Rainbow Allies: Building allies to improve resilience
The project in brief
Rainbow Allies, Justice Centre Hong Kong
Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region), China
2019 - 2020 pilot completion, with expectations that it will be an ongoing programme.
To improve the resilience of LGBTI individuals from refugee and ethnic communities in Hong Kong SAR, China.
Resources used include financial resources to secure venues, transport costs, and fair trade sporting equipment.
Planet Ally (NGO)
Challenges and how they were overcome
One of the most significant challenges has been fear of engagement amongst potential participants. Potential participants have expressed fear of wider community awareness of their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics.
As asylum seekers and refugees in Hong Kong SAR, China they face stigma from the wider Hong Kong SAR, China community but as people identifying as LGBTI they face an additional layer of stigma from within the asylum-seeking and refugee community.
In addition, without the right to work, refugees and asylum seekers in Hong Kong SAR, China experience severe financial constraints which makes participation in community projects like Rainbow Allies difficult.
How they were overcome
- We are creating safe spaces where Rainbow Allies participants can interact and build trust with other LGBTI people and other strong supporters. Crucial to creating safe spaces is facilitating introductory meetings between Rainbow Allies and supportive community leaders and allies before undertaking wider community engagement and participation.
- We are providing participants with transportation cards to cover the financial costs of engagements.
Results of the Good Practice
- Refugees and asylum seekers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) have strengthened resilience capacity through increased support networks.
- There are increased connections between LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers and the LGBTI community in Hong Kong SAR, China.
- Discrimination against refugees and asylum seekers and homophobia in Hong Kong SAR, China is reduced through enhanced understanding of lived experiences and the plight of LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers.
How the project meets the GCR Objectives
This good practice meets two objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees, namely easing the pressure on the host communities and enhancing the self-reliance of refugees.
Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries
The objective of easing the pressure on host communities is met through fostering good relations and peaceful co-existence by providing information on the plight of LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees and establishing specialised support networks.
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
The objective of enhancing the self-reliance of LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees is met through empowering refugees, providing them with support and information necessary for their integration into the host communities for the duration of their time in Hong Kong SAR, China.
Finally, this good practice is also an example of involving non-traditional partners to support refugees and asylum seekers. Many of the community groups engaged in this project have not interacted with the asylum-seeking and refugee community before, particularly those focused on resilience through sport. This project is also involving commercial businesses and schools.
- Facilitate Rainbow Allies engagement with Gay Games HK 2022.
- Assessing lessons learned from the pilot programme.
- Incorporating lessons learned into sister programmes in an Australian Rainbow Allies programme.
Jade Anderson, Head of Programmes (Acting), Rainbow Allies