20 Feb

A Plea for LGBTQ Ugandans on 2-19-2022

February 19, 2022

Dear Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Fund friends and donors,

We are asking for your help during these very desperate times for the LGBTQ people in Uganda. FUST works with a conductor who currently has 186 passengers in hiding, awaiting safe transport. Some of these people have been in hiding for weeks, and the situation has been especially difficult since food is in very short supply and an additional cost for the conductor. Of course, the situation with Covid has only increased the stress and pressure on our Ugandan friends.

We recently had a confidential Zoom meeting with this conductor to get an “in person” briefing on the situation. Waiting passengers are truly in dire straits, and once again we are working with a person who is willing to risk everything to do this dangerous work that they understand as critical.

Our role as FUST is to support them. What is needed immediately are funds for food to sustain them as they await transport. Then the cost of transport to a safer country outside of Uganda is $65.00 per person.

We have greatly appreciated your generosity and hope you will continue to support this very worthy, dangerous mission. FUST has saved 2739 lives since April 13, 2014 and has given hope to LGBTQ Ugandans who had despaired of ever finding safe refuge.

As soon as your donations to FUST are received, we send them out. Any amount you are able to give is helpful and very appreciated.

Please go to this page on our website to find out how to donate with a check or online: https://friendsugandansafetransport.org/donate/

You are welcome to contact us if you have questions or would like more information.
With deep gratitude and appreciation,

Gabi Clayton (360) 888-5291
Kathleen O’Shaunessy (360) 943-0489
Co-managers of FUST, a project of Olympia Friends Meeting (Quakers)

Download this post in PDF format here to share.

14 Nov

Update from Friends Ugandan Safe Transport to Friends, Donors and Supporters

Dear Friends, Donors and Supporters,

It has been some time since we updated you on the activities of FUST.  During the Covid pandemic, things have been especially difficult in Uganda.  Out of a population of 45 million, approximately 4 million have received their first vaccination and only 1% are fully vaccinated. In addition, clinics are charging $140. per shot, which is prohibitive for virtually all of the people we work with there.  The situation is beyond dire. 

Our primary point person who has been sheltering and arranging transport for LGBTQ passengers has been under extreme stress.  In addition, he has had some severe health issues.  We strongly urged him to discontinue accepting passengers and to care for himself.  He is currently hospitalized in Nairobi and requires major surgery.  His hospital expenses to date are $4250.  We are reaching out to those of you whose generous donations to FUST have supported the safe transport of 2739 passengers.   Our dear courageous point person has sheltered and arranged transport for over 300 of these passengers.  We want to help him with his medical expenses during this very difficult time.  If you can help, please check our website (friendsugandansafetransport.org) for options on how to donate.  If you have questions or would like more information, you are welcome to contact either of us. 

With gratitude and appreciation, warmly,

Gabi Clayton (360-888-5291)
Kathleen O’Shaunessy (360-943-0489)
Co-managers of FUST

Download this letter in PDF format here.

12 Feb

A FUST Conductor’s Ordeal: JK – February 2021

I have lived a life, a life I never dreamed of in my childhood, a life so punishing and yet so forgiving. I have lived a life full of strange events, a life without a biological family. I was disowned by my own family at an early age, and lived a life on the streets, a life of drugs and prostitution which dominated most of my early youth. Having a mother who wishes my death and a father who willingly volunteered to kill me given the opportunity, it wasn’t an easy path for a young man, so I am used to living life on the run.

I am called JK, a dedicated conductor with the Friends Ugandan Safe Transport (FUST) program, championed by Olympia Friends Meeting in Olympia Washington. I have been volunteering with the program since 2014. Earlier in 2010, after coming into contact with well-respected human rights defenders, I had made a decision to turn my life around. It wasn’t easy, having struggled with drugs and life on the streets for so many years, but I decided to start living. After four hard years, my life changed and hope returned. But there were still very limited opportunities for life in Uganda for gay men. I wanted to do something that makes me feel worth living – change lives, save lives – and I possessed aa burning desire to create a mark on history in movement organizing among the gay community in Uganda.

