No One Left Behind: Announcing the Impacts of Our Global Small Grants Program In Honor of IDAHOBIT, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

by Alex Schyllander

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is celebrating the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) by highlighting the powerful impacts of our Global Small Grants Program, which was launched in 2020.

This year, the Global Small Grants Program supported 25 initiatives with grants to advance LGBTQ+ equality in 24 countries.

IDAHOBIT commemorates the 1990 World Health Organization’s decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. IDAHOBIT’s theme this year, "No one left behind: equality, freedom and justice for all," serves as a driving force for the Human Rights Campaign’s commitments to the global movement for equality and encapsulates the goals of the annual Global Small Grants Program.

This year, the Human Rights Campaign is honored to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia by highlighting the powerful impact of the Global Small Grants Program. IDAHOBIT is a great opportunity for reflection of both the great strides made in our movement and just how far we need to go to achieve equality for all. As the anti-rights and anti-gender movement seeks to rollback progress on LGBTQ+ rights globally, HRC is proud to stand in solidarity with our partners around the world facing new anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and policies, and redouble our commitments to the important work of HRC’s Global Alumni Network.”

Andrea Gillespie, Associate Director of Global Advocacy

This year’s grant recipients included eight from Africa, five from Asia, five from Europe, and five from Latin America and the Caribbean, and two from the Middle East and North Africa.

This year, our recipients conducted projects focused on:

  • Creative programming that advances cultural change and visibility for LGBTQ+ people

  • Innovative programs that drive legal and political change

  • Unique programs or events that focus on trans leadership and/or advocacy.

  • Engaging employers/businesses or people of faith as allies for equality.

  • Creating more inclusive institutions of daily life.

  • Projects centering multiply marginalized people within the LGBTQ+ community.

The HRC Global Small Grants program is made possible with generous support from ADM and we are grateful for their partnership.

Learn more about the powerful impact of these innovative programs conducted with the small grants:


In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jules Mugaruka (they/them) organized capacity building and advocacy trainings for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals alongside La Colombe Pride ASBL. They also developed a training workshop on the legal and administrative procedures related to name changes. In response to receiving their small grant, Jules said, "The 2024 HRC Global Small Grant will be very helpful for my work and my Trans and Non-Binary siblings in the Eastern Congo! Thanks to these funds we will continue our fight for Self-Determined Legal Gender Recognition which is one of our most fundamental rights that is denied to us.”

In Ghana, in the wake of the passage of the anti-LGBTQ+ bill in February, Bill (she/her) organized an LGBTQ+ rights convening through her organization, The Mediators Foundation. Bill brought together 10 business, faith, and traditional leaders in Accra to strategize how to improve their allyship to the LGBTQ+ community.

In Namibia, Omar van Reenen (they/them), through Equal Namibia, partnered with Drag Night Namibia (DNN), which hosts monthly drag shows in the capital city of Windhoek. Funding from the HRC Global Small Grant allowed DNN to celebrate its opening show for 2024. This event marked the commencement of another year of DNN and served as a celebration for three cycles of Drag Night. The event was also used to rally support for the Ghanaian LGBTQI+ community with Angel Maxine - a prominent Ghanaian transgender singer, activist and songwriter - and the “Kill The Bill '' music video aired during the show. Throughout the event, DNN reaffirmed its role as a vibrant and inclusive space for the LGBTQI+ community and allies, providing a platform for queer expression, celebration, and advocacy. The grant was also used to kick start their ‘Drag that Vote’ and ‘Queers to the Polls’ initiative campaign as 2024 marks a crucial election year in the backdrop of the weaponization of LGBTQI+ rights and Namibia’s democratic backsliding.

Owen Ibukun Atilola (she/her), an HRC Global Alum from Nigeria, used her HRC Global Small Grant to support her participation in Gay Games 11 in Hong Kong. The Gay Games provides a platform to showcase and promote inclusivity in the world of sports.

