Grow Economic Justice

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The entrepreneurs investment program is one component of a holistic initiative designed and deployed by The Africa Project of The Global Justice Institute to mobilize the United States to support gay liberation movements in Africa.

A CRITICAL NEED

Ugandan LGBTI Community:

The community is under siege in the wake of the introduction of the Bahati bill, which seeks to criminalize homosexuality punishable by death and forces every Ugandan to turn in anyone he or she suspects of being LGBTQ. The introduction of the bill has caused:

  • Deep economic dislocation
  • The threat of random or coordinated violence
  • Social disenfranchisement from all faith-based organizations
  • A proposed anti-pornography bill which attempts to deeply infringe on the rights of women
  • Institutionalized barriers for gay men to pursue medical care for HIV/AIDS

Project: A sustainability project for FARUQ, the largest lesbian advocacy and empowerment group.
Support The Liberty Africa Youth Foundation as they create three economic development projects: brick making, hair salon, and internet café. http://www.libertyafricayouth.com/

Rwandan LGBTI Community:

Rwanda is an important country in the African LGBTQ context as it stands as a firewall against the spread of anti-gay legislation in East Africa. Given the country’s history of genocide, the government is weary of state sanctioned “targeting” of any minority community. Supporting a robust and dynamic LGBTQ community, which is predicated on economic self-determination, helps to nourish both recipients and officials who will be more likely to hear their voices when their economic circumstances are more stable and less vulnerable.

Project: A sustainability project for HOCA, a Beauty Salon. The salon will serve a dual
purpose of: an office space for the group as well as its commercial operation.

Cote d’Ivoire (Ivorian) LGBTI Community:

Cote d’Ivoire is a French speaking country with one of the most potent economies in West Africa. Currently, there are no penal codes against homosexual behavior and there is a history of a tolerated gay community in some parts of the capitol, Abidjan. An investment in Cote d’Ivoire makes inroads into French speaking Africa and invests in what has the potential to be a stronghold of inclusion in Africa.

Project: A cyber café on the premises of Alternative’s office space.

Success thus far:

Male Samuel is a 26-year-old sugar cane grower whose family abandoned him when he was just 11 years old. He is gay. To support himself he began his own sugar cane business—growing the crop and selling it to retailers. He currently rents 3 acres of land and employs 13 people, some gay and some straight. The Global Justice Institute is partnering with Male to expand his business and his opportunity to hire more workers. Our investment of $1,500 will allow Male to rent 2 more acres of land, hire 6 new LGBTQ workers, and put a new roof over his storage barn increasing his ability to hold inventory.

Strategic Intent:

The Social Enterprise Program gives participants a “hand up” to self-sufficiency by providing seed funds to start a small business/income-producing activity. The criteria for receiving start up funds is a solid business plan, confirmation of the infrastructure needed to deploy the business, participation in courses about budgeting, sales and marketing, and business management. Additionally, participants agree to complete an economic literacy course, use their savings to capitalize on income producing activity, and donate 10% of their savings to seed new
projects.

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