Ever since I became a “conductor” (FUST is modeled on the Underground Railroad in the U.S. prior to the Civil War), many good things have happened in my life. I have aided in the transportation of over a thousand “passengers”, who have crossed over to other countries to rebuild their lives.

Working with passengers can sometimes be challenging. I am working with people who have lost hope, who are on the run, who are fleeing death, who have survived lynching and mob justice, who have been disowned by their own families, who have no friends or allies or connections. Some even run mad while in the safe houses. Their mental health is always extremely fragile, and, no, we don’t have a psychiatrist on standby.

In this journey I have witnessed death, ritual rape, passengers taking their lives. Some of the conductors have died in the struggle. Yes, we have lost some battles but victory is on our side and we shall surely win the war. It’s just a matter of time.
The current political turmoil in Uganda has made things much worse. The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, running to extend his 36-year rule, incited local communities to violence by claiming that the opposition candidate Bobi Wine was funded by an “international homosexual conspiracy. This has drawn so much attention to gay people. In the past year, violence escalated against both the political opposition and the LGBTQi community.

It should be emphasized that we are dealing with a corrupt police system in Uganda, which has mastered the art of extortion, abuse, torture, and blackmail. This makes things more complicated. You can only expect ‘justice” if you can buy it from the very authoritarians who can even decide if you live or die.  Three quarters of Ugandans believe that the entire police system is corrupt, and it’s the very reason they turn to mob justice and lynching, since they know that gay people will be set free, not charged and hence won’t serve any jail term. Local homophobes believe that the LGBTQi community can always do whatever it takes to be released, since the police are always willing to take a bribe.

I have been a victim and I have paid my fair share in my struggle to save lives but that’s another story.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Friends of Olympia and the administrators of and donors to the Friends Uganda Safe Transport fund. You guys are living heroes. Introducing some of us to the life of Quakers has renewed our hopes in life. We have something spiritual which speaks to us, it has reorganized our movement in our community, we can’t trade you for anything. As for our Friends meeting here, I don’t feel comfortable sharing more details, as it can end up being closed by the authorities. Yet it is an open, welcoming, and affirming Friends meeting.

The active political season especially the general elections for president and the members of parliament plus other elective posts, is always hell for the gay community. This season initially left us with many desperate passengers. Thanks to you we have been able to transport many and at this time are only left with 88 passengers who are hiding in poorly lit, small houses we call safe houses, with little access to food. Please HELP!

I will be sharing briefs as often as I am able, an account that will tell the story of this movement.

Please help with a donation to support the work of JK and FUST!

FUST is a project of Olympia Friends Meeting (Quakers) and contributions go through the Olympia Friends Meeting, earmarked for FUST. This means your donation is tax-deductible.

The fastest way to donate is through this PayPal link:


or send a check to:
Olympia Friends Meeting
3201 Boston Harbor Road NE
Olympia, WA 98506

Be sure to put “FUST” or “Uganda” in the note on the check

For more information about your donation or about FUST, see:

Thank you!

20 Nov

“This is living” – Eunice Nyamatala, 28 Years Old – And A Plea from FUST

I am called Eunice Nyamatala, 28 years old. In March 2019, I fled my home district Kasese Western Uganda, when I survived mob justice. Lydia Mutesi (RIP), my fiancé and I were attacked and lynched in our rental unit by an irritated mob. Lydia didn’t survive. She died of her injuries. Painfully, I had to abandon her lifeless body at a clinic in Fort Portal district. Fearing for my own life since the clinic had started questioning my relationship with Lydia and asking about my sexual orientation, it was my time to flee again.  

It wasn’t my time to die. I connected with a human rights organization (which later put me in contact with an LGBTQi organization), and I was offered a job by this organization as a case worker, working on gender-based violence cases involving LGBTQi people. 

Life was moving on very well. Since I was in-closet, I did all I could to appear straight so as not to arouse any suspicion. However, late last year things started to change. A government spokesperson and a minister hinted that the Ugandan government is reconsidering passing another anti-homosexuality bill. Having survived a mob justice, I was so traumatized and, though I tried to calm down, I wasn’t myself. My fears came to light in August 2020 when there was a nationwide hunt for the LGBTQi, in different parts of Uganda. The local Ugandans are claiming that the Ugandan government has failed in eliminating homosexuality. Actually, this is not true because the Ugandan government has special security operatives who are charged with man-hunting LGBTQi persons all over the country. However, it has to be done so secretly so that people in the West don’t know what is going on.  