In Tanzania, Salum Abdalla (he/him), alongside the Bridge Initiative Organisation, brought together religious leaders and businesses in Zanzibar. At this event, Salum organized training sessions and workshops to equip them with the knowledge and tools to implement inclusive policies, address discrimination, and celebrate diversity within their workplaces and communities.

In Uganda, Qwin Mbabazi (she/her), alongside her organization Queer Youth Uganda, partnered with attorneys to facilitate a two-day training in rural communities. This training covered the implications of the Anti-Homosexuality Act and a Know Your Rights workshop on how to self-advocate and keep rural LGBTQ+ members safe in the event of an arrest. This training was conducted in local languages to ensure that non-English speakers can understand the law, which is only published in English.

In Uganda, Reagan Sekidde (they/them) organized a training that equipped participants with knowledge on the laws and policies that affect transgender people under the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA) and how to protect themselves online as a part of Icebreakers Uganda’s “My Rights” initiative. The goal of the training was to empower and address stigma and discrimination against trans women.

In Zambia, Mino Likwasi (they/them), alongside the Women's Alliance for Equality, organized a five-day Business 101 training for LBTQ small-medium business owners and entrepreneurs. Following the training, recipients will receive monthly mentorship sessions and additional training opportunities.


In Cambodia, Srorn Srun (he/him), alongside CamASEAN Youth's Future, organized an LGBTQ+ storytelling project displayed at the Rainbow Life Museum. The stories collected were shared in a social media advocacy campaign to promote LGBTQ+ visibility. Srorn also organized a training on how to strengthen storytelling for advocacy and lobbying to promote LGBTQ+ rights.

In Central Asia, an Anonymous Advocate, through the organization LighT, developed a chatbot to respond with personalized accurate information on trans rights. The app is available on the messenger Telegram, the most popular messenger app in the country. More than 150 LGBTQ+ related definitions were uploaded to the chatbot, and in the first two weeks there were already 20 unique users, demonstrating the interest in this content and the need for this tool.

In Hong Kong, Henry Tse (he/him), through his organization Transgender Equality Hong Kong, organized a photo exhibition to show the diversity and the needs of the local transgender population culminating in a panel discussion to raise the profile of upcoming impact litigation for legal gender recognition. Following a seven year long legal battle, Henry Tse in April 2024 achieved a major victory for legal gender recognition, as a policy revision struck down the surgery requirement for transgender people to amend their gender marker.

In Malaysia, Numan Afifi (he/him), through the organization JEJAKA, organized a Queer Artists in Residence program titled, "Arts for Human Rights Residency Programme," to produce arts that reflects and celebrates LGBTQ+ experiences and interactive sessions to foster cultural change. The program included an “Arts and Faith” workshop with 70 participants, and a workshop on using art to combat conversion therapy with 160 participants, which showcased the community's strong interest and support to promote LGBTQ+ rights.


In Armenia, Lilit Martirosyan (she/her) through her organization Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO brought together 50 LGBTQ+ activists, NGO representatives, international community representatives, and state representatives for a meeting preparing for a future Trans Pride conference in Armenia. This event included panel discussions, presentations on the achievements of trans people, the importance of trans visibility, and the importance of legal gender recognition. The event focused on the benefits of implementing a Trans Pride in the upcoming years as a means of increasing visibility of trans issues and advocating for legislation that will protect the human rights of trans people in Armenia.

In Bulgaria, Denitsa Lyubenova (she/her), through the organization Deystvie, organized the 13th Sofia Pride Film Fest with a focus on marriage equality. The festival featured more than 10 films, including a blend of documentaries, feature films, and short films. The films focused on including young, emerging directors and filmmakers.

In Czechia, Viktor Heumann (he/they), alongside the organization Transparent, developed a project titled "United for Trans Rights." The project worked to strengthen a coalition of 12 LGBTQ+ organizations to understand and advocate for trans rights in Czechia, including a focus on ending forced sterilizations. In May 2024, the Czech Constitutional Court struck down the forced sterilization requirement for transgender people.

