An organization who provide HIV education and medical support for sexual minorities in Cameroon, in the midst of increasing violence against LGBT people, has won the 2013 Awards for Action from the Canadian HIV/Aids Legal Network.
‘Alternatives-Cameroun is on the front lines of the global fight for human rights for people living with HIV and challenging homophobia,’ said Joseph Amon, health and human rights director at Human Rights Watch.
‘This brave group refuses to be silenced by adversity and is an essential resource for so many LGBTI people in a country that remains profoundly hostile and dangerous for them.’
Last July Eric Ohena Lembembe, the executive director of the Cameroonian Foundation for Aids, was brutally killed. Human Rights Watch said local police did nothing to protect Lembembe after he reported threats, and his murderers have not been arrested.
‘When your daily lives are spent in a state of fear and uncertainty, it is critical to know that you have the support of the global community,’ said Yves Yomb, executive director of Alternatives-Cameroun.
‘This award sends hope to all LGBTI Cameroonians and a warning to our government that discrimination will not be tolerated.’
Canadian organization Grandmothers Advocacy Network (GRAN) was joint recipient of the award. They are a group of grandmothers who volunteer to support grandmothers in Africa caring for children who have been orphaned by Aids.
‘GRAN is a group of knowledgeable, dedicated and passionate individuals,’ said Richard Elliott, executive director of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. ‘They bring tenacity and passion to the international cause of preventing needless death and suffering from HIV.’