Bessy Ferrera Emergency Fund

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



DDP informs that, having exhausted the budget for 2023, we are no longer accepting applications to the Bessy Ferrera Emergency Fund. We regret any inconvenience this may cause. Thank you.

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.