East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) have reiterated their continued support to SMUG.
During a courtesy call to SMUG offices in Kampala EHAHRDP Executive Director Hassan Shire noted that SMUG and EHAHRDP have been partners for a very long time.
Mr Hassan Shire was pleased by the work SMUG does and admired the courage and resilience by SMUG to demonstrate in-country despite the negativity from the general society and noted that SMUG is a focal point for LGBT RIGHTS.
He said although the current structure in Uganda limits space for organizations like SMUG to operate, the option of registering from another country is not ideal urging SMUG to be patient and committed to attaining a registered status in Uganda.
Hassan Shire also introduced the Advocacy and Research Officer EHAHRDP Clementine de Montjoye.
Clementine de Montjoye congratulated SMUG on the creation of a modern and engaging website and proposed a meeting in the near future to strategize for joint communications and advocacy initiatives between the two organizations.
Dr Frank Mugisha, the Executive Director SMUG thanked Hassan for taking the time out of a busy schedule to come and visit SMUG offices.
He appreciated EHAHRDP’s long-standing partnership and support even after the passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in 2014. EHAHRDP’s support included: Funds for office relocation; Office and residential security systems; Case referrals and verification; Capacity building in form of fact-finding and digital security training.
Programs Director SMUG Pepe Julian Onziema said more resources in form of funding was needed especially at a time when the country is about to go into general elections. He said there is a fear that politicians might utter words to incite action against the LGBT community to win votes a move that will the lives of members of the community at risk.
SMUG Research and Documentation Officer Richard Lusimbo and the SMUG Legal Officer Douglas Mawadri mutually explained the Rights Evidence Action (REAct) project supported by International HIV AIDS Alliance a documentation project that uses Martus software to capture and respond to violations faced by LGBTI community members.
This has helped SMUG build on the total number of cases documented and increased the victims’ chance for support.
Partners in this project include: Icebreakers Uganda; Rainbow Health Mbarara; Spectrum Uganda; and the LGBTI- National Security Committee.
The meeting was concluded on a high note with Hassan Shire inviting SMUG leadership to an even that will allow for them meet and engage with influential people in Uganda about issues that affect the LGBT community.