In her article, "Indomitable activist," Andrea Houston writes:
Ugandan gay rights activist Andrew Waiswa lives under constant threat of persecution, always worrying police will find the secret location of gay safe houses and bust down the doors.
… (Waiswa has given me permission to write his full name. In fact, he insisted on it. He knows the risk but says making himself visible to the world is the only way his voice can be heard.)
"I set up the safe houses because I could not stand the pain of being picked up by the police, thrown in a cell, questioned and treated badly," he says. "For gay people, it’s torment when you think you’ll be arrested. Most people just hang themselves or take poison or commit suicide in any way."
GEHO does wonderful work. For example, on October 20th Andrew posted:
This coming Wednesday and Thursday, GEHO will be training 25 Police Officers on how to process cases of transgender men and women. This was on request of the police, though it was their own initiative GEHO is not only expected to facilitate the training but also provide lunch/feeding and training materials. It's a step towards acceptance, and we are all in!
At the end of October GEHO’s members were heartbroken when they had to raise funds for the burial of Noel Baganzi, “activist, a friend, a skilled person and above all a member” who was killed when he was hit by a car.
Then at the end of November 2013, Andrew was assaulted in what was probably a hate crime and he was in critical condition. He has had two operations and has had to be moved from one hospital where he was getting poor care to another. GEHO Uganda has had to raise money for his care and for continuing the work of the organization.
On Facebook, supporter Fred Kwint writes:
We cannot let our brothers and sisters in Africa alone. Too many have paid with their life already! Too many are on the run, in hiding, living their life in fear.
…With Andrew in the hospital the work of GEHO needs to continue. There is need for water and food in the safehouses and the rent needs to be paid. We can't bother Andrew with that now, so PLEASE!!!!!!!! If you can afford it, HELP!
Another friend of Andrew and GEHO wrote on 12/11/13:
URGENT: Reportedly, in his absence while in hospital, Andrew's task of servicing and maintaining the safehouses for the clients, has been interrupted. Will you please consider lending a hand?On November 4th Andrew messaged me, “Things are pretty hard right now but we have no choice out, hard times can't last forever.”
The monies are necessary for rent, food, and utilities most importantly. There are no Government-based resources for them. They are treated and considered as criminals with nowhere to turn.
BREAKING--- VIA Fred Kwint:
"Just got a textmessage from *******. He does not want to bother Andrew with it, but the situation at the (GEHO UGANDA) safehouses is bad, they need money desperately. Would you help and spread the word?"
If you are able to donate, please go to the GoFundMe page for GEHO Uganda: http://www.gofundme.com/38u6do
To find out more, visit their website: http://www.geho-uganda.org/
And their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/geho.uganda
-- Media --
"Indomitable activist" by Andrea Houston - Feb 14, 2013 - Daily (Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver)
"Stephen Fry ‘Out There’ about Gays in Uganda"
In this video British TV personality Stephen Fry examines the way gays are treated in Uganda and he confronts some of the prejudices that are widespread. Broadcast in the UK on BBC2 on 14 October 2013.
The part about Uganda starts at 17:32 but the whole video is excellent and related.
"Film explores role of US evangelism in Ugandan moves towards proposed 'kill the gays' law" by Joseph Patrick McCormick, 17th October 2013 and with film trailer: