At the end of the year 2021, Cameroonian organizations working on HIV and human rights for LGBTI people and other vulnerable populations enjoyed time to relax and recharge after a difficult year.
By Courtney Stans
Among them is Alternatives-Cameroon, the first organization to fight against violence against LGBTI people in Cameroon. It was founded in 2005 by activists anxious about the devastation that HIV was wreaking among with LGBTI people.
Currently, it provides medical and paramedical care at its access center where more than 1,000 people are regularly served each year. It also runs a laboratory dedicated to HIV care and anal pathologies and enjoys the services of a psychologist and trained counselors.
It is also active in human rights advocacy, with a focus on he fight against gender-based violence, discrimination hindering access to health care, and educational programs targeting risky behaviors by LGBTI people as well as discrimination by their parents, by law enforcement, by the media, in the judicial system, by teachers, by traditional chiefs, by religious leaders and by others in civil society.
One aim of the advocacy is to educate and enlist allies who support the LGBTI cause and who can work to end Cameroon’s discriminatory laws and policies.
Alternatives-Cameroon works through three sites — in Yaounde, Douala and Kribi.
When they learned of the year-end vacation, the delighted staff said they were ready to reinvigorate their energy in order to meet the needs of the LGBTI community in 2022.
Courtney Stans, the author of this article, is a Cameroonian journalist who writes under a pseudonym. Contact her at [email protected].