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Kaleidoscope Trust joins new consortium to lead UK Government-funded £12 million programme to promote LGBT+ inclusion across Africa

The Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt MP has announced that a consortium of leading organisations will receive £12 million to promote LGBT+ inclusion in five African cities.


Kaleidoscope Trust joins Hivos and six other organisations to address the challenges facing LGBT+ communities, promote LGBT+ inclusion in society and to drive positive change for LGBT+ people in Africa under the Strong in Diversity, Bold on Inclusion programme, funded via the Department for International Development UK Aid Connect fund, from 2019 to 2022.


Though LGBT+ rights in Africa have made significant progress in recent decades in some parts of the continent, in many places, exclusion, discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression remain widespread.


Kaleidoscope Trust joins a consortium led by Hivos and which includes the Coalition of African Lesbians, African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR), ARTICLE 19, Workplace Pride, Synergia, the University of London School of Advanced Studies, the University of Glasgow School of Social and Political Sciences and the University of Pretoria Centre for Human Rights. The consortium will work to build the resilience of LGBT+ communities and improve conditions to ensure their socio-economic inclusion and well-being by engaging societal leaders, businesses and politicians, training journalists and media houses on positive representation and conducting research to build the evidence on the experiences of LGBT+ people.


Kaleidoscope Trust Executive Director Paul Dillane commented:


“Kaleidoscope Trust is delighted to be joining this extraordinary group of organisations in implementing the UK Department for International Development’s flagship £12 million LGBT+ programme: UK Aid Connect. The announcement represents a landmark investment in efforts to promote inclusion and tackle exclusion across Africa and underscores the UK Government’s commitment to LGBT+ equality globally.”


Speaking after the announcement by the Secretary of State, Hivos Regional Director for Southern Africa Tanja Lubbers said:


“I would like to thank UK Aid for the financial support, it will help us to achieve a shared vision of improving the lives of LGBT+ people. We also hope to create safe spaces for dialogue between LGBT people and different stakeholders so that they can play a key role in the development of societal and policy decisions that affect their daily lives.”


Promoting the rights of LGBT+ people, both in the UK and internationally, is a key commitment in the UK Government’s landmark 2018 LGBT Action Plan. The Government developed the action plan in response to the results of the 2017 National LGBT Survey, the largest-ever study of its kind, in which over 100,000 people in the UK took part.


In her role as Minister for Women and Equalities, Penny Mordaunt MP also announced the appointment of the UK Government’s first LGBT Advisory Panel which will advise the UK Government on its policies concerning LGBT+ people, including in the implementation of the 2018 LGBT Action Plan. Following an open selection process, Paul Dillane, Executive Director of Kaleidoscope Trust, has been appointed to to the 12-member panel.


Minister for   welcomes members of UK Government’s first LGBT Advisory Panel at March's inaugural National LGBT Conference

Commenting on the announcement at the inaugural LGBT National Conference hosted by the Government Equalities Office (GEO), the Minister for Equalities Baroness Williams said:


"The UK believes all people have a right to be included in development, no matter what their background and sexual orientation. The UK Government has a policy of inclusive development for all socially excluded groups.


Discrimination is against the core principles of international development and humanitarian aid. Aid must be impartial and not based on nationality, race, religion, or a political point of view. It must be based on need alone. Discrimination damages not only societies, but actually it holds back economies.

Countries can’t fully develop while they oppress minorities. By excluding certain groups countries hold back their potential. Communities are stronger when they stand together and include all their elements."



African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR) is a Pan-African coalition of MSM and LGBT-led organisations, working to promote non-discrimination, particularly based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) and to advance access to quality health services for MSM/LGBT in Africa. As an advocacy and capacity strengthening organisation AMSHeR provides a platform for exchange and learning among MSM/LGBT community-based organisations, human rights and HIV service organisations, and other agencies working with and for MSM/LGBT organisations.


ARTICLE 19 works for a world where all people everywhere can freely express themselves and actively engage in public life without fear of discrimination.


Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) is a feminist, activist and pan Africanist network of 14 organisations in 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa committed to advancing freedom, justice and bodily autonomy for all women on the African continent and beyond.


Hivos seeks new and creative solutions to persistent global problems; solutions created by people taking their lives into their own hands. They offer a positive counterbalancing force against discrimination, inequality, abuse of power and the unsustainable use of our planet’s resources. Our mission is to innovate for social change. With smart projects in the right places, we work towards more open and green societies.


Kaleidoscope Trust is dedicated to promoting and advancing equality and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people internationally. Since its establishment in 2011, the Trust has established itself as a leading human rights NGO by developing strategic networks that bring international LGBT activists together with British and international policy-makers, parliamentarians, civil society organisations and business leaders. Kaleidoscope Trust works with activists and organisations in 50+ countries to create positive change for LGBT people where they face discrimination, criminalisation and violence.


Synergia seeks to protect and promote the human rights of all people – particularly those whose rights are most systematically and egregiously violated, with a range of programs that address violations that are motivated by one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression (SOGIE).


University of Glasgow School of Social and Political Sciences have an interdisciplinary approach to the Social Sciences making a dynamic and engaging teaching and research environment. By linking core Social Science disciplines we deliver high-quality undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and cutting-edge research.


University of London School of Advanced Studies brings together nine internationally renowned research institutes to form the UK's national centre for the support of researchers and the promotion of research in the humanities.


University of Pretoria Centre for Human Rights both an academic department and a non-governmental organisation. It works towards human rights education in Africa, a greater awareness of human rights, the wide dissemination of publications on human rights in Africa, and the improvement of the rights of women, people living with HIV, indigenous peoples, sexual minorities and other disadvantaged or marginalised persons or groups across the continent.


Workplace Pride is a not for profit foundation dedicated to improving the lives of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders and Intersex (LGBTI) people in workplaces all over the world. They strive for a world of inclusive workplaces where LGBTI people can truly be themselves, are valued and, through their contribution, help to lead the way for others.


More information on UK AID Connect can be found here.