Back to my story: on the 10th of August my name was mentioned on Bwera FM Radio in my home district Kasese, that a lesbian who fled Kasese in 2019 has been sighted in Eastern Uganda. This set me packing and I sought for a safe house to hide. I had to abandon my work, which was taking care of me.  Fortunately, a group of Quaker friends organized under the Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Fund have never given up on us or the entire Ugandan LGBTQi community. During times of crisis, they are always there to help us. We are lucky at least somebody somewhere out there cares.

Later in September 2020 with several others, we were helped to flee Uganda. I don’t think I can ever go back to Uganda. I think I am out of danger. I have gotten a job working with an international tourism company. Actually, they don’t even care about my orientation or lifestyle.

Friends, the job you do is very important and I wish to take this opportunity to thank you. You saved my life. ….. now this is living.

On November 19th, Ugandan President Museveni, currently campaigning for President, openly attacked the gay community. On the radio, he called upon “peace-loving Ugandans” to take matters into their own hands by arresting, reporting, and stalking any suspected gay people.

This is a recent news report: https://nilepost.co.ug/2020/11/20/museveni-attacks-homosexuals-foreign-groups-says-they-are-sponsoring-opposition-protests/

People are fleeing for their lives. Right now the conductors Friends Ugandan Safe Transport supports have 64 people in hiding, seeking to leave the country. The majority of them are transgender. We need funds ($75 per person) to accomplish this. We have very courageous conductors prepared to undertake this work at great personal risk.

Please help! They cannot do it without your financial support!

Contributions go through the Olympia Friends Meeting, earmarked for FUST. The fastest way is through this PayPal link: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=75NTGCGG66TDQ

or send a check to:

Olympia Friends Meeting
3201 Boston Harbor Road NE
Olympia, WA 98506

Be sure to put “FUST” or “Uganda” in the note on the check

For more information about your donation or about FUST, see:

Please share this information. Thank you!

07 Apr

News: Uganda Raids LGBTQ Homeless Shelter, Arrests and Jails 23 People for Unwarranted COVID-19 Offenses After Considering Charging Them Under Anti-Homosexuality Laws

APRIL 6, 2020 – BY ANDY TOWLE – Towleroad

“Uganda security forces raided a shelter for homeless LGBTQ youth last week and arrested 23 people, including a nurse and the shelter’s executive director, charging them with unwarranted COVID-19 offenses after considering charging them under anti-homosexuality laws.

“Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) reports: “The Police first considered charging them with having carnal knowledge against the order of nature under section 145 of the Penal Code, but this was later changed to doing ‘a negligent act likely to spread infection of disease’ contrary to Section 171 of the Penal Code Act, and ‘disobedience of lawful orders’ under section 117 of the Penal Code Act. This was in the context of the Presidential Directives on COVID-19 which incidentally require people to stay indoors, the exact thing that the people at the shelter were doing.”

“Two people were beaten upon arrest. Three have been released on bond, “one of whom was the nurse and the other two for medical reasons.” and the other 20 have been sent to prison until April 29 when they are scheduled to appear in court.”

Read the rest of the article here:

30 Mar

LGBTQ Quakers in Uganda, and Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Stories from Solomon Ntanga and Nasali Sheila

Friends from Bulungi Tree Shade Friends Meeting in Jinja, Uganda, are under siege. They are the only welcoming and affirming unprogrammed Friends Meeting in east and central Africa. Their co-clerk is transgender.

38 of their members have had to flee for their lives, and two have been killed, including the clerk of a new worship group that was being formed. One of the founders was beaten and left for dead – he had been finding safe houses for LGBTQ folks. We managed to transport him to Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, where he underwent 11 hours of brain surgery (he was suffering from intracranial hemorrhaging), then went back for another operation on his spine. The clerk was rescuing a transgender man on a motorcycle when she suffered a motorcycle accident, with much internal bleeding. Also to Aga Khan. LGBTQ folks don’t dare use a hospital in Uganda.

