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    Helping LGBTQI refugees reconnect with what moves them

    Day 254

    Have Faith

    Faith plays a central role in all our lives – whether it’s faith in religion, a higher energy, or having faith in the people around us, there is something that gives us hope that hardships are transitory and that good times will be coming around again. This is no different for LGBTQI asylum seekers and refugees in Kenya – during our visit in August, we kept hearing how their religion was one thing which assured them that they will be okay.

    Like in any other community, faith leaders are key figures of comfort and compassion, providing support and advice to community members who often are unable to access traditional Kenyan religious spaces. We spoke to Jacob, a Ugandan pastor living in Nairobi, who discussed his role and mentioned how the community used to organize interfaith prayer sessions to provide support and solace for those struggling with displacement.

    These sessions stopped around a year ago due to a lack of funding, and the community were desperate to find a way to continue these sessions – that’s where we came in.

    As soon as we heard these words, we knew that we couldn’t leave Kenya without the community having another prayer session. We worked closely with The Nature Network, a community-based organization run by LGBTQI asylum seekers and refugees in Nairobi, to rent the bare bones of what we needed – a gazebo, sound system and chairs. With those in place we knew that the communities selected pastor, Pastor Yasin, would provide the spirit and wisdom needed to ignite the prayer session.

    We greeted over 30 LGBTQI asylum seekers and refugees who sheltered from the beating sun under our gazebo in The Nature Network’s garden. We gathered to pray, regardless of our religion or lack of it, to find hope and strength through song and sermon. Pastor Yasin’s sermon, The Sword, focused on staying strong while being displaced, and that hope could be found in even the darkest of places – something which I think we all need to be reminded of every now and again!

    The strength and resilience of this community has amazed me since I began working with them only eight months ago. But having seen this prayer session, I understand more now how they remain hopeful when faced with so much hardship.


    Meet Jamie! Jamie is Alight’s Global Inclusivity Advisor based out of London, UK, and works with our teams internationally to ensure marginalized communities are given the tools necessary to live lives filled with joy, meaning and purpose. He is particularly passionate about working with LGBTIQ asylum seekers and refugees in East Africa, who are some of the world’s most vulnerable. Need to contact Jamie? Feel free to reach out:


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