Written by Staff Writer by Heidi Vogt, CNN
Akua Wafi is the head of a support group for Ghana’s LGBTQ community. On one of the weekly visits to the office of Sexual Minorities Ghana (SMG), Akua and her employees listen to meetings of how to improve the community’s welfare, and change the law.
The Safe Havens and Safe Spaces program is a U.S.-funded project focused on LGBTQ human rights, designed to show gay and bisexual men how to deal with domestic violence and sexual assault in their communities. It’s also currently working with the National AIDS Council to decrease HIV infection rates in men who have sex with men, as well as decreasing the stigma of the LGBTQ community in Ghana.
In the village of Fanonpaa — which sits right in the heart of Ghana’s capital city of Accra — sexual encounters between men are outlawed, under the nation’s anti-homosexuality laws. In Fanonpaa’s small fishing and agriculture-based community, surviving there is particularly difficult for LGBTQ people, and Young Bonsana is one of its more prominent members.
“If you are from Fanonpaa, you die here, without a chance to go anywhere, especially to a city,” he tells CNN.