Witness Change@witness_change

Our visual storytelling on human rights abuses aims to change opinions. Visit our latest campaigns @whereloveisillegal @onedayinmyworld

https://iamanally.whereloveisillegal.com/allies/member/18/

“It was the year 2013 1st April, when I met Lucky at the birthday party of a friend of mine. When I looked at him, I liked him, and he had all the qualities that I wanted for someone to love.” John (right), a gay man, and Lucky (left) a transgender woman, met and fell in love in their native Uganda. They lived together when John’s family discovered their relationship and attempted to kill them. They fled to Kenya where they now live as refugees. “When they attacked him, he managed to escape. He ran away, and then, he told me, ‘Don’t come back home, because even me have left home, cause your parents went there to kill me. They realized that we are gays.’”
-
Many LGBTQI+ east Africans have sought safety in Kenya. They often find though that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is just as prevalent.
-
Where Love is Illegal traveled to Kenya, Mozambique and Ghana with the support of Elton John AIDS Foundation (@ejaf @ejafdn) to continue our work sharing LGBTQ+ stories of survival and to raise awareness of the impacts of stigma. Around the world, grants made by the Elton John AIDS Foundation make possible the work of countless community-rooted organizations that touch the lives of millions every day. For more information, and to join the fight, visit www.ejaf.org
-
Click the link in our profile to see how to share your own experience of #survival and #discrimination and learn how you can support. Photo by @Hammond_Robin / @noorimages. This is a @witness_change project. For more stories of survival follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal #loveislove


20

In a remote corner of Kenya lies Kakuma refugee camp. LGBTQI+ refugees fleeing discrimination in surrounding east African countries are told they must stay here for their safety while their asylum claims are processed. In this barren desert far from home and civilization they wait, not in safety but in fear. The homophobia, transphobia, biphobia they faced at home is here too, but here they cannot melt away into a large city or seek sanctuary with relatives - the local population and other refugees know where they are - they huddle together in the hope that some security can come from their number. The hot sun, meagre rations and appalling living conditions compound their suffering. The days turn into months, and into years, and as time passes, hopes fade.
-
Where Love is Illegal traveled to Kenya, Mozambique and Ghana with the support of Elton John AIDS Foundation (@ejaf @ejafdn) to continue our work sharing LGBTQI+ stories of survival and to raise awareness of the impacts of stigma. Around the world, grants made by the Elton John AIDS Foundation make possible the work of countless community-rooted organizations that touch the lives of millions every day. For more information, and to join the fight, visit www.ejaf.org
-
Where Love is Illegal is a platform to share #LGBTQI+ stories of #survival and #discrimination. Photo by @Hammond_Robin / @noorimages. This is a @witness_change project. For more stories of survival and to share your own, follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal


5

Photo by @hammond_robin for @onedayinmyworld
-
"The Syrian people have seen everything, they killed their brother, their mother, their father - and so, now mental health problems have become normal," says Ali Mohammed Hassan, 25 (black singlet). "I might be safe, but I’m always thinking about my brother who I left in Syria. I’m worried about them." Ali and other young men from Deir Ez-Zor Syria hide from the afternoon sun in the informal extension of Moria camp known as Olive Grove. They have been at the camp between two and six months. They all left Syria they say because to stay would mean to be forced to fight either for the government or ISIS.
-
The Island of Lesbos, Greece: Moria camp overflows with refugees and their desperation. Inhuman living conditions and a snail-paced relocation process can drive the already traumatized towards depression and suicide - mental health issues that haunt a people with no home. They risked their lives to get to Europe. They thought they had escaped the trauma & would find peace, a future. They were wrong.
-
#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This work was made in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières @doctorswithoutborders who are providing mental health support to the island’s refugees. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


