BeLonG To: Thank You!

With the new year in sight, BeLonG To are reflecting on 2019. For LGBTI+ young people, it’s been a year of changes and of challenges, with a terrifying increase in both hate speech and hate crimes.

Amid these challenges, thanks to your support, BeLonG To have been there to meet the needs of hundreds of LGBTI+ young people, empowering them to find hope.

One of the young people in their service shared these words to inspire other LGBTI+ youth –

‘You are valid, no matter what anyone says’ – and we couldn’t agree more!

Thanks to your support, BeLonG To have had some memorable moments and milestones that they are proud of. These would not be possible without your support. Thank you!

Youth Work Matters

  • Through their world-class youth services, they empowered hundreds of young LGBTI+ people to come out, connect with other LGBTI+ youth, and reach out for the help they need.
  • Together with their friends at Pieta House, they offered a lifeline to LGBTI+ youth who are self-harming or thinking of suicide, providing free crisis counselling.
  • Their expert youth workers spent hundreds of hours meeting and supporting LGBTI+ young people and their families and friends, through free Monday Chats listening service.

Building Safe Spaces

  • With their National Network, they supported 37 groups for LGBTI+ young people across Ireland – helping to build safe spaces close to home.
  • Together with LGBTI+ youth from across Ireland, Youth Work Ireland and over 60,000 supporters, they marched in Dublin Pride, celebrating achievements and highlighting the work that is remaining to achieve LGBTI+ equality.

Empowering Allies

  • They offered training to a host of groups, from inmates at Wheatfield Prison, to teachers and psychologists, working with them to break down barriers and stereotypes associated with LGBTI+ identities.
  • They set the wheels in motion to prepare exciting community, school, and online training progresses in 2020 – stay tuned!

Campaigning for Change

  • Some 778 LGBTI+ young people shared their experiences as part of the first School Climate Survey, which was conducted with Columbia University. Findings revealed that for many LGBTI+ students, school is an unsafe environment, where they feel isolated and victimised because of their LGBTI+ identity.
  • Students, teachers, and school communities joined in to celebrate a decade of Stand Up Awareness Week – the annual second-level school event to stand up against homophobic, transphobic and bi-phobic bullying.
  • They campaigned for LGBTI+ equality and inclusion in a number of areas, including relationship and sexuality education, gender recognition and mental health.

Supporting Sustainability

  • Thanks to the incredible support of generous donors, they raised €90,000 at this year’s Rainbow Ball.
  • 157 number of passionate activists hosted a community fundraising event, raising funds and spreading the word about BeLonG To’s  work with LGBTI+ youth.

Your support, from sharing BeLonG To’s social media posts, to making a donation, makes a real, lasting impact in the lives of the young people. They simply can’t do it without you, and look forward to your continued support in 2020.

About EILE Magazine

The new LGBT magazine; available online, for download and on podcast. It's time for another view.
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