawmakers passed a bill in a snap vote that was approved by Chancellor Angela Merkel just four days ago.

The initiative, which delivers full rights to same-sex couples, including on adoption, was propelled through Germany’s Bundestag (parliament) with the backing of 393 lawmakers to 226 against, reported international media sources.

“Progress is possible. As the 23rd country on earth, we now have marriage equality in Germany. I’m happy for all the married couples-to-be,” wrote Martin Schulz on Twitter, whose Social Democratic Party (SPD) seized on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision on Monday to allow the vote.

Germany now joins 13 other European countries such as the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and Ireland, which already have same-sex marriage laws in place.

ByNyarwek

SRHR are Human Rights

LGBTI Righta are Human Rights

Human rights are universal and ought to be respected no matter the age, gender or state of mind. This cumulatively includes Health rights and freedom of choice and expression, therefore access to health services should be open and accessible to every person.

 

In this write up I would like to relate to the health challenges and difficulties special interest groups go through every day while other have the same at their convenience. For example, how would we achieve the HIV eradication objective when we choose selectively who and what to involve the different interventions whilst every category and class of people are affected by this scourge.

 

Would it not be hypocrisy to fight new infections while overlooking the most at risk groups of the populace? If we are all equal before God, who are we to judge who can access medication and who cannot!

 

The LGBTIQ is a population that is very much existent within, they are our brothers, sisters, parents or even people we hold in highest esteem in the society and we cannot just wash away the fact of their existence and need for proper healthcare access. Due to their sexual identity, their sexual practices may not be conforming to the status quo and this increases the need for specialized healthcare to this group. Why then would the society find it hard to allow access to healthcare if we are for the real fight?

As we delve into some of the challenges facing this group of hardworking community, we must be aware that most of this challenges are caused by the societies unwillingness to accept and embrace diversity in our very diverse society. All these can be solved and changed when we focus on the societal wellbeing other than individual characters.

The challenges may include:

 

Some healthcare providers do not know their patients’ sexual orientation therefore treat them as heterosexuals

 

Fear of stigmatization prevents people from identifying as LGBTIQ, this hinders proper health care

 

Some providers do not have proper information on the community

 

Some health experts assume that lesbians are not at risk of cervical cancer

 

Prior negative experience prevents them from seeking health services

 

The above challenges are lifestyle challenges that are deeply embedded in our society, they can be changed if we embrace human rights as universal and respect them as a whole. This increases productivity in every individual, bolstering the fight against HIV and other STDs, eventually this increases the national GDP, as the former president Mwai Kibaki would put it “A healthy nation is a wealthy nation”.

FACT: What a person does in their bedroom and how they identify themselves has nothing to do with access to proper healthcare.

 

by Davis Owillah

Email: kowilahdavis17@gmail.com

ByNyarwek

Tanzania Threatens Crackdown On LGBTI Advocates

 

Tanzania has threatened to arrest and expel activists, as well as deregister all non-governmental organisations that campaign for gay rights.

Homosexuality is a criminal offence in the country, where the law states that suspects convicted of having "carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature" could face up to 30 years in jail.

 

Tanzania's Home Affairs Minister Mwigulu Nchemba said both domestic and foreign campaigners for gay rights would now face punitive measures in the country.

"Those who want to campaign for gay rights should find another country that allows those things," Nchemba said in the capital Dodoma.

 

"If we establish that any organisation registered in our country is campaigning for gay rights ... I will deregister that organisation. If a Tanzanian national is doing that campaign, we will arrest him and take him to court ... and if it is a foreigner, we will immediately order him to leave the country."

 

The planned crackdown comes amid repeated warnings against "immoral behaviors" by President John Magufuli, who is nicknamed "the Bulldozer" for pushing through his policies.

FILE - Tanzania Home Affairs Minister

ByNyarwek

Police Sensitization Success

 for blog

I am a brother, I am a son and a friend to many and I am proud to be whom I am. It has taken me courage to come out of the closet about my sexuality but shocking enough it has made me go through the worst that life can offer but I have survived thanks to Nyarwek Network because they came to my rescue when no one else did. When my step mother came to know about my sexuality, she grew cold and kept me under house arrest from 2nd of May till 5th of June. During this time, I lost hope and was depressed because I felt as if no one loved me. I felt as if I needed peoples’ approval to be me. I will not lie I was so angry towards myself, the world and everyone else and to some point I even thought maybe death would not be a such bad thing. This is whom I am why can’t I be just accepted?

 

During the house arrest I was denied breakfast and lunch and the only meal that I got was dinner and somehow, I think it is because my prayers were being answered. Every evening I would receive a beating and this would leave my whole body aching. This affected me psychologically and made me wonder why all these things were happening to me. My health deteriorated very fast but no one seemed to care. I was denied medical attention. Sometimes I would manage to steal my mother’s phone and make a call for help but no one came to my rescue. Day in day out I hoped that someone somewhere would come to help. It was not until I remembered Nyarwek Network and looked for their number from one of my note books and when I got the opportunity I called and Nyarwek security personnel (Mr. Maureen Ochieng and Mr. Collins) came in to investigate. They found my health was terrible and we arranged to sneak out to a safe house for security purposes as relocation was being arranged.