4

Photo by @hammond_robin for @onedayinmyworld
-
“The sea was dark and we couldn’t see anything and the youngsters were crying and we were afraid and we kept on saying: Dear God get us there,” says 14 year old Syrian, Bilal Al Fadoos. He is describing the latest part of his flight from his home in war torn Syria - the crossing from Turkey to the Greek Island of Lesbos.
-
This series of photographs shows thousands of life jackets left behind by arriving migrants are gathered at a dump on the island.
-
Those who try to arrive in Lesbos via Turkey and the Aegean Sea have been trapped for an indefinite period on islands in Greece as part of the EU/Turkey deal and its deterrence and containment approach. In Lesvos (Lesbos), there are currently more than 8,000 people in a camp made for 2,500.
-
#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This work was made in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières @doctorswithoutborders who are providing mental health support to the island’s refugees. See the full story on www.nationalgeographic.com/ To see more on instagram or share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


5

Today, when #russia plays in the #worldcup2018, it’s important to remember that many LGBTQI+ Russians still face discrimination in their country, both by society and in law.
-
“I was a perfect target because I had long hair and dressed brightly. Everything happened very fast. They smashed my head with a baseball bat.” Ruslan is a gay man from Russia. This was not the first time he was attacked…or the last. “As a consequence: another concussion. The consequence of multiple concussions have become frequent fainting, headaches, nose bleeding.”
-
Ruslan shared his story with the #WhereLoveIsIllegal campaign, a platform for #LGBT stories of survival. Photo by @Hammond_Robin / @noorimages. For more stories of survival or to share your own, follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal.


12

Last week we lost a hero and a friend. Marcel (not his real name) dedicated his life to supporting Ghana’s hidden LGBTQI+ community. His work saved lives, but he will not be honored with a monument, appear in the newspaper, be mourned by his nation. He was a silent hero, quietly helping those relegated to the shadows. He touched our lives too. The @whereloveisillegal team worked with Marcel while in Ghana. It’s people like Marcel that make our work possible. But he was more than a guide. He became our friend. His last message to us a was “Checking on u. Miss u.” We will miss you too brother.
-
“My junior brothers and my parents do suspect me, but I always find a way to educate them on my sexual life. They don't really feel comfortable, but my Dad and Mum said they love me who I am and accept me the way I am.” Marcel. Ghana. Died June 2018.
-
In #Ghana, only a brave few dare show their face and publicly say they identify as LGBTQI+, most live in the shadows fearing discrimination, hatred and violence if they lived openly.
-
Photo by @Hammond_Robin. This is a @witness_change project. For more stories follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal


15

Photo by @hammond_robin for @onedayinmyworld
-
"Moria camp is a horrible place. It is unsafe for women, for children. There are a lot of fights. It's not clean. They don't have enough spaces for everyone," says Abeer (not her real name), originally from Iraq. "I think that Moria camp, if you stay here for a long time, it kind of amplifies whatever mental problems that you already had before. Because if you are depressed, you are definitely getting more depressed because there's absolutely nothing that gives you hope or happiness in the camp."
-
The Island of Lesbos, Greece: Moria camp overflows with refugees and their desperation. Inhuman living conditions and a snail-paced relocation process can drive the already traumatized towards depression and suicide - mental health issues that haunt a people with no home. They risked their lives to get to Europe. They thought they had escaped the trauma & would find peace, a future. They were wrong.
-
#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This work was made in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières @doctorswithoutboarders who are providing mental health support to the island’s refugees. Photo by @hammond_robin. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


1

“We are a gay couple, we are a couple together for almost 4 years, like a common couple we have gone through many problems, but love has always spoken louder. I do not regret anything. If I had to go back in time and do something different, I would not do anything different. I would do everything the same.”
-
In Mozambique, where Neston and Avelino are from, more than a third of gay men have HIV, but, because of stigma, many don’t have access to care. New hope comes in the form of a program that will test thousands for HIV, as well as train LGBTQI+ people to test their peers confidentially and in their own homes.
-
Where Love is Illegal traveled to Kenya, Mozambique and Ghana with the support of Elton John AIDS Foundation (@ejaf @ejafdn) to continue our work sharing LGBTQ+ stories of survival and to raise awareness of the impacts of stigma. Around the world, grants made by the Elton John AIDS Foundation make possible the work of countless community-rooted organizations that touch the lives of millions every day. For more information, and to join the fight, visit www.ejaf.org
-
Click the link in our profile to see how to share your own experience of #survival and #discrimination and learn how you can support. Photo by @Hammond_Robin / @noorimages. This is a @witness_change project. For more stories of survival follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal


