Zoë Kalala, Jad Zeitouni, Janne Vanhoof, Dorothy Adobea and Lore Roggeman studied the local realities in Uganda in the first three weeks of September. They worked together with HALEA (Humanist Association for Leadership, Equity and Accountability), one of Uganda’s most active humanist organisations. Together with the local staff, they met a vast pool of inspiring change makers in and around Kampala. One of their most interesting encounters was with FARUG, Freedom and Roam Uganda.
“When we arrived at the FARUG office, we were immediately welcomed by a hospitable laugh and a high degree of diversity. FARUG provides support to the LGBT-community in Uganda, and this is certainly not without danger. They are literally fighting for their place in society, to be accepted, and to be able to be themselves. The people we met there have a heart of gold, but also a heart filled with courage and perseverance. Our meeting with them was an inspiration to us all, as they not only fully grasp the concept of diversity and its function within society, but also are a vivid example of it. We want to end with the words of Arthur, a transgender man from Uganda, and send his courage to the world: ‘It is very simple. Accept the fact that you are different. The rest will automatically work for you. Because the biggest challenge of all is not loving yourself.’ ”