Bessy Ferrera Emergency Fund
Life-saving emergency fund for LGBTQIA+ activists that work with Hivos or Hivos’ partners.
- OPEN: ON A ROLLING BASIS
In honour of the late Bessy Ferrera, Hivos has created, with Dutch private donors, the Bessy Ferrera Fund to support LGBTQI+ activists and organisations in emergency situations.
As they work in restrictive and oppressive environments, LGBTQIA+ people are facing extreme threats when carrying out their activist work. In emergency, activists often need a quick response. Simply to cover a medical bill, a plane ticket to relocate, a solution to securely host their websites, or purchase a CCTV or replace equipment after office break-ins.
To tackle this problem, the “Bessy Ferrera Fund” – was created in 2020 from private donations to Hivos to support LGBTQIA+ activists at risk that need acute and quick support. By working through trusted referrals (Hivos colleagues or other trusted third parties) we can fast-track vetting.
What does the Bessy Ferrera fund cover?
- Support for medical costs after physical attacks.
- Legal support.
- Psycho-social support.
- Trainings on safety and security as a reaction on current threats.
- The creation of resources (e.g. security protocols adapted to the current situation and remote work).
- Relocation (for as far that is possible).
Criteria for a successful application
- It concerns an LGBTQIA+ activist, organization or community whom, due to their advocacy and work, are facing immediate threats
- The emergency is no older than 3 months.
- The requested funds cover activities immediately related to the emergency (see above for examples).
- Two positive references, or in the case of Hivos partner, one positive reference from Hivos.
Bessy Ferrera, trans activist
Bessy was a brave trans woman and activist from Honduras. She dared to stand up for her human rights in a society that systematically violates them. A society that excludes and discriminates against LGBTIQIA+ people. Instead of respect and recognition, she got bullets. At the time, Bessy was a Hivos partner working for the programme Right Here, Right Now (RHRN) in Honduras. In her honour, with this fund, we hope we can prevent such incidents from happening again.