A new fund to support LGBTQI activism in Asia has been established, sponsored by Audeliss & INvolve Founder and CEO, Suki Sandhu, and managed by GiveOut.
Under ‘The Suki Sandhu LGBTQI Asia Fund’, grants will be provided to support activists working across Asia to improve the lives of LGBTQI people. GiveOut and Suki Sandhu are ambitious to grow the fund to at least £25,000 annually.
‘Philanthropy has always been important to me,’ he said. ‘Whether we like it or not, in the UK we have been afforded a certain level of privilege, and we have a responsibility to give something back. This fund in particular really resonates with me due to my background.
‘As a gay, Asian man who has grown up in the UK I realise that, despite the challenges I have faced, I have been incredibly lucky. There are many LGBT+ people across Asia being deprived of their freedom and facing terrible persecution simply for being themselves. This is not acceptable, and we all have a duty to try and make a difference.
‘I’ve worked for more than a decade helping businesses harness minority talent and foster inclusive workplaces. I’m asking business leaders to join me in looking beyond the workplace to support the global struggle for LGBTQI rights, including by making donations to this fund.’
Across Asia, LGBTQI people are facing human rights abuses based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, from discrimination to horrific violence. In several countries, from Malaysia to Sri Lanka, same sex relations are criminalised. In some, they may be punishable by death.
But LGBTQI activists are campaigning for change and having impact, with recent, uneven victories in the region for the rights of transpeople, marriage equality and same sex partnership rights.
‘I am delighted and proud that Suki has chosen to work alongside GiveOut to grow LGBTQI philanthropy in the UK and support queer activism in Asia,’ said GiveOut’s founder and chair Elliot Vaughn, one of the OUTstanding LGBT+ role models – the annual list of leading LGBT+ executives established by Suki Sandhu and presented by the FT.
‘Suki is setting a wonderful example for the private sector, particularly other LGBTQI executives, and I hope others will follow his lead.’
GiveOut will be consulting across the LGBTQI movement in Asia to identify the focus of the new fund and where it can make the greatest difference.