Our “conductors” inside Uganda are the heart-and-soul of what we do. They are our heroes, finding ways for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to escape Uganda where they are under direct threat – up to, and including, death.
The conductors hide them while waiting for funds to get them out of the country, feed them, sometimes provide for medical needs, and then find ingenious ways for them to cross the border to other countries where they pass them on to other groups that arrange for the passengers to have access to medical, housing, food, psychosocial, visa, and transportation support to their final destinations. To date, 1,302 LGBT folks and their allies have left Uganda with the help of these conductors, with a great number now in their countries of final destination all over the world.
During the short life of the Friends Ugandan Safe Transport two Ugandan conductors have died – one from beatings, and one from a multitude of health conditions, built up in the course of his relentless dedication to this dangerous work. Here is the story of Tony, one of our conductors who died in the service of his LGBT brothers and sisters. There are others who have very narrowly escaped death, and have suffered crippling injuries.
And now one of our most dedicated conductors is hospitalized with both typhoid fever and a very serious lung infection. The infection will require surgery, at a total cost of $1,805, and, frankly, at this moment, we don’t have it. We need to raise a minimum of $640 in the next 24 hours to keep him alive (we have someone working with the hospital to work out a payment plan.) And within the next two weeks, we need to raise it all.
This is our opportunity to help someone who has dedicated his very life to the service of others, at great risk. Let’s not let him down.