Youth Work Ireland has launched the #GivetheGiftofPride campaign, to raise funds to support vulnerable young LGBTI+ people impacted by digital poverty. Throughout Pride Month, people are asked to make a once-off €20 donation to provide phone credit for one LGBTI+ young person experiencing isolation, despair, and loneliness during Covid-19.
The global pandemic has forced us all into lockdown, which has been tough on everyone’s mental health and wellbeing but has been particularly hard for young LGBTI+ people. Our youth workers are reporting back to us harrowing stories of young LGBTI+ people being locked down in homes where they have to hide their identity and revert back to being someone they are not, because their parents refuse to recognise their sexuality or gender orientation.
“I can’t be myself and I’ve no one to talk to”
Young LGBTI+ Person, Laois
Before the pandemic vulnerable young LGBTI+ people could drop into their local youth service and be supported by professional youth workers. While our physical youth spaces are closed, youth workers remain online and continue to be available to support young LGBTI+ people in online supports, Zoom handouts, virtual drop-ins and online activity sessions. This has been well received and young LGBTI+ people are connecting daily with their youth worker.
However, there has emerged a real issue with ‘digital poverty’ and young LGBTI+ people who are unable to afford to buy credit/data cannot access these services. This is leading to an acute sense of isolation, despair and loneliness for these already vulnerable young people.
Disadvantaged young LGBTI+ people tend to rely on ‘Pay As You Go’ services to stay in contact, but with out the means to top up, they are more isolated and face greater challenges to connecting to the outside world. In an effort to support these young people we are launching the #GivetheGiftofPride campaign to raise funds to provide phone and data credit for these vulnerable young LGBTI+ people, so while they maybe physical limited and isolated, they can stay in contact their youth worker and friends, get the support they need and ensure they continue to feel connected, visible and valued.
A donation of €20 will provide phone credit for one young LGBTI+ person - So donate now and #GivetheGiftofPride