The LGBT Humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) has provided more funding for Humanist Empowerment of Livelihoods in Uganda – HELU.
HELU is a Humanist community based group established in 2009 (as its website affirms):
To promote Humanism, a life stance with human beings playing a central role in their own lives without depending on religion, culture and tradition but rather having compassion and upholding human rights.
It is a member of the International Humanist & Ethical Union.
HELU’s programme has several activities that include: training in human rights and Humanism, teaching skilled crafts, hair styling, tailoring baking and confectionery and farming, especially animal husbandry that the beneficiaries use to create incomes to support their families, and a free nursery school promoting reason and science.
Here HELU’s Publicity Secretary Ayella Collins describes the organisation, its aims and activities:
Humanist Empowerment of Livelihoods in Uganda (HELU) is a programme established in 2009.
Its first project was to empower vulnerable girls, including rape victims and child mothers. The programme operates in Gulu, a district in Northern Uganda.
Gulu experienced war between government forces and a rebel group called the Lord’s Resistance Army for two decades, and since 2007 Gulu has been a post-conflict zone.
Post-conflict zone status birthed an idea to start up a humanist organisation in 2009. This was made possible through funding from a Norwegian humanist group.
The Empowering Vulnerable Girls project serves to teach girls skills that include tailoring, hairdressing, baking and confectionery, basic farming, training in business management and income-generating activities.
A vocational training centre and a demonstration farm are in place to provide training and alternative shelters for those denied rights to own land. It also provides temporary shelter for any LGBTI discrimination victims and for those accused of witchcraft.
Most of the beneficiaries have children. To keep the kids busy while the mothers attended classes a pre-school was established.
In January 2015 an American charity KidsHeartKids provided funding for two classrooms. A third classroom in now being constructed with funding from the UK gay Humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust.
We also undertake the following activities:
• Human rights and advocacy training.
• Training/workshops on humanism.
• Training for business management and income-generating activities.
• Basic farming.
• Counselling and guidance and corporate social responsibilities.
The PTT’s first donation was made in 2015 to build a classroom for its nursery school and provide equipment for it.
Now it has funded the purchase of a variety of items for the school including a computer laptop, a laser jet printer, play swings, goal posts. soccer balls, an open air feeding shelter for the children, office stationery and a power invertor for use with the solar energy the group uses.
In all the PTT has donated £3,600. Other recipients include LGBT History Month, the Uganda Humanist Schools Trust (UK), the Nigerian Humanist Movement, Galop (London’s leading anti-LGBT hate crime charity) and Rainbows Across Borders (a supportive and caring group for LGBT people who are seeking refuge from oppressive and brutal regimes).