Below are two stories from last week. Friends Ugandan Safe Transport is a project of Olympia Friends Meeting. It is organized like the Underground Railroad. To date, 2,122 people have been helped to flee, including six children and eight allies. We need your help!

“The Sound of a Police Truck Speaks Terror” – by Solomon Ntanga

The sound of a police patrol truck speaks terror and fear to me. To me the sighting of a police officer, uniform, and even the word “police” itself are signs of danger. Twelve years later, I am still traumatized, and, yes, I still suffer nightmares.

On the cold evening of Thursday the 21st August 2008, I was picked up from my boyfriend’s house by a group of six policemen. Did I say boyfriend? Actually NOT!!! He was an undercover homophobic police officer, who has a life time commitment to wipe homosexuality out of Uganda He picked me up from a local secret point where we always hung out. He used to make a scene buying us food and drinks, and he quickly won our trust. We didn’t suspect that the personal questions he was asking were meant to gather more facts about the gay community in our area. Because I was somehow desperate and I needed a place to stay, I managed to befriend him and I really opened up to him, quickly sharing my story with him. He was really “generous”; yes, generous with hidden motive and a dark secret, and yes he hates gay people, helps to get them arrested, secretly arranges mob justice and lynching, he frames them so it looks like they have been stealing, and, then, even before the police arrive, they are stoned to death or burnt to ashes. Richard is a self-proclaimed pro when it comes to hunting down gay people. He is proud that he has blood on his hands, and he has mastered the art of preying on gay people who are homeless, on-drugs, desperate, and broke. He has the resources to operate all over Uganda and he knows exactly what to do. He is well-connected to the right people in the government and he comes from the ruling tribe in western Uganda. He doesn’t believe in the rule of law, in his own statement “the parliament and all the so called laws won’t stop the spreading of homosexuality in Uganda, there is need for more brave strong men like me to hunt them down and wipe them out before they spread the “disease” to others.”

My ordeal started immediately I entered Richard’s car to head to his apartment, he handcuffed me and pushed a dirty cloth in my mouth to shut me up. He insisted I tell him about everything, including names, addresses, phone numbers of each and every gay person in our community. He made it clear he would later kill me, so I was ready to face my Creator. He beat me so hard without getting any more information. Later in the night, I really can’t tell but I must have gone into a coma. I don’t really remember much and don’t know if hours or days had passed, I was then picked up by yet another hostile group of policemen who really enjoyed inflicting pain. I still find it hard to forgive them, even though I strongly believe in forgiveness and peace.

In police custody, I suffered a broken leg and I lost an eye. They worked on my file so that I could be taken to court but the police officer in charge of the police station mentioned that in the state I was, I was going to attract both local and international media so taking me to court in that state, wasn’t a good idea. For two days they openly discussed either to take me to a hospital or do away with me. My life was being discussed as if was a chicken in regard for dinner. Some questioned who would pay my hospital bills. Richard insisted killing me now with all the information I had would be a big loss. He suggested that I get treatment and maybe I would cooperate and give them more information. That’s how I was dumped at a government hospital but since nobody was paying my medical bills, the hospital suspended all treatment and I was asked to leave That’s how I survived. Ye, I am still full of terror, disfigured, and lame, but I am happy to be alive.

It has taken me almost 12 years to flee from Uganda, thanks to friends of the Friends Uganda Safe Transport Fund.

Having escaped from Uganda, I am now 28, living here taking it day by day, I now have hopes that maybe one day I will be somebody. Those guys wanted to kill me but I know am out of reach for them to make decisions on how to kill me. It’s not easy living in hiding for 12 years.

God bless you all!
Solomon Ntanga

“I wish times could just change” – by Nasali Sheila, March 15, 2020

My friends call me Nasa, but my full name is Nasali Sheila 20 years. I was born to peasant farmers who strongly believed that I should be married off, or to be more accurate “sold off”. At the age of 14, I was married off to a wealthy man Haji Mohammad Bin Ali, who was 67. I became his fourth wife. He happily paid my family three cows, five goats, several chickens, several kilos of sugar, rice, salt, oil lamps, clothes, and other goods to my “family”. I was sold off like an item.

