Micro Rainbow International’s (MRI’s) vision is to create a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people are free from discrimination, persecution and have equal opportunities in life, including in accessing employment, training, financial services and housing.
MRI’s mission is to create innovative programmes and make policy recommendations that not only enable LGBTI people to step out of poverty but also improve LGBTI rights everywhere.
- To facilitate 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.
- To facilitate access to employment, for LGBTI people in poverty.
- To research and better understand the relationship between poverty and sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex status; to make recommendations that might alleviate poverty and improve LGBTI rights.
- Many LGBTI people across the world are more vulnerable to poverty and isolated because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity or intersex status.
- LGBTI people trapped in poverty can break the poverty cycle if they are given the opportunity.
- Addressing poverty contributes to changing social attitudes towards LGBTI people and securing better rights
MRI's unique approach
- We focus on LGBTI people and their families only, a population that we know well;
- We do not provide micro-finance directly, we work with Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) that already exist and develop innovative models that work for the LGBTI community; we maximise the supply chain that already exists whenever we can;
- We do not deliver in-country activities alone, we only work in partnership with local LGBTI NGOs to deliver them;
- We add value and resources: we offer LGBTI people in poverty and local LGBTI NGOs training, coaching, guidance and we connect them with training and financial providers who can offer them additional support; we often channel financial resources directly to local LGBTI NGOs.
- We use the unique data we gather locally to work at the UN in partnership with lobbying and advocacy INGOs, to support the work of governmental agencies for development and most importantly to change social attitudes.
- We provide hope and additional resources, but not charity;
- We do not persuade or motivate people to help themselves;
- We speak, consult and research with local communities, continuously;
- In each country, we work in partnership with local partners or not at all;
- We understand that social change takes time, and that is ok;
- We maximise and make full use of existing resources whenever possible;
- We believe that professionalism, efficiency, financial health and changing the world can go together
Big numbers look good and we hope to achieve them, however each individual that works with us is important to us and our focus is in changing people’s lives, one at the time.