Hundreds of LGBTIQ+ Nigerians got a helping hand from the Covid-19 Relief Support Fund that was launched in early July.
The Nigerian LGBTIQ+-led organization NoStringsNG created the fund because Covid-19 lockdowns have caused severe problems for many LGBTIQ+ persons, including job losses, homelessness, hunger, and limited access to health care.
All those are in addition to the ongoing difficulties that LGBTIQ+ Nigerians face as they struggle to survive in a homophobic clime such as Nigeria, having to cope with everything from state-sponsored homophobia to blackmail and extortion by security agents and anti-LGBT criminals.
After NoStringsNG secured a Covid-19 support grant from a U.S-based charity in July, it issued a call for applications. Out of the hundreds of people that applied, 220 persons were selected and received support for food supplies before the funds ran out.
Kingsley Kalu, one of the beneficiaries, was surprised to have been selected to receive the grant.
“You know that feeling when you’re not expecting anything, and Boom!!! You got something?? That’s how I felt. Both relieved and favored. To the sponsors, I’m very grateful and I do pray many happy returns. Thanks a lot,” he wrote.
Also, Adetunji Titilademi, who had pending bills to take care of, expressed his gratitude and felt relieved when he got the grant.
He wrote: “I felt really happy. I got a credit alert when I needed it the most and that really helped me take care of some much-needed expenses. I really, really, really appreciate the support and I want to thank the creators of this funding programme. I still need whatever help I can get, but this money really really did help me take care of pressing things. Thank you so much!”
Obi Olivia, who had been struggling financially because of the pandemic, was ecstatic when he received the funds.
“I’m so thankful. Words are not enough to express my gratitude and how I feel when I received the funds. It was indeed a struggling period and you gave me a ray of hope. It means a lot to me. Thank you so much,” he wrote.