On my wedding night, he raped me, and by the time I gave birth when I was 16 I had developed fistula. I hated men and has taken me a lifetime to heal. And I hate my family; they just never cared.

From my early childhood, I developed an attraction towards girls. By the time I was finally sold off, I knew I was not straight, and by the time I gave birth, I knew I was a lesbian.

When I gave birth to my daughter Shamira, I started plotting on how to disappear without a trace. That chance came when the man who bought m., had to go to Mecca on hajj.

I just disappeared with Shamira, living a life on the run for years. Just last week, however, the local FM radio stations opened a fresh war on the people in my town, calling on the locals to destroy homosexuality in their communities since the government is like failing to do it. They called on churches and mosques to hand over gay people. This caused a lot of panic among us and thank Allah, we knew who to run to in this town. Till lately I have been living with my girl friends and when words went around that we were going to be attacked, we immediately called the local “conductor” because he had earlier assessed us in the process of helping us to flee from Uganda – to leave and go live in another country where we could be safe and free from the daily danger in which we live. We called the conductor, but currently he doesn’t have the resources to help us leave nor can he feed us as he looks around for the financial resources to help us flee. We decided that if death is going to meet us, it should find us at the local shelter, not in the township.

It is now coming to one full week, we are started, I have a crying child, no food, no safe water, no light. The conductor manages to get us one meal every two days. We are now sick and diseased, am so worried my baby might die before help finds us.

We are now 85 waiting. We lost one of our trans friends. day we become more desperate and hope is quickly fading, we are so worried what if the conductor abandons us and this leads to mass killings?

We are appealing to whoever can to help us flee We also wish to live but in my country life is cheap and one can easily be killed. I wish times could just change.

Help, Help. Nobody has ever gone broke by helping, we need your help to flee.


If you are able to financially support the work of Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Fund, please go to our DONATE page. Thank you!

Olympia Monthly Meeting is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.  Cash and non-cash contributions are tax deductible to the full extent of applicable law.  Our Employer Identification Number (EIN) is 94-3145171.


27 Jan

“I can now breathe” by Isaiah Kintu

Isaiah Kintu

I was born on the 25th March 1999 in the wrong body. I was named Isabella Nakintu. At the age of nine, everything indicated that I am a boy in a girl’s body. But since the culture demanded that I should be a girl, I had very limited support from my family. It became an intense personal problem. Later, I considered suicide as a solution but, as a Christian, the thought of taking my own life was overwhelming. Any attempts against the will of my parents were met with extreme violence, cultural rituals, flogging, and rejection.

At the age of 15, I made a difficult decision to go my own way; and street life gave me more comfort. This hard-knock life greeted me with crime, drugs, and prostitution and, by 2017; I had contracted HIV. I remember being arrested by the police in 2018 and the police had to undress me to ascertain my sex. Some were calling me a girl and others a boy.  One police officer raped me in the night in the name of giving protective custody. Without any relatives interested in my plight, it took months before I was given a police bond, which I jumped. In the police statement I had made, I had clearly indicated that I am transgender, which was an automatic case of self-incrimination. I became a fugitive from our gruesome laws.

A fellow street mate hinted to me that there is a welcoming church which can help me hide away from the police and my family (by 2019, my family wished my death and attempts were being made to kill me by rat poison because of my gender and sexual orientation). After months of searching, I was finally connected to a Friends’ group. My friend said it was a church, but it was actually a Quaker Friends Meeting. They pray differently and at first I thought they were strange. But that didn’t really matter – they welcomed me as I am. They accepted me and never judged me or even asked me questions. This is the place where I belonged, this was the very first time I wasn’t trying to be something different. It was me and I felt the comfort of changing my name from Isabella Nakintu to Isaiah Kintu.

Isaiah Kintu

The events of late 2019 again changed things around. A Minister in Uganda announced the re-tabling of the “Kill the Gays” law. This meant that we had to go into more confined hiding in safe houses. The media are strictly controlled in Uganda and are ordered not to mention or report any state-sponsored homophobia, though somehow once in a while such news makes it to the international media.  However, when a government minister makes a statement and introduces a law to kill gay people, the local people in rural villages and elsewhere understand this to mean they can take up arms, stones, machetes, sticks, etc. to beat and kill any suspected LGBTQI in mob justice (lynching).

