Steph's Place

Pride For Youth Initiative

They violently attacked me with wooden blocks, closed fists and their feet.

I often get asked to help out other people or groups. I do my best, but I am just one person who still works full time. When I was in my twenties I planned to retire at 55. Well, some times plans dont workout, and as I look forward to my 69th birthday in a few weeks, retirement is nowhere on the horizon yet!

When writing, I use an artificial intelligence writing system called "Grammarly." Honestly, my spelling is pretty poor (I missed over a year of schooling because of illness as a child) - so I do have a few excuses (cough). A couple of weeks ago, I was asked by a new group in Uganda to publish their story, and the text below from Bawonga has been run through Grammarly to make it a bit clearer. Equally, I dont want to take away from her text, but I hope some people may be able to put their hands in their pockets to help out.

This is the emailed letter I received:

 

Dear Steph,

Greetings from Pride For Youth Initiative team here in Uganda.

We are writing to you to request your support towards Trans women movement in our communities and hope you can help us.

For trans women to tell their stories, we talked before about it, and you told us to send you an email with my entire story so that you will be able to publish it on your website.

I am Bawonga Richard, the 'Executive Director Pride For Youth Initiative', and I'm 22 years old. I will be 23 in April 2021.

I come from a low-income family, and I lost my dad and mom when I was young at 5years, and my sisters are the ones who raised me educated me.

Sadly, I didn't complete my studies because of a lack of enough money to finish my education. I self-identified as a trans woman, and I am suffering because of not being with my family members who raised me.

After discovering that I belong to the LGBTI community, they chased me away from home in August of last year.

But before that, I came out to my friends, and some of them introduced me to the trans community.

I had a chance to volunteer for some LGBTI organizations for three years, and after seeing that trans people are not catered for, my closest friends and I decided to create a group for trans women.

We are called the "Pride For Youth Initiative" to cover or fill the gaps which were not tackled by other groups.

We live below the poverty line and running an organization for trans people. I was recently brutally attacked inside of my own home. I was attacked by about eight people who pushed themselves into my home, and violently attacked me with wooden blocks, closed fists and their feet.

Adding insult to injury, they stole my ring, camera and laptop, which has now left me vulnerable to future attacks without a way to record any further transgressions.

I am proud that I have thrived both personally despite my circumstances; however, (like most transwomen everywhere), danger always lurks around every corner of our lives.

We need funds to be able and are hoping you can help us by publishing this story.

Pride For Youth also connects vulnerable at-risk Trans Youth with life-saving and life-sustaining resources. I want 50 % of any donations to go to the Pride For Youth Initiative, a safe social community space for people to safely and confidently explore their identities in an affirming environment.

You may also donate to them directly as well.

They just opened a 'Trans Resource Center' where Transwomen can tell their stories and would like a significant portion to go toward resources dedicated to that space.

Because of my attack, I have severe damage to my face and right ribs, and needless to say, I am very traumatized by the entire ordeal. Sadly, two children who witnessed the ordeal are also traumatized.

Currently, I am navigating my convalescence one day at a time. I will appreciate you so much. Each and every one of you! Find the campaign page link:

https://www.givingway.com/campaign/969c5f


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Love and let live