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Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Joined May 2022

Savie Asbl NGO LGBT PGEL is a group of rural lgbt internal displace IDP & Artists refuges LGBT and Streets sex work, Economies informelle vendor's based LGBTQ+ activists, students and professionals in

Presence in: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Focus: Ethnic / Religious Minorities' Rights, Gender-based violence, HIV/Aids, Indigenous Peoples' Rights, LGBTQI+ Rights

Savie Asbl NGO LGBT PGEL is a group of rural lgbt internal displace IDP & Artists refuges LGBT and Streets sex work, Economies informelle vendor’s based LGBTQ+ activists, students and professionals in Albinism based in the Esterner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo at Bukavu town in South-Kivu region.
Mission To accelerate reproductive health rights on minority sexual, equality, social and economic inclusion for LGBTIQ people locally by leveraging the collective advocacy and in empowering of business in way to support LGBTQ inclusive in local community.
supporting LGBTQ refugees and migrants on integrations.
Vision Reduce discrimination in the workplace against LGBTIQ people locally
Increase the number of workplaces locals that are LGBTIQ inclusive
Raise awareness among public policy makers in Democratic Republic of Congo and globally of the economic benefit of LGBTIQ inclusive policies and HiV and Aids. Leverage the power of business to use its platform ( email , social media, website and activities …) to drive legal change in Democratic Republic of Congo and worldwide where LGBTI discrimination is still legal.

People Associated With This Organization

Kashindi Shabani

Democratic Republic of the Congo  
Joined May 2022
Interests: HIV/Aids, LGBTQI+ Rights, Refugees & Migrant Rights
In early 2019, a crowd of 1,000 people burned tyres outside Bukavu’s city hall to protest against our LGBTI community to enter into market to pays or sellingentering the public market. “Go into their homes, burn them down,” one man shouted through a megaphone. 

The mob gathered after posters started appearing around town calling for homosexuality and gender diversity to be criminalised. The man behind the posters was a local pastor who regularly tells congregants and his radio show audience that LGBTI people should be banned from entering our main market and kicked out of the country.

There are no specific laws against being LGBTI in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but there’s plenty of hatred. 

Our human rights are constantly being violated on daily basics. We face arbitrary arrest for illegitimate offences, rejection from our familyies memberres and society, discrimination in employment and education, inadequate healthcare, so-called “corrective” rape, and other forms of violence. The persecution is relentless. 

The dangers we face are so extreme that many LGBTI people are scared to leave wherever they call home. For some, home is five people living in a tiny room, forced together to survive after being shunned by family memberres or evicted by homophobic or transphobic landlords.  

For many queer people here, life is misery. There’s no money because there’s no work, which means there’s no food. Wwe survive by begging in street and prostitution, some of us are sex worker'ssex work.

I fled the DRC in 1998 and moved to Ireland to seek asylum on grounds of sexual orientation as a gay man. There I worked with several NGOs and learned how to support vulnerable populations, including LGBTI communities, in exercising their human rights to healthcare, security, shelter, and emotional support. 

My two decades in Ireland were incredibly rich, but I knew my community needed me back home. The DRC government had tried to criminalise homosexuality in 2016. That effort failed, but homophobic and transphobic rhetoric and attacks were on the rise and getting worse.

I returned to Bukavu in 2017 and co-founded Savie Asbl, an NGO that fights anti-queer hatred and works to increase the number of workplaces in the DRC that are LGBTI-inclusive. We also help sexual and gender minorities access healthcare and education. 

Given the social hostilities that our LGBTI communities face, we use code numbers to identify clients and members in order to protect them from being identified and subjected to detainment, harassment, and other forms of abuse. We store sensitive information off-site to preserve anonymity and security in case our office is raided. The danger is always there. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived here in 2020, life in the DRC has become more difficult for everyone in our community.

Many LGBTI youth have been forced to isolate in hostile, homophobic environments with unsupportive family members or co-habitants as a result of lockdown
Kashindi Shabani is the network champion (main point of contact) for Savie Asbl NGO LGBT PGEL DRC.

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