A KENYA based organisation has partnered with several Blackburn groups to raise awareness about gender based violence.

The Foundation for LBQ Refugees (FLBQR), describes itself as an organisation for LGBTQ womxn (a term meaning that they are inclusive of intersex and non-binary people) refugees and says it will now be working with Blackburn-based charities SAS Rights and The Shiloh Project along with This Is TAE, a local film production company.

They hopes to raise awareness about gender-based violence and human rights and to that end have produced a video of a poetry reading session, which they hope will be the first of several such initiatives.

A spokesperson for SAS Rights, speaking on behalf of the collaboration, said: "This powerful poem is just one stark reminder that human dignity and rights, which should be universal, far too often are not.

"Women, refugees, non-binary persons, and persons of minority sexual orientations are among the most discriminated against groups suffering gender-based violence.

"Over past years, we have spoken out about gender-based violence and abuse in its various forms, challenging structures that perpetuate, tolerate, legitimate or normalise rape culture and infringements on human rights and dignity.

"We practise activism through going about our lives, as well as through our art, research, and work.

"Our resolution accompanying this poem is our commitment to keep speaking out."

The group says that their work has become even more important due to the pressures put on people by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The spokesperson said: "This year the fast-spreading, global pandemic has shown up how connected and inter-dependent we are.

"Unless we help everyone, everyone remains vulnerable, and yet, although we are, on the one hand, in it together, pain, prejudice and disadvantage are not equally distributed.

"While charity is promoted in most faith systems and in many communities, charity is too often denied to those that don’t fit or who are deemed less deserving, making the vulnerable even more vulnerable.

"This must end, but it can only end through understanding and helping one another and through active and purposeful collaboration."

To find out more about the FLBQR and to watch the short film, go to: https://www.facebook.com/SaimaAfzalSolutions/posts/4992608874145221.