In Estonia, Yuri Yoursky (he/him), alongside the Estonian Trans Alliance, organized four peer-support groups in Estonia for “non-youth” trans people more than 25 years old, a series of peer-support groups for trans youth under 25 years old, and a cross-generational meeting for peer support to build advocacy initiatives for legal gender recognition. The peer groups also produced and recorded a podcast episode discussing the generational gaps within the trans community with more than 200 listeners.

In Serbia, Kristian Ranđelović (he/him), with the organization XY Spectrum, developed a toolkit that outlines legal rights, cultural practices, and holistic security measures for intersex people in Serbia. XY Spectrum plans to hold informative meetings with representatives from human rights CSOs, governmental institutions, and international agencies reviewing the resources and information provided in the toolkit.

Latin America and the Caribbean

In Argentina, Mariano Ruiz (he/him), through his organization Derechos Humanos y Diversidad Asociacion Civil, worked on a project focused on improving healthcare access for forcibly displaced LGBTIQ individuals in Buenos Aires, Argentina with a specific focus on trans people and those living with HIV. The project achieved its first goal by assisting 50 forcibly displaced LGBTIQ individuals through offering translation services and assistance scheduling 74 appointments to different physicians, other medical appointments, and visits to other services. An online guide on how to navigate the Argentine healthcare system was also developed, reaching nearly 3,000 people. Through the enhanced connections with partner organizations through this project, Derechos Humanos y Diversidad Asociacion Civil signed a collaboration agreement with a local HIV services organization to improve access to services for LGBTQ+ people living with HIV and trans people undergoing hormone therapy.

In Colombia, Alba Lucia Reyes Arenas (she/her), through her organization Sergio David Urrego Reyes Foundation, organized a training session titled “Brigadas Salvavidas - PFA Psychological First Aid'' at two schools in Bogotá. These sessions educated and trained students, teachers, and other school administrators on suicide prevention among children, adolescents, and adults. They provided strategies to prevent suicide and to identify symptoms indicating suicide risk, which trained participants on how to teach others to on suicide prevention, focusing on LGBTQ+ youth.

In Panama, Pau Gonzalez (he/him), alongside PFLAG Panama, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Human Rights Office organized a day-long workshop aimed at promoting inclusive healthcare for LGBTQ+people with a focus on gender-affirming care. This event was attended by 44 medical staff from the Ministry of Health from various provinces. This event served as a step towards accomplishing the Ministry of Health developing a trans health protocol for the country.

In Peru, Gabriela Zavaleta Vera (she/her), through the organization Más Igualdad Perú, laid the groundwork for developing a coalition of businesses working to achieve marriage equality in Peru. The legal team prepared research on the legal consequences of the lack of marriage equality for same-sex couples and lack of legal protection for the children of same-sex couples in Peru. Más Igualdad Perú conducted a series of presentations and awareness building sessions for business leaders and engaged workforce to explain the importance of their support of the LGBTQ+ community, and increase awareness of obstacles as direct result of ongoing State-sanctioned discrimination and exclusion.

Middle East and North Africa

In Morocco, Yaquota Idrissy (she/her), through her organization South Trans Voice, hosted a three-day event titled “Trans Muggar” that included educational workshops, awareness raising sessions, and cultural events to create a unique platform to raise the visibility of the transgender community. The workshops explored identity, discrimination, and skill building. The cultural events included art shows and storytelling workshops, which provided a powerful means of self-expression and reflection.

In Turkiye, Özgür Gür (he/they) through the organization ÜniKuir empowered young LGBTI+ activists in rural and non-metropolitan areas through community empowerment training sessions and delivering consultancy services. These sessions equipped activists with essential skills and competencies needed to initiate sustainable existing networks and communities.