After hiding in safe houses for weeks and losing one of our friends in a mob justice attack, more than 60 of us were safely helped to flee from Uganda to a safe harbor. Though I am happy for now, my expected final destination will be …. where I can get a job and start working, go back to school, and rebuild my life.

I wish to thank all the Quakers in the U.S. who are organized under the Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Fund, who funded my escape and those of my friends. You are miracle workers, and you saved our lives. Now we can breathe. Thanks AGAIN & AGAIN!

If you are able to financially support the work of Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Fund so that we can help us fund more people like Isaiah who need to get out of Uganda because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, please go to our DONATE page. Thank you!

05 Jan

Friends Ugandan Safe Transport update letter, January 01, 2020

January 1, 2020

Dear Friends –

Thank you so much for your assistance with Friends Ugandan Safe Transport (FUST) in this hour of great need. To bring you up to date, in October 2019 a bill was introduced into the Uganda Parliament calling for criminal penalties against LGBTQ people, including the death penalty. While the bill itself is not likely to be acted upon anytime soon, it reopened an active phase for expressions of homophobia and hatred throughout Uganda. In eastern Uganda alone, we know of five murders (with our contacts having witnessed two of them.) Eight radio stations and a tv station are airing anti-gay propaganda around the clock, and homophobic sermons are being preached from the pulpit, including by at least one Catholic bishop. People are being beaten in the streets or at markets, forced to leave school and families and are living in a constant climate of fear. We would note that little of this is allowed out by the press/media, which is pretty much confined to the capital Kampala.

Through your help and courageous action on the part of our “conductors,” 113 gay, lesbian, and transgender people, (including 38 members of Bulungi Tree Shade Friends Meeting – a welcoming and affirming Quaker Meeting in eastern Uganda; ‘bulungi’ means “welcome’) – have left Uganda, including 67 on Christmas Day itself. They are now all at their interim destinations, where they are well-housed, fed (many of them had been virtually starving), receiving medical care, and provided with services that will help them reach their final destinations around the world. Please note that funds from FUST are not used for this purpose, but only to facilitate the transport of those leaving Uganda, and for medical expenses of conductors and other directly involved in these efforts. Among the 113 were four gay members of the Ugandan Presidential Guard!

But it has been hard! And will continue to be so. Four “safe houses” had been set up in eastern Uganda. As there was not enough food, one transgender woman named Thelma ventured out of one of the houses to buy some bread at a market about a mile away, where she was beaten to death. (She had also been one of the conveners of the Buikwa Friends Worship Group.) Another individual, having just witnessed a lynching of a lesbian woman, was transporting a transgender person to safety when she was involved in a very serious motorcycle accident. She was transported by ambulance to Agha Khan Hospital (from experience they don’t trust Ugandan hospitals) in Nairobi, Kenya, where she underwent seven hours of surgery for internal injuries. She is now back in Uganda and recovering well.

Sadly, the same cannot be said of Robert Mboise (one of the co-founders of Bulungi Tree Shade Friends Meeting) who had been helping individuals reach the safe houses. Robert was attacked, beaten, and left for dead. He was found the next day and eventually sent via ambulance to Agha Khan, where he underwent 10 hours of surgery to relieve intracranial hemorrhaging. The operation was a success, but just the beginning, as he has a major spinal cord injury and is likely to require additional emergency surgery. Robert is one of the most extraordinary people you might ever meet, and we are committed to doing whatever is necessary to assist in his recovery.

Meanwhile, our conductors have a confirmed list of 85 people awaiting transport. The safehouses are currently closed as there is no money for food or fuel, and with floods sweeping Uganda there are now cholera outbreaks that can easily be spread among people living in close quarters. So we are working on more fundraising efforts to get these people out, and we expect there will be more.

You have collectively already done so much! Since we started in 2014 when the first anti-gay legislation was introduced, with your financial support some 2,057 people in justified fear for their lives (with 12 murders along the way) left Uganda and are rebuilding their lives around the world.

We are blessed that we are able to do this work, and so grateful for your ongoing assistance in doing it.

Thank you for giving us this opportunity to serve.

