Gboko Stewart, email@example.com
Montreal – A GoFundMe account has been set up to help raise money for Dominic Bropleh, a Liberian whose health status was reportedly outed by global health organization FHI360.
Titled, ‘Help a Queer African Trampled Upon by FHI360’, the campaign is starting out with an initial goal of five hundred Canadian Dollars (CAD500) or its equivalent US$371.79.
Dominic Bropleh, 32 is a Liberian who accused FHI360 of deliberately outing his status of being HIV positive.
According to Bropleh, the action of the global health organization has put him at odds with his family and the community–with the former blaming and linking the contraction of the virus to his sexuality.
“Last year in June, they said they wanted to use my picture on the SBCC [Social Behavioral Change Campaign] campaign,” said Bropleh. “I signed the consent form and went to the studio on Sekou Toure Avenue to take the photo. After that, they said they were going to get back to me on the message to make sure I am ok with it.”
Bropleh said the organization did not show him the message––as promised—that was being placed on the flyer, nor did he give his nod of approval to it.
According to him, he raised the issues with other human rights organizations, including SAIL, LIPRIDE, LibNet+, and LEGAL, and none seemed to pay any heed to his concerns of being out, the risk of being ostracized or his life being at risk due to his health status being put on display.
“I contacted SAIL (Stop Aids in Liberia), LibNet+, and LIPRIDE and they said they were going to contact FHI and get back to me on the issue, but they never did. It seems like everybody was just ignoring me,” he said tearily.
Both LIPRIDE and LEGAL said they were aware of the issue, and the latter said the issue was brought to the attention of FHI’s Technical Advisor, Madam Cytirus Kerbay. LIPRIDE, for its part, said it took up the issue with FHI360’s management but was told a consent form had been signed.
The GoFundMe is a part of a series of attempts reportedly being done by individuals across the world to shore up support for Bropleh who says he is undergoing depression.
According to the organizer of the campaign, Joel Smart, it is disheartening that global brands exploit people in Africa who have no recourse.
“Very often these global companies and organizations go to Africa and take advantage of our people,” the campaign stated. “They exploit them for whatever purpose. And because our people are so poor, trying to eke a living, they know not how to fight back.”
The campaign stated that “FHI does not care as long as they are getting millions in contracts from the American government.”
“But we’ll see the likes of them during Pride Month jumping on the bandwagon of supporting the rights of the queer community. Bropleh does not have the money or resources to mount up a fight against a global organization like FHI.”
Donations accrued, according to the campaign, will help Bropleh relocate to a safe place.
“Please donate whatever it is you can to help our queer African brother.”
To donate, go to the campaign ‘Help A Queer African Trampled Upon by FHI360.’
This article was funded in part through a grant from the US State Department. The funder has no say in its content.