Lack Of Resources And Capacity Building Support Towards The Realisation of The Human Rights of LGBT People In Ghana

cepehrg-300x80The Centre for Popular Education and Human Rights Ghana (CEPEHRG) is the one and only LGBT led organization working actively in Ghana since the year 1998. The organization strives for equal rights for all persons including LGBT persons in a hostile environment where political, religious and some traditional leaders have threatened to lynch anyone found to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Trans.

Apart from the numerous religious, social, cultural, and political barriers, CEPEHRG identifies a huge necessity for resources and capacity-building support. Endeavoring to organize around health and rights in a hostile environment without funds, materials and skills creates a situation ripe for burnout.

Comprehensive and systematic capacity-building programs on LGBT issues do not exist for CEPEHRG staff and other actors with interventions for MSM and more.

Funds from USAID and the Global Fund are channeled towards the mainstream groups thereby making it difficult for LGBT’s to receive such support to improve lives and fund initiatives. For security reasons, community visits by staff and volunteers are mostly done in the evenings and we have to walk back to the stations to board public transport or get a taxi.

The little that comes to us to fund our programs does not look holistically at our well-being as but only focuses on condoms and lubricants distribution while other important issues for our community such as human rights and other health services are left in the background. We are concerned by the impact these limitations have on the quality of services, check-ups and follow-ups because of the inadequacy of the very basic services being given to our community. We also need programs that will focus on movement building, entrepreneurial and skill building trainings, since these will give the community the opportunity to be competitive on the job market.

Our community hopes the future grants for HIV and human rights programs will focus more on the building of capacities of local LGBT organizations to enable them run well-planned and sustainable strategic interventions that will improve the lives of our people and community.

Building LGBT leadership talent has to become an ingrained part and a priority for not just organizations individually, but for the LGBT movement as a whole. CEPEHRG is therefore appealing to grant makers that are supporting LGBT organizations and the broader movement for equality, for funds and other resources to build the capacity of its staff and to carry out the interventions needed to expand our coverage and services to address the needs of the Ghanaian LGBT community.