Gabi Clayton and Kathleen O’Shaunessy – Co-Managers
Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Fund – Olympia Friends Meeting

Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Fund is a project of Olympia Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, a 501(c)(3) religious organization (tax identification number: #94=3145171). Donations to Olympia Friends Meeting are tax-deductible to the extent allowed under the Internal Revenue Code. No goods or services have been rendered.

Download this letter in PDF format here.

If you are able to financially support the work of Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Fund, please go to our DONATE page. Thank you!

12 Dec

Update on Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Fund

This is the letter we have been sending out this week to many of our supporters:

December 7, 2019

Dear Friends and Supporters,

It has been over two years since we last updated you on Friends’ Ugandan Safe Transport (FUST).  This is because two of our conductors felt they needed to back away from active participation in the project due to stress and personal safety concerns — which is certainly understandable given their longevity and dedication to the project. FUST continued with only one conductor during that time and we didn’t feel an urgent need for active fundraising again until now. The Ugandan government is reviving the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2013 which was repealed in 2014.

The proposed legislation calls for the death penalty for LGBTQ citizens.  As a result, many LGBTQ Ugandans are in desperate need to get out of the country, so we are gearing up our fundraising efforts again.  Currently, we are in direct contact with the two Ugandan transport allies, both of whom we know personally and have worked with before. 


Within the last four months, five members of the LGBTQ community have been murdered.  One of our friendly allies was severely beaten three weeks ago and is in the hospital in Nairobi awaiting surgery.  We are in urgent need of funds to pay for his surgery and medical expenses as well as to transport passengers to safety that are being held in hiding. There are currently 67 passengers in hiding awaiting transport.  Our primary conductor has successfully transported 42 people to the border in the past three days. This is a very risky, remarkable accomplishment.

Our Ugandan friends report that fear and panic within the LGBTQ community is extremely high.  We are again asking for your support in this time of urgent need.  Thanks to you, our donors, we have raised $190,000 and safely transported 1990 passengers since FUST began in 2014. 

As most of you know, FUST is a project initiated by Olympia Friends’ Meeting (Quakers) in April 2014.  It has the support of more than 25 Friends’ Monthly and Yearly Meetings, several other faith communities and many individual donors.  It is a project conducted by and controlled by Ugandans for Ugandans.  Our role is to provide the financial support which allows conductors to do their work.  No funds are used for staffing or administration except for postage and mailing supplies.  To date, 14 countries have accepted LGBTQ Ugandan refuges.  We hope to expand this number. 

If you have question or would like to know more, please visit our website which provides background information, FAQs, updates and links to other relevant sites  We also invite you to visit our blog at http://friendsugandasafetransport.org/blog/ and read the personal, heartfelt stories of some of the refuges you helped be transported to safety.  You may also wish to view a February 2016 local television program, “Bold, Friendly Action to Help LGBTQ Ugandans Flee to Safety,” done by Olympia Fellowship for Reconciliation (FOR).  You can watch it on the homepage of our website: http://friendsugandansafetrasport.org

We are most grateful and appreciative of your support and donations.  We hope you will continue to support FUST in these most critical times.

With warm regards and good wishes during this holiday season.

Gabi Clayton and Kathleen O’Shaunessy
Co-mangers, Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Fund

Download this letter in PDF format here.

If you are able to financially support the work of Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Fund, please go to our DONATE page. Thank you!

30 Jun

Friends Ugandan Safe Transport needs your help to aid two gay Ugandans

While Friends Ugandan Safe Transport (FUST) has not been very active in the last few months, we are still in operation, working with one amazing Ugandan transporter. This morning he put in a plea for funds to help move two men out of the country.

Brian and Edward, ages 27 and 24, are gay Ugandan soldiers who belonged to the presidential elite guard.

They deserted because of severe harassment based on their sexual orientation and have now been in hiding with the FUST transporter for two months, waiting for us to come up with the funds to get them out of Uganda.

It will cost $370.00 USD to do that – $185.00 for each person – and so far we have raised $55.00.

Any donation you can make will be helpful.

To make a donation through your credit card on PayPal or for information on how to send a check, see: http://friendsugandansafetransport.org/donate/

Thank you,
Gabi Clayton
Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Fund co-manager