Bessy Ferrera Emergency Fund

Life-saving emergency fund for LGBTQIA+ activists that work with Hivos or Hivos’ partners.


In honour of the late Bessy Ferrera, Hivos has created the Bessy Ferrera Fund with Dutch private donors to support LGBTQIA+ activists and organisations facing 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 Dutch 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).

Application process

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.