A new advocacy group in Cameroon aims to help LGBTI organizations become more effective, while also intervening on behalf of LGBTI individuals struggling with employment discrimination, malaria, typhoid fever, and the problems of life after prison.
By Courtney Stans
The organization InterActive was created in September 2021 by four volunteers who all have worked as LGBTI rights activists in Cameroon.
They aim to supplement the work of other LGBTI organizations, which primarily focus on human rights and health, particularly HIV/AIDS.
The goals of InterActive include:
- Training existing LGBTI organizations to become more effective locally, regionally and even internationally.
- Encouraging existing LGBTI organizations to share their experiences and to work on joint projects.
- Intervening to help LGBTI Cameroonians who are facing employment discrimination, especially seeking positions for highly educated LGBTI people through job searches at the local, regional and international levels, including making contacts with business leaders and human rights organizations.
- Providing psychological support for LGBTI people, as well as focusing on malaria and typhoid fever. This is possible because the InterActive team includes a doctor and a psychologist.
- Helping to ease former LGBTI prisoners’ return to society through training in small trades such as hairdressing.
InterActive’s work is focused in the southern part of Cameroon.
Ted Batat, the executive director of InterActive, commented:
“We are aware of the amount of poverty in our society, especially in the LGBTI community. That increases vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence.
“As professionals, we believe that we can help people achieve better living conditions, which will lead to more respect, consideration and responsibility.
“We believe in our own potential. With the help of technical and financial partners, we will achieve our goals.”
For more information about InterActive, write to [email protected].
Courtney Stans, the author of this article, is a Cameroonian journalist who writes under a pseudonym. Contact her at [email protected].