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Sanggar Warna Remaja (SWARA)

Jakarta Timur Indonesia
July 2011

Grant Description

Over the past five years, Indonesian LGBT people experienced an increase in violence and discrimination targeted at them. Strong religious and cultural norms in the country dictate that homosexuality is unacceptable, and both the state and community have taken part in violating the rights of LGBT citizens. In the spring of 2011 the situation worsened when several transgender activists were targets of a brutal attack that left one dead. In response, a group of LGBT activists joined together and requested funds to help it initiate the creation of a drop-in center where they can provide a safe space for transgender activists, serve transgender survivors of attack, and share information on health, sexuality and human rights. Referred to as Sanggar Warna Remaja (SWARA), the group is the only transgender organization in its area.

SWARA’s work focuses on the transgender community, and works to increase transgender community empowerment, increase access to public services in sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention and give human rights education to the transgender community and broader society.

Impact Report

UAF supported SWARA in establishing a safe space in which the organization could serve transgender survivors of attack. SWARA rented a safe house to serve as an information center for young transgendered people, and the funds went towards the purchase of two new computers, office furniture and three months of general expenses, such as Internet, electricity and stationery. SWARA points out that the space not only serves as an information center but also an activity center for young transgender people, with ten to twenty people coming in every week to participate in discussion and obtain information related to health, sexuality and human rights. The organization also points out that not only transgender youth, but also common youth participated in the “discussion and networking activity…” They hope to raise awareness of transgender issues among all youth in the hopes that they can network together.