 

I stayed at the safe house from  8th of June till 14th of the same month. For the first time in a long time I felt loved wanted and safe, finally I belonged. I was so excited when I was moved to the new location.

 

Later on, 15th of June my mother came to the safe house with claims that I was staying there with Maureen and she was accompanied by three police men. I called Nyarwek and KASH security response team. The police had already begun the house search by the time KASH team was arriving but were forced to stop when Nyarwek security officer arrived. She pointed out to the police that they had no search warrant hence it was illegal. The policemen, in fear, asked us to move to Kondele police post as they thought the lady from Nyarwek was police officer of a higher rank.

 

The case was dismissed at the police post since I had committed no crime. The officer in charge explained to mother that being an LGBTI is not a reason for an arrest. Despite this, she promised to seek revenge claiming that she lost the case because the response team came from donor funded organization, I later was informed that the police officers at the station were sensitized/trained on human rights by Nyarwek Network and how to handle LGBT issues.

 

 

On my way back to the safe house my mother gave me a call to apologize. I believe in forgiveness and I thought finally she wanted to reconcile with me. I was willing to put all that she had done behind me. I decided to go back home and no sooner had I reached the house than she locked me up again. I was not able to go to my planned destination. I felt betrayed by the world and I remember asking myself over and over again whether there was still any hope left for me.

 

That same night, at around 8pm, some goons arrived at my home and attacked me. I assumed mother had sent them to teach me a lesson. I remember that night as if it was yesterday. I remember opening the door only to be met by a slap so hard that my face became numb. I remember feeling as though I had gone deaf on one side. I was kicked and pushed from the back and fell at the door. I remember debating on whether I should fight back or I should take flight. It was raining outside and I told myself its either now or never. I got up and I ran so fast without looking back. I went so fast am sure those who saw me thought a lion was hunting me down for dinner.

 

I got refuge in an old woman’s house where I asked her to assist me with her phone and called Nyarwek Network Executive Director Daniel Peter. When the phone was received I was out of breath, sacred and the rain was so heavy that the one on the receiving end could not hear me well so he asked to send a text message. Within a short period, I got a call from Maureen Ochieng, a security personnel in Nyarwek Network, asking to come for me and I agreed. After waiting for a while we heard a knock on the door, she had sent four men to come pick me up on her behalf. I was hesitant because at this point I had issues trusting people and when the old woman noticed this she refused and said I shall not leave until Maureen comes for me. We patiently waited for Maureen to come and when she did I left with them.

 Nyarwek blog picture

Once again, I felt safe, loved and I belong. Wait I actually knew that I belong and I was proud to be whom I am. Forever I am and will always be thankful to ED Daniel of Nyarwek for his kindness, Maureen Ochieng from Security Nyarwek and Mr. Collins who is also from Nyarwek.

 

 Nyarwek Network ensured I got two months house rent and deposit, upkeep and relocation fee. I now love my new home, I am now a happy and free soul and I know I belong.

 

 

ByNyarwek

EJAF PROJECT

EJAF PROJECT INITIATION

 

EJAF PROJECT initiation to the CHMT and LGBT member person in Kakamega Bungoma and Vihiga.

OUTCOME 

Safe space identification in Kakamega, Bungoma and Vihiga.

We were able to identify safe spaces for each of the above counties putting into consideration security and its proximity to where most members stay.

Integration facilities were identified

This includes Hospitals and Clinics where most members frequent or consider to be friendly.

Identification of Hotspots was conducted

This is were members perceive to be safe and prefer to hang out in.

 Popularization of Utunzi Security System

The UTUNZI platform receives violation reports and requests for assistance from LGBTIQ at risk in Kenya through SMS (Safaricom short-code 22069); email (report@utunzi.com); Twitter(@UtunziNetwork); Facebook (Utunzi: Rainbow Security Network) or through direct entry on the website via Utunzi report page.

ByNyarwek

Redesigned Pride Flag

A pride flag with additional black and brown stripes above the rest of the rainbow. The stripes represent LGBT individuals of color, a group that can often be overlooked within the overall LGBT umbrella.The flag was unveiled at a recent Pride Month kick-off event in Philadelphia as part of a new campaign, More Color More Pride, which aims to recognize nonwhite LGBT communities as part of the broader pride movement, starting with the most visible and widely-recognized symbol of the LGBT community.

Philadelphia may be first city to symbolically recognize racism within LGBTQ community.

New flag adds black and brown stripes to represent LGBTQ people of color.

LGBTIQ NEW FLAG