We're kicking off LGBTQI Pride month with a Feel Good Friday story about Rainbow Railroad.
Founded in 2006, Rainbow Railroad provides emergency travel support to help LGBTQI people escape persecution and state-sponsored violence around the world. There are 71 countries where being LGBTQI is still criminalized. Rainbow Railroad works with community leaders and partner organizations in these countries to identify people who are in danger.
Once clients are identified, Rainbow Railroad provides support which can include information on routes to safety, resources for seeking asylum, moral support, financial support and connections to settlement agencies in safe countries in North America and Europe. While the specific support varies with each situation, on average it costs $10,000 per case to help someone to safety.
At any given time there are 30-50 open cases with the current focus on helping people in Chechnya, Egypt and Jamaica. In 2018 Rainbow Railroad had 1328 requests for assistance and was able to help 198 people claim asylum in a safe country. That brings the total number of people helped since they started to over 500!
You can learn more about Rainbow Railroad by watching this 2-minute intro video, reading stories of clients, and, if you live in or are visiting New York City on June 20th, you can attend the Journey to Freedom panel and join the discussion.
If you'd like to support the work of Rainbow Railroad, you can donate money, raise funds or volunteer. As always, you can help spread the word on social media by liking their Facebook page
and following them on Twitter @RainbowRailroad.