QMUNITY

2

Volunteer with our Review Subcommittee in 2021

Ever felt like volunteering, but not sure where to begin?

Rainbow Foundation of Hope (RFOH) relies on community support to help us review grant applications from our National Partners.

They are Canadian registered charities leading projects and programs for LGBT+ refugees and newcomers (i.e., SOGIE migrants) through three RFOH funding streams:

Whenever RFOH receives a new application, we draw upon a growing database of community volunteers on our Review Subcommittee to review and evaluate each application.

The process provides transparency and accountability of our grant administration process to volunteers and donors.

Commit whatever time you can. Each application is based purely on your interest and availability. We look for a minimum of two (2) community representatives outside of the RFOH Board of Directors to help with a goal of 50% community representation.

Over 30 volunteers have helped us with the review process to date. Message us at volunteer@foundationofhope.net and we’ll happily add you to our growing list.

6

Year 4 of STRUT: truly among friends

On June 9th, 2018 you all made what has come to be an annual pilgrimage – the collective gathering of friends old and new to attend the fourth annual STRUT. Foundation of Hope invited the community to help bring in funds to enable the cause. Caring and generous folks, more than willing to do your part as donors, we walked in solidarity for the cause.

We were joined by our corporate sponsors and partners, led foremost by TD Bank as a key partner and perennial contributor. TD’s donation of Aeroplan miles allowed us to bring our community partners out to participate this year, including representatives from Toronto’s Rainbow Railroad, a key partner to FOH, and The 519, which received its first grant from FOH last year. Montréal’s Centre de Solidarité Lesbienne also joined the event and is the first charity to receive FOH funding in Québec.

©2018_BenOwensPhotography_Strut_2018(183of189)©BenOwensPhotography

Our invited community partners joined up with the local like-minded organizations FOH supports including Qmunity, MOSAIC, and VAST. All these organizations are doing important work to support local LGBT+ Newcomers.

©2018_BenOwensPhotography_Strut_2018(160of189)©BenOwensPhotography

Equinox joined as a new arrival this year, presenting the iconic Stonewall Stiletto, which they had Shayne Oliver custom design from the original pleather banquettes in New York’s legendary Stonewall Inn – a nod to the commitment and pain of activists fighting for LGBT+ rights.

These evocative heels are such a fitting complement to STRUT, but they definitely won’t be seen prancing the seawall among an all outrageous manner of footwear donned by this year’s strutters.

©2018_BenOwensPhotography_Strut_2018(32aof189) ©BenOwensPhotography

Foundation of Hope also welcomed the ongoing support of Vancouver’s own legendary John Fluevog, another perennial fave and supreme fit to our brand for STRUT, as well as new support this year from Body Energy Club. We also thank Telus for supplying a crew of volunteers to help us execute a flawless event, yet again.

Foundation of Hope thanks you all. We exist because of you. Without STRUT as an annual means of replenishing our fund, we simply could not continue to accomplish the goals of our Purpose:

Enhance the lives of LGBT+ Newcomers and their families through financial support to Canadian charitable organizations working directly with Asylum Seekers, Refugees, and Newcomers to Canada, both nationally and internationally.

This year we managed to once again exceed $50,000. It took a lot of work, as it does every year, but these funds have never been more critical. That’s because early in 2018, FOH received a record number of applications. Requests came from civil society groups from Halifax to Nanaimo, seeking assistance with projects addressing sponsorship cases for LGBT+ Asylum Seekers and Refugees, as well as Newcomer community service projects.

The amount requested far exceeded the capacity of our fund. Because STRUT occurs in June, it meant FOH could only award a portion of the amount requested in the approved grants. It also meant having to reject grants through our Review Teams, which evaluate these applications.

Community members, many of whom are faithful donors, voluntarily sit on Review Teams with the FOH Grants Committee to collectively review and score every grant application we receive.

Foundation of Hope would prefer to award grants to all eligible applicants, but we anticipated the milestone where the need would outstrip our capacity to give. So it was important to have an objective means of approving some grants over others while being transparent and accountable to our donors.

STRUT is crucial to the success of the Rainbow Foundation of Hope. Financial stability is a primary objective to the long-term sustainability of this fund. It is intended to be a reliable means of support for the charitable work being done to assist LGBT+ migrants fleeing persecution across the world.

It takes time and effort for FOH to administer these grants as a 100% volunteer organization, but the ongoing contributions from reliable donors are just as vital. Help us to be there for Canadian charities when they need assistance to do this important work.

©2018_BenOwensPhotography_Strut_2018(99of189)©BenOwensPhotography
DONATE and become a standing monthly donor today. It means the world to us all.

3

Round 3: Foundation of Hope teams up with our community

While others were out parading and masquerading, colors spread amid ghoulish and fantastic costumes of Halloween, Team FOH gathered at QMUNITY in the heart of Davie Village with sleeves rolled up.

New faces from the LGBT+ community joined the table, including a former refugee that found his way to FOH after receiving emergency travel services from Toronto’s Rainbow Railroad, an important partner of FOH. Grants Committee members and community reps evaluated the latest round of grant applications.

Round 3 focused mainly on Sponsorship funding for individuals in dire situations. A more salient example involved a trans couple that narrowly escaped acute death threats from their own families in a predominantly Muslim nation where LGBT+ are frequently killed. If convicted under Sharia law, punishment can include whipping with 100 lashes or even death by stoning.

Outed individuals can be killed in before criminal prosecution begins and violent mobs have beaten suspected homosexuals to death. Rainbow Railroad helped the couple escape with the utmost urgency to another country on same continent where they are considered safe from death threats and violence, but face ongoing hardships.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) no longer acknowledges their struggle as legitimate refugees. Still, the couple must hide from public exposure and faces discrimination from local people fearing they will take their jobs. Non-violent forms of discrimination are not considered to be persecution, but UNHCR still deems the couple to be a case for private sponsorship and will assist with an application.

This case was brought to FOH through Capital Rainbow Refuge (CRR) in Ottawa, with endorsement by Rainbow Railroad. It is further complicated by the fact that the couple has a young child that remains in the country of origin and cannot be released by law. It all poses to be an immense challenge CRR hopes to resolve, ultimately by reuniting the child with its parents.

Once resettled to Canada, the couple intends to make use of the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Program (RRAP). Initiated in 2011, the Government of Canada appealed to efforts from Rainbow Refugee Committee (RRC) by creating a $100,000 federal pilot program dedicated to rsettlement of LBGT+ refugee. It generally amounts to about $3000 per individual refugee. Success of the pilot program led to the reinstatement of RRAP for an additional two years as of March 2015. Through the program, RRC continues to enable private sponsorship of LGBT+ refugees across Canada.

In reviewing these applications, it can be difficult to read the stories of inhuman struggle that is so hard to imagine. The few that do survive such trauma still face barriers once they arrive in safe countries, often surrounded by a foreign culture where they cannot speak the language and still face discrimination.

That’s why FOH supports the work of MOSAIC BC and its I Belong Project, which received grant funding in 2015 through the Community Services stream. Funds are dedicated specifically to clinical counselling services for LGBT+ newcomers that have endured traumatic forms of persecution leading to PTSD. In consideration of renewed funding, FOH Board Directors will meet with MOSAIC at the end of the month to learn more about the success of I Belong and its role in fulfilling our Purpose.

Foundation of Hope encourages ongoing support from anyone and everyone that would like to help realize our Vision:

A world where LGBT+ refugees and newcomers can live safely and be themselves.

Please consider sending us a donation or become a standing monthly donor today.

Just click here

This Campaign has ended. No more pledges can be made.