Trans people find a safe haven in Armenia

Right Side NGO in Armenia runs the only community center and safe space for the trans community in Armenia. Armenia is a conservative, homophobic and transphobic country in the Caucasus, a region located at the border of Europe and Asia, situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.

In Armenia, life is tough for LGBTI people; there are no protective laws and state sponsored discrimination, violence, and hate crimes are rife. Trans people are at best deemed non-existent, and at worst deviant, immoral, abnormal, and sick.

Despite these harsh circumstances, Right Side NGO has set up a community centre with a truly positive vibe: a safe haven for interactions, education, health care, psychological and legal support, by community members and professionals, where dozens of trans people find their safe space.

Last year, the community centre came under attack several times from neighbours in the building, forcing Right Side NGO to move the centre to a more secure, yet much more expensive location. This meant that the rent went up significantly, making the space unaffordable, and there were no options to obtain the budget to cover this gap beyond a few months. When the Give a Damn Foundation got in contact with Right Side NGO, the community centre was on the verge of closing down because they were unable to pay the rent.

Give A Damn is providing the funds for Right Side NGO to sustain this crucial community centre in a safe location for at least 12 months, and probably longer. We support the much-needed financial stability to (re)install crucial services and have the time to look further ahead in the future. The donation will ensure that that a community under constant attack, often in hiding or on the run, has a place for rest and recuperation, where they can gain skills and knowledge, and feel connected, and simply be themselves, without judgement.

Right Side NGO will also increase community outreach programmes with our donation, building a strong trans community in Armenia. The community centre is located in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia, but the project will also help reach trans people in rural areas whom are even more isolated than in Yerevan.

We are very proud that we are able to support this fantastic, brave organization in 2018, and wish Right Side NGO every success!