Sivelongly, a transgender woman, shares about her life at the fourth “LGBTI people in business” monthly meeting. She said that “After receiving support from MRI for over a year, I have paid all my private debt and I have more savings”.
On 11th November 2017, Micro Rainbow International organised the fourth monthly “LGBTI people in business” meeting and reached out to LGBTI people in Phnom Penh who dream of stepping out of poverty but do not have the opportunity to do so. Ten LGBTI people attended the meeting.
MRI’s mission is to create tools, programmes, and policy recommendations that enable LGBTI people to step out of poverty, everywhere. A strategic objective is to facilitate not only the provision of financial resources to those LGBTI people who are in poverty, are excluded from accessing formal financial services and wish to start a small business, but also training, mentoring and coaching. The monthly “LGBTI people in business” meetings in Cambodia are key in achieving this mission and provide an opportunity for peer learning and support.
MRI believes that many LGBTI people in Cambodia (and across the world) are more vulnerable to poverty because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity or intersex status. However, MRI’s poverty reduction programme in Cambodia shows that LGBTI people trapped in poverty can break the cycle if they are given the opportunity and that this in turn can change negative social attitudes towards LGBTI people.
The new LGBTI participants are very excited to get to know each other and MRI’s project in Cambodia. They said that MRI feels like a “life partner” who strongly supports them to step out of poverty.