We are UHAI EASHRI—the East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative, or simply UHAI. We believe in African activist voice in resourcing the struggle for equality, justice and dignity for Africa’s sex workers and sexual and gender minorities. We are changing the narrative of how Eastern African movements are resourced, to one of ownership and self-determination by the very activists who live that struggle.
UHAI is Africa’s first indigenous activist fund for sex workers and sexual and gender minorities. We support civil society organising for and by sex workers and sexual and gender minorities with: flexible and accessible grants; capacity support; support for Pan-African organising and advocacy, including support for activist-determined convening; and knowledge building and documentation.
Since our founding in 2009, UHAI has supported civil society in the five East African countries of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Following on movement requests and research in the previous strategic period, UHAI will provide new support to Ethiopia effective mid-2016, and we are undertaking research to inform our plans to include support to the Democratic Republic of Congo by the end of 2016.
UHAI is the largest funder of Eastern Africa’s civil society organising for sex workers and sexual and gender minorities. In the 7 years since our founding, we have awarded about 400 grants amounting about USD 5 million. The majority of these grants are peer grants that are determined by Eastern African activists.
UHAI is the first funder and most consistent funder for a majority of activist organising in Eastern Africa. We are committed to identifying and supporting young, nascent ideas, sustaining funding over the years to allow for institutional development, and accompanying our funding with tailored capacity support in order to grow activist organisations to the kind of structural integrity that attracts further funding. We have identified and supported the capacity of emerging groups to become powerful organisations, and provided a critical lifeline to organisations often unknown to other funders.
UHAI is also an incubator for African thought and a critical leader in Pan-African movement building, by way of our grant making to Pan-African organisations, our strategic networking and partnership engagements, and by convening support. UHAI is modelling a different kind of philanthropy where movements self determine their funding agenda and priorities. We are pushing funders to think and do differently. We are rewriting the rules of philanthropy by challenging assumptions and navigating unchartered waters.
UHAI EASHRI RESOURCES & UPDATES