UPDATE: Our Latest Letter to Friends and Supporters of Friends Uganda Safe Transport
Below is our latest letter to friends and supporters of Friends Uganda Safe Transport. It should be noted that since the letter was sent, the number of passengers waiting for aid has changed. As of today, there are seven passengers and another four likely within days. ~ Gabi Clayton, April 14, 2017
March 18, 2017
Dear Friends and Supporters,
It has been several months since Friends Uganda Safe Transport (FUST) has communicated directly with you. We have had considerable activity in December and January. One of the Ugandan conductors was jailed briefly, during which time he was physically and sexually assaulted. He required emergency surgery and blood transfusions to save his life. We are pleased to report he is now recovering and is doing much better. However, hospitals require payment up front and he had no money. FUST was able to raise these emergency funds primarily through the generosity of local Friends. We did not use our regular contributions to fund this medical emergency. As a result of focusing on this added need, our overall contributions have been down since the beginning of the year.
Your generous contributions of $165,870.81 have supported the safe transport of 1,859 LGBTQ passengers since we started this work on April 13, 2014. The cost of safely transporting one person out of Uganda is between $55 and $185 depending on the distance from the Ugandan border. We currently have 25 lesbian passengers in hiding awaiting transport. This group has been waiting for quite some time now and we are hopeful that we can raise the funds necessary to transport all of them soon.
As many of you know, this work is conducted and controlled by Ugandans for Ugandans. The role of Olympia Friends Meeting’s FUST project is to provide the financial support that funds the conductors’ work. To date, 14 countries have accepted LGBTQ Ugandan refugees. We hope to add more. We have the support of 29 Friends’ Monthly Meetings, two Yearly Meetings, several other faith communities, and many individual donors. Your support and contributions allow us to continue this important work.
For new donors and those who have questions and would like to know more, we invite you to 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://friendsugandansafetransport.org/blog and read the personal, heartfelt stories of some of the refugees you have helped be transported to safety.
We are most grateful and appreciative of your support and donations. We hope you will continue to support FUST.
With warm regards,
Gabi Clayton and Kathleen O’Shaunessy
Co-managers of Friends Ugandan Safe Transport
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.
Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Fund
Olympia Friends Meeting
3201 Boston Harbor Road NE
Olympia, WA 98506-2800 U.S.A.
Phone: (360) 888-5291
To make a donation, go to http://friendsugandansafetransport.org/donate/