Safe Space Program

Safe Space Program

Kenya, South Africa

CWS staff observe International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, 2017.

The world has made significant advances toward the principle of leaving nobody behind by ensuring humanitarian protection and achieving development goals. Still, though, gaps in reaching this goal remain, including for persons who are forced to flee their homes because of persecution related to sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

For the fourth year running, the CWS Safe Space program has assisted faith leaders in Kenya and South Africa to identify ways to extend welcome to persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, including LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers. In the past year, more than 300 faith leaders participated in CWS training activities. Community outreach to LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers in Nairobi and Johannesburg has identified new strategies to ensure personal safety and access to essential services. CWS has also launched peer support activities for parents and caregivers of LGBTQ youth at the urging of faith leaders who are providing pastoral care to families.