Voku benefit, child reunification costs for a lesbian refugee

Thursday 16 March 2023, Voku benefit, child reunification costs for a lesbian refugee. Food served from 7pm, no reservation.

The benefit dinner is for Harriet, a lesbian refugee, who came to the Netherlands in 2016. She was initially rejected out of asylum because they did not believe her sexuality, and was made irregularised. During her time without legal residency, in 2020 Harriet co-founded a self-led community for/by LGBTQ+ people in forced displacement based in Amsterdam, and grew it to over 130+ members from scratch. Harriet was finally recognised as a refugee a year ago.

Currently, Harriet is balancing between supporting her children living situation back in her country-of-origin, raising the necessary funds to ensure their reunion, and is also working on starting a self-led non-profit foundation to promote recognition of LGBTQ+ people in forced displacement.

As a result of Dutch Immigration officials (IND) attempts at restricting refugees’ right to family reunification, the procedure is taking longer. Harriet has been separated from her kids for almost seven years now, while at the same time supporting them from across the world the entire time.

With previous efforts from Harriet and previous communal fundraising, we have managed to raise enough to ensure their travel costs. However, the IND is now demanding a court document from her country to prove her guardianship with her foster children. We are raising funds with this dinner to cover the legal fees to prove her guardianship, and to make sure all of Harriet’s children don’t need to be separated from Harriet nor each other any longer.

We believe the right to family life and reunification belongs to everyone and should not be made conditional to the financial situation someone has. Feel welcome to join our efforts.

Volkseten Vegazulu is a people’s kitchens existing since the very beginning of Joe’s Garage, June 2005. Your donations are welcome. Food is vegan, no reservation. All benefits go to social & political struggles. Joe’s Garage is a space run by volunteers. Without a collective effort, without your active participation, we’re remaining closed. Get in touch in you feel like giving a hand. We’re always looking for cooks. Any help is welcome in the kitchen. Experience not required. If you want to know which days are still available, mail us.