Refugee Trans Initiative is a transgender led Organization in Kenya that aims at improving the needs and rights of transgender refugees through advocacy and shelter that houses transgender rights defenders at risks. The shelter acts as a home for transgender refugees who flee persecution and those who have been subjects to trans-phobic attacks within their community.
This has been a long journey filled with obstacles and challenges that we look forward to work on making them limited such as:
Refugee Trans Initiative’s previous activities & interventions:
Refugee Trans Initiatives has been able to start up a community safehouse that not only provides shelter and resources for transgender refugees but also seek to protect transgender refugees against physical and sexual violence, extortion by authorities and private citizens (including blackmail), forced eviction, domestic and intimate partner violence, and psychological violence including discrimination, harassment, and threats.
Refugee Trans Initiatives has gone an extra mile to creating a relationship with the; local organizations that fights for the rights of LGBTQ and refugees. Some of the partners we work with are: HOYMAS who acts as a referral clinic for transgender sex workers who are members of our shelter and organization, this makes it possible for transgender refugees too seek and get medical/health services without worry of being judged or discriminated upon. We also partner with JINSIANGU as not only our fiscal host but also the first on the loop when it comes to transgender right implementations, this gives us the know of how to react when it comes to legal matters challenging transgender rights.
As Refugee Trans Initiatives we have been able to carry out numbers of trainings and researches with help of partner organizations for our members. Through these trainings and psychosocial supports we have been able to equip transgender refugees with information and knowledge about the transition process (including hormone treatment). Provided counselling in both family plan-based manner and support groups thus curbing the number of cases of mental breakdowns and suicide among transgender refugees.
Through Refugee Trans Initiative social media platform, we have been able to campaign for our transgender sisters/brothers at the Kakuma refugees camp and also supplied them with basic needs such as food/clean water/medical needs and clothing. Making them feel less left out, thus boosting their moral to challenge the next day at the refugee camp as they wait to be processed for resettlement.
Through our resources we have been able to respond to about 50 cases of transgender refugees being arrested and shelters being raided by police officers trying to extort money from them.