VEHRA Turns to Sports, Culture and Art to Challenge Stereotypes

Visual Echoes for Human Rights Advocacy, last week, held an advocacy netball tournament aimed at further integrating the LGBTI and sex worker communities in the districts of Wakiso and Kampala.

The organization which advocates for LGBTI rights in Uganda through the use of sport, visual art and culture hopes to create a more functional working relationship between these two marginalized groups – a move they believe will increase visibility and acceptance of the two within the greater societal setting.

The event was also held in commemoration of the International Transgender Day of Visibility. “Due to Covid-19, we were not able to host the event on the day that the rest of the world celebrates the Transgender Day of Visibility. Fortunately, we managed to conduct an activity on 12th July and it was a great success,” VEHRA’s Executive Director Krest Lear retorted.

“We hope to provide an excellent opportunity for LGBTI persons and sex workers to meet, compete and socialize in a friendly and safe environment. We are hoping that in the future, we will be able to have more similar activities to integrate all the minority populations with the use of sports as an advocacy tool. We know that approach will challenge stereotypes and the taboos that society has towards the minority populations in Uganda,” Krest Lear explained the organization’s plans for the future.

Asked how they plan to continue their activities during this Covid-19 pandemic, Krest Lear said VEHRA planned to equip and engage the organization’s members with different skills in art so that they would learn to produce different items and put them up for sale to boost their income. “In addition, through art and sports, our members will be addressing mental health issues and these projects will help them beat disorders like depression,” he concluded.

The hosting team VEHRA won the tournament by 57 goals with team Amazon garnering 26 goals. The event was funded by Alert Fund for Youth. The winning team took home a trophy.