19

New work from @onedayinmyworld (link in our profile)! Refugees have risked their lives to get to Europe. They thought they had escaped the trauma, would find peace, a future, a home. They were wrong.
-
“This island is a big asylum because there is the sea, but there is also the fact that you don’t have rights anymore. You don’t have rights,” says Médecins Sans Frontières psychiatrist Alessandro Barberio describing the Greek Island of Lesbos, now home to 7,500 refugees. The conditions in the camp for the refugees exacerbate or even create mental health problems. 19 year old Syrian, Farzat, self harms and has attempted to take his life. The war left him traumatised. The camp provides little chance to heal. “I saw the blood of young children, they all died and that’s how i got a mental disorder, I see it in my sleep. It’s always terrifying when I sleep.”
-
The Island of Lesbos, Greece: a camp overflows with refugees and their desperation. Inhuman living conditions and a snail-paced relocation process can drive the already traumatized towards depression and suicide - mental health issues that haunt a people with no home. They risked their lives to get to Europe. They thought they had escaped the trauma & would find peace, a future. They were wrong.
-
#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This work was made in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières @doctorswithoutborders who are providing mental health support to the island’s refugees. Photo by @hammond_robin. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


1

Benjamin Larsa has been at Nazareth Prayer Camp for seven years. People seeking healing often live on the grounds of the camp for months or years hoping for a cure.
-
Of the 2.4 million Ghanaians living with mental health conditions only 3 percent receive care at medical facilities (according to the World Health Organisation). Filling the void are thousands of prayer camps offering a sanctuary from stigma, and the promise of a cure through prayer. These camps operate without mental health professionals and virtually no government oversight. Patients can be held in chains without access to medical intervention for years.
-
#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. Photo by @hammond_robin. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


8

For more stories of living with mental health conditions follow @onedayinmyworld
-
The psychiatric section of Edumfa Heavenly Ministry Spiritual Revival and Healing Centre in Cape Coast, Ghana is split into wards for men and wards for women. The chains have been removed in response to criticism from Human Rights Groups. In their place, for those considered violent or at risk of running away, are cages. Family members often stay with their sick loved one praying with them and sometimes on their behalf for a cure to what many consider a spiritual affliction.
-
Of the 2.4 million Ghanaians living with mental health conditions only 3 percent receive care at medical facilities (according to the World Health Organisation). Filling the void are thousands of prayer camps offering a sanctuary from stigma, and the promise of a cure through prayer. These camps operate without mental health professionals and virtually no government oversight. Patients can be held in chains without access to medical intervention for years.
-
#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. Photo by @hammond_robin. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


5

On Today, #fathersday we would like to share the story of Manale Amidou and his 9 year old daughter Manale Dambouame. “Since my daughter was born, she does not speak or walk… We can’t know what happened to her… Our biggest challenge is to get a good treatment so we could change her life," says Manale Amidou of his daughter who lives with a mental health condition. "I am financially exhausted… Seeing her like that really makes me pity. Girls of her age are not like that and it tears me to see her like that.”
-
81.2% of Togo’s rural population lives below the poverty line making it one of the world’s poorest countries. Poverty is often both a symptom and a cause of a mental health issues. To make matters worse, care is almost always substandard in regions struggling with poverty. In Togo, where resources are thin and conventional medicine and professional advice is difficult to access, many turn to traditional healers or religious leaders for cures. Around the world, an overwhelming majority of people with mental and psychosocial disabilities are living in poverty, poor physical health and are subject to human rights violations.
-
#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This first phase of the campaign was created in collaboration with @handicap_uk. Photo by @hammond_robin. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


25