Wotever Sanctuary House in Uganda

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Since May 2015 Wotever World have paid rent for a sanctuary house for our LGBTQ friends in Uganda. We pay in arnd £150 a month and we raise this via our crew and audience members. We shake the bucket once a month at Bar Wotever and this normally helps covering it ok. But if you want to help by donating online, please feel free to do so. It's mates helping mates out...

Eventually we will do something bigger re this and we have linked up with Rainbow Riots to help LGBTQ peeps in Uganda better. More about Rainbow Riots here:

Until we have anything else in place to help out, we continue to pay in monthly rent money to help with this house.


Wotever World was recently (april 2015) approached by a brave young man, S-, who is trying to help his friends stay safe. They currently occupy an (increasingly rare) 'sanctuary' house for LGBTQI people in Uganda and were about to be evicted if they didn’t find funds soon. In addition to being a home for LGBTQI permanent residents, the house is also a rare place where LGBTQI people can come in an emergency, gather together and be safe. If they are evicted, THEY HAVE NOWHERE ELSE TO GO.


“We are worried for our lives” says S-, “It is difficult to get a job (or keep one) when people know you’re gay. We have been disowned by our parents. This house is the one place we can live with our fellow community”.

In Uganda people are arrested not only for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, but for also being accused of being LGBT, for socialising with people who are LGBT, and for renting a room to, or hosting anyone one who is perceived to be LGBT. Any local organisation that puts up a strong fight for the rights of LGBTI people is considered illegal as it is deemed ‘promotion of homosexuality’ by the law. Such mentality has promoted violent attitudes towards the LGBTI community. They have suffered eviction from their homes, loss of jobs, mob attacks in the streets and murder. LGBTI people are subject to arbitrary arrests (even when reporting crimes against themselves) and are sometimes groped or beaten while in police custody. It is no surprise therefore, that victims of public abuses are scared to report them to the police, leaving them unable to seek redress. Spaces for dialogue or awareness raising have been closed or censored and many LGBTI people are also disowned by their families.

In the past, S- and his friends managed to make a small living by selling their craftwork in a nearby market, but the local council recently demolished the market and they now have no viable way to make money.

Since the start of us collecting and helping out with money towards this Sanctuary House, they have had to change location twice due to unsafe surroundings/hostile landlords. And S - and some of his friends were beaten and held in custody when Uganda Pride 2016 got raided and broken up by police. In February 2017 S - was taken to police costody again and held for two weeks under really bad conditions, and only managed to get out via help from Amnesty Human Rights lawyer. His two attempts to leave Uganda and seek Visa have been rejected.

Spring 2018: S- have finished his first semester at University doing a degree in international relations and human rights. 'This will help me to grow into a human rights defender and would love to continue working on lgbt rights internationally.' He says.

So, we know our help mean something for a group of people who otherwise would have it tougher to survive and thrive...

Do you want to help out too?

Here is what you can do,

We want to do what we can to keep our LGBTQI brothers and sisters safe. We have pledged to raise more funds for ongoing support of the safe house, so that they can remain there. The rent amounts to no more than £150 per month, plus we pay extra for electricity and other essentials when we can. You can donate what you can/feel like. Know this is going directly to the LGBT Sanctuary House in Uganda and those who stay there.

If you would like to help ensure that S- and others like him have somewhere safe to live, or to retreat to in times of real emergency, you can donate here via this page.


In solidarity, and with peace and love,

Ingo Cando & Wotever World

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