LGBTIQ+ and Religious Leader Champions in Bandal, Kinshasa

Technical visit: Meeting with representatives of the LGBTIQ+ and Religious Leader Champions in Bandal, Kinshasa.

Following, the SAVE training, the INERELA+ Secretariat staff embarked on a technical visit to and supporting the SAVE approach training in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Today Munya and Kennedy visited a group of Religious Leaders in Ndjili, on the outskirts of Kinshasa and had a lengthy discussion on the work the Religious Leaders are doing in relation to LGBTIQ+. Munya and Kennedy met and interacted with an LGBTIQ+ group called Rainbow in Bandal, Kinshasa. The dialogue envisaged the necessity for ongoing dialogue between Religious Leaders and LGBTIQ+ community in the DRC in order to have an inclusive strategy for addressing SRHR and HIV issues. It emerged that if Religious Leaders stand at the front, can break the barriers because they wield a lot of influence. The LGBTIQ+ community noted that they want to see a concerted effort in the fight against HIV issues involving: Law enforcement agencies (police and judiciary); health services and Religious Leaders. They also noted that since Religious Leaders command respect in most communities, forging a relationship with them is ideal to move forward. CONERELA+ efforts in combating stigma and discrimination were appreciated by the group.

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