In over 70 countries across the world homosexuality is still illegal. In many of these countries, LGBTI people face imprisonment or the death penalty. They are subject to persecution and abuse from families and members of their communities.
Each year, about 1500 LGBTI people flee their countries and claim asylum in the UK on the grounds of their sexuality, gender identity or intersex status.
After arriving in the UK, LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees are still not entirely safe.
- Whilst in Home Office provided accommodation, they are at risk of homophobic abuse by other refugees.
- They become isolated and withdrawn; leading to depression and other long-term mental health issues
- They are rejected by members of their communities, which can lead to homelessness and lack of support systems
Micro Rainbow International offers a holistic approach to the support provided to LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees.
Through our social inclusion project we run weekly peer support groups and workshops which help to build confidence and engender a great sense of community within our group.
Our economic inclusion project focuses on employability and life skills to equip LGBTI refugees with tools needed to fully integrate into society.
Our safe housing project– the first of its kind in UK – addresses the issue of homelessness faced by many LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees.
In MRI’s experience the abuse that LGBTI people face in accommodation re-traumatises them and people have reported experiencing the same fears that they felt in their home countries.
LGBTI asylum seekers have told us that rather than share accommodation where they face, or fear abuse they would risk homelessness and destitution living on the streets.
By providing LGBTI asylum seekers with safe accommodation, MRI can ensure that they are able to navigate through the long and gruesome asylum process without the fear of persecution, abuse and homelessness.
On 11th August 2018, allies and friends of MRI will take part in the Pride Run 10K to raise funds for our beneficiaries in our fight against LGBTI refugee poverty and homelessness.
Each and every one of us can play our part to support this cause by sponsoring a runner and making a donation, however great or small.
Your donation will help to:
- Provide safe housing for LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees and will positively impact on their lives in the UK.
- Furnish new homes with beds, kitchenware and other basic household essentials
- Provide emergency safe housing to the most vulnerable and in-need LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees through the MRI Foundation
Thank you all for your great support as we run to #endLGBTIhomelessness!
The MRI Team