Bandy Kiki, who is the first LGBTQ activist from Southern Cameroon, has been constantly under attack for advocating for LGBTQ rights and speaking against the discrimination of gay people in Cameroon.
The UK-based LGBTQ activist who is also a successful blogger decided to use her impressive platform to engage with LGBTQ rights in Cameroon after suffering from repeated homophobic slurs online.
Her open approach towards LGBTQ rights in Cameroon attracted the attention of Lady Hailes, Irene Major, who made her part of Gays In Africa (GIA), a foundation aiming at making it safe for LGBTQ people in Africa to live productive and open lives. Working with GIA gave Bandy Kiki access to hundreds of LGBTQ people in Cameroon who are constantly living in fear of persecution.
With a clear understanding of the traumatic effects and abuse faced by LGBTQ people in 74 countries in the world, Bandy Kiki took her activism further by co-founding Rainbow Equality Hub with a British lawyer, Matthew Burn. Rainbow Equality Hub is a UK-based organization that supports and develops agendas for LGBTQ minority asylum seekers and refugees in the UK.
The death penalty for being gay or lesbian exists in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan and Mauritania and parts of Nigeria and Somalia. Imprisonment and/or corporal punishment for being gay and/or lesbian exists in 76 countries and 5 country regions around the globe.
The UK adheres to the European Convention on Human Rights which prevents the Home Office from sending back someone to a country where there is a real risk of LGBTQ people being subjected to torture, inhuman and/or degrading treatment or punishment.
LGBTQ people who have fled persecution and either seek or have already been granted asylum in the UK often need as much support as possible, and that is where Rainbow Equality Hub enters the scene.
Rainbow Equality Hub creates social activities and events for LGBTQ minority refugees to bond with individuals in their very same or similar situations. In collaboration with other organizations and establishments, Rainbow Equality Hub supports and creates development opportunities for LGBTQ minority asylum seekers or refugees to become productive members of the British society as they settle down.
Although it is still in its early stages, Rainbow Equality Hub has already succeeded in rallying the support of several reputable LGBTQ organizations globally.
This is all the more important as a massive increase of LGBTQ people seeking asylum in the UK has been recorded during the past few years. 1,115 people cited sexuality as a reason for seeking refuge according to the most recent figures in 2014. That represents a steep rise as compared to 2009 when there were merely 200 cases relating to sexuality.
Bandy Kiki’s social media pages
Rainbow Equality Hub social media pages