It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the news from Chechnya and other places in the world where gays are suffering from state-sponsored violence. This is what you can actually do to help and make a real impact.
When Fred Erick heard about the atrocities against gay men in Chechnya he knew he had to act.
“I started this fundraising page to channel my frustration, anger and pain into action that will help these gay men escape to safety.—Fred Erick
He created a Facebook fundraiser page to support the Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian organization dedicated to helping LGBT people escape state-sponsored violence. So far 4,300 people have donated sums large and small.
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“For me the horrors against gay men in Chechnya hit close to home,” Fred told OutBuzz. “I was born in the Soviet Union and in 1987 my family and I fled as Jewish refugees. I started this fundraising page to channel my frustration, anger and pain into action that will help these gay men escape to safety.”
Take this moment right now to donate a even $5 to the Rainbow Railroad—it’s more effective than internalizing your pain and feeling helpless.
Bringing LGBT Refugees to Safety Comes at a Price
According to the Rainbow Railroad, it costs around $10,000 to bring an endangered LGBT person to safety. This hefty price tag is only for delivering individuals to a safe country and not for resettling or supporting them. Your donation would have a tangible and real effect towards helping an LGBT person escape to a safe country.
The Rainbow Railroad Helps Save LGBT Lives in Chechnya and Worldwide
Rainbow Railroad is the only organization in the world with the direct government connections and the unique capacity to provide direct assistance with real impact to persecuted LGBT people.
“We are partnering with the Russian LGBT Network to help persecuted individuals in Chechnya,” the Rainbow Railroad told OutBuzz. “Currently, 30 gay men have escaped to safe houses in Russia and we have helped 2 of these men escape the region altogether to safe countries. However, this is just the beginning of our work.”
The LGBT refugee organization is providing direct travel assistance. The Rainbow Railroad has committed to supporting safe travel for all of the gay men that have escaped to safe houses.
How Effective is the Rainbow Railroad?
So far every person that the Rainbow Railroad has given travel support has been able to claim asylum in a safe country. By you helping the Rainbow Railroad, you’re helping gay Chechens escape to Canada or other safe host countries and start a new life.
Safe travel is just one of the ways the Rainbow Railroad helps LGBT lives in danger. The nonprofit also petitions the Canadian government to provide emergency visas to gay men in Chechnya and other countries with state-sponsored LGBTQ violence.
The official registered charitable organization was founded in 2006 and provides information, support and travel for LGBT people in danger.