Rainbow Railroad rallies to help LGBTQI+ refugees in last 60 days of the year

TORONTO, Nov. 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Every 60 minutes, Rainbow Railroad—an international organization that helps at-risk LGBTQI+ people get to safety—receives two requests for help. That’s more than 2,441 requests every 60 days. 

Today, Rainbow Railroad launches its annual #60in60 fundraising campaign, calling on the international community to help as many at-risk LGBTQI+ refugees as possible get to safety in the last 60 days of the year.

“It’s overwhelming to see multiple geo-political crises unfolding right now, and knowing that LGBTQI+ individuals are disproportionately impacted by violence, discrimination and conflict. And in the wake of this, we’re receiving an unprecedented amount of requests for help,” says Kimahli Powell, CEO, Rainbow Railroad. 

This #60in60, Rainbow Railroad aims to raise enough funds over November and December to help at least 60 people get to safety through emergency evacuation, at least 60 people receive life-saving financial assistance, and at least 60 people receive information services, psychosocial and community supports.

Right now, there are more than 110 million forcibly displaced individuals around the world, including LGBTQI+ people in 66 criminalizing countries who are uniquely vulnerable due to systemic, state-sponsored homophobia and transphobia.

“As we get into the season of giving, we’re calling on our community to help us make these last 60 days count, whether you’re a return donor or supporting us for the first time,” says Caleb Goodman, Chair of the Board, Rainbow Railroad. “Every gift contributes to the vital resources that help us build community, home and belonging in support of at-risk LGBTQI+ individuals worldwide.” 

Alongside programmatic work, Rainbow Railroad continues to advocate for systemic change by working closely with governments and international organizations. In the U.S., Welcome Corps, a new government program allowing private refugee sponsorship, recognized Rainbow Railroad as an official sponsorship organization and the only organization dedicated to providing LGBTQI+ refugees with communities of care. In Canada, Rainbow Railroad launched a partnership with the federal government to directly identify and refer at-risk LGBTQI+ individuals and families for resettlement, the first government to partner with the organization in this capacity.  

“2023 marks the first year of our new three-year strategic plan. This strategy reflects our determination to overcome significant barriers to the protection of LGBTQI+ persons. This work requires systemic advocacy to queer the global refugee system, to transform government policies, and to empower Human Rights Defenders and others with lived experience to participate in policy discussions — in partnership with our donor community,” adds Powell.

Every LGBTQI+ person deserves freedom and safety. Every gift to the #60in60 campaign and beyond contributes to the vital resources that help Rainbow Railroad build community, home and belonging with at-risk LGBTQI+ individuals around the world.

Make your campaign contribution today at www.rainbowrailroad.org/60giving

About Rainbow Railroad
Rainbow Railroad is an international non-profit organization headquartered in Toronto that helps LGBTQI+ people seek safe haven from state-led violence and persecution in countries where homosexuality is criminalized. The organization is a community-driven response to mitigate the impacts of global persecution directed towards LGBTQI people. Rainbow Railroad is a registered Canadian charity and 501(c)(3) organization in the United States.

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