TODAY’S LGBTIQ FESTIVE SPECIAL FROM PINKSIXTY FEATURES THE WORK OF RAINBOW RAILROAD.
Rainbow Railroad offers travel assistance to LGBTiQ refugees fleeing state-sponsored violence. Its premise is based on the Underground Railroad of the 19th Century, which ferried slaves out the US, to safety in Canada.
The group offers support and practical help for those trying to flee persecution, from regions such as Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. They also act as a bridge between relocation agencies and refugees to assist in resettlement.
In 2016, the organisation received 630 pleas for help – ultimately saving 81 lives. In 2017, demand doubled, with the charity saving the lives of 200 people, including gay men fleeing Chechnya.
In November this year, the organisation was honoured for its excellence in fundraising at the Annual Philanthropy Awards in Toronto. Executive director Kimahli Powell said 2018 was about consolidation and servicing an increasing demand.
The charity reports 70% of all funding goes directly to those in need, with only 4 paid staff. If you want to donate money or aeroplane miles, you can do so online at www.rainbowrailroad.ca
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