In a ceremony in Johannesburg last week, community based organisation Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) were recognised for their ground-breaking work to protect human rights, often in extremely challenging political climates.
“We have faced harassment, raids of our offices and had our staff arrested and assaulted due to the nature of our work as human rights defenders,” stated Chesterfield Samba, Director of GALZ. “Receiving this award will help amplify the voice of GALZ in Zimbabwe. It will also motivate other human rights and civil society organisations to take up advocacy for the protection of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.”
About GALZ and the Alliance
GALZ is a membership-based association promoting, representing and protecting the rights and interests of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people through advocacy, lobbying, empowerment, education, research and the provision of safe spaces.
Since 2012, GALZ has been a partner in SHARP – the Men’s Sexual Health and Rights Programme (more information below). The programme aims to effectively reduce the spread and impact of HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) and to build healthy MSM communities in the region.
Gavin Reid, Regional Advisor for SHARP said, “This is much needed recognition of the work of our colleagues at GALZ at a time when they are faced with the cloak of fear and threat of violence and arrest that is a daily reality for them, as well as the other SHARP partners in their home countries.”
- ARASA press release on the awards
- SHARP is being implemented by the Alliance international secretariat, linking organisations and partners in Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Kenya. AMSHeR (the African Men’s Sexual Health and Rights Network) and the Alliance Regional Technical Support Hub in Nairobi are providing essential capacity building support.