30 Jul

Red Umbrella Fund Welcomes a New Coordinator

30 July 2020

Dear Community Members, Partners and Allies,

The International Steering Committee of the Red Umbrella Fund (RUF) is pleased to welcome Paul-Gilbert Colletaz as our new coordinator. As a sex worker and human rights advocate, Paul-Gilbert has been firmly rooted in the sex workers’ rights movement for many years.

The Red Umbrella Fund is the first and only global fund guided by and for sex workers. RUF aims to strengthen and sustain the sex workers’ rights movements through financial and non-financial support as well as through advocacy and communication efforts focused on catalysing new funding to support sex workers’ rights movements.

As a long-term organizational ally, Paul-Gilbert previously served as programme manager for the Global Network of Sex Workers (NSWP), programme coordinator for Solidarité Sida, and as civil society member on the International Steering Committee of the Robert Carr Network Fund. Paul-Gilbert’s commitment to self-representation and self-determination have been strengthened through his professional experiences as an advocate, building resilience and solidarity among sex workers across genders, race, sexualities, identity, experience and geographical borders.

Says Paul-Gilbert, “the sex workers’ rights movement has always brought out the fiercest forms of commitment and passion among so many people. At RUF I look forward to strengthening that legacy by being responsible, transparent, and accountable in our grantmaking and fundraising efforts for the greater realisation of our human rights”.

Paul-Gilbert succeeds RUF’s founding coordinator, Nadia Van Der Linde.  During her tenure, Nadia worked tirelessly to increase funding for sex workers globally. She and her team created platforms for sex workers themselves to elevate sex workers’ rights, made it possible for nascent and unregistered sex worker groups to access funds for the first time, shared RUF’s thoughtful participatory grantmaking approach and encouraged other funders to adopt similar models, and above all, always kept sex worker communities at the center of the work.

While there has been much progress, the worldwide political and financial threats facing sex workers are only intensifying and the need for more funding to build empowered, resilient, and active sex worker-led organisations and networks could not be more urgent. Together with the dedicated RUF staff, we are confident that Paul-Gilbert will strengthen our  programs and fundraising efforts to meet the ongoing challenges of our time. Paul-Gilbert will start on the 3rd of August working remotely from Paris for the remainder of the year. We thank you for your support and hope you will join us in warmly welcoming Paul-Gilbert to the team.

In Solidarity,

Tara Burns & Kay Thi Win
Co-Chairs of the RUF International Steering Committee (ISC)

 

22 Jun

Our 2020 Call for Grant Applications is Now OPEN!

Our 2020 Call for Grant Applications is Now OPEN! Sex worker-led organisations and networks from anywhere in the world are eligible.

To improve digital security all applications must be submitted online only

Accepting applications from 22 June to 1 August 2020.

To apply please review our 2020 Applications Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions available at https://www.redumbrellafund.org/grantmaking/apply-grant/

18 Mar

Solidarity Message from Red Umbrella Fund Secretariat

Solidarity is not an act of charity, but mutual aid between forces fighting for the same objective. – Samora Machel

In the last few days and weeks and months, the Coronavirus/COVID-19 has spread across the globe and transformed the world. Plans for the year have evaporated and the failures and weaknesses of the various governments and infrastructures have been laid bare.

As ever, the communities of sex workers are situated at the crosshairs, experiencing this new catastrophe in all its multiplicities. Headlines are highlighting the same issues that our grantee-partners and applicants and allies articulate: human rights violations in all its forms including insecure housing, income disparity, food scarcity, unequal access to healthcare and other public services, and violence.

As ever, the communities of sex workers are acting with resiliency and agility. Every hour, our social media platforms are filled with new mutual aid funds, 24-hour hotlines, sex worker guides, and other tools and resources. The sex worker movement is acting in solidarity across contexts in various ways, typical of its strategy historically.

We have a list of emergency funders on our website that may be able to provide some additional funding. We are also reaching out to other funders to create more opportunities for sex worker groups to get emergency support. We hope to have more news on this soon!

In the meantime, we are seeing the sex worker community collaborating and creating ways for all of us to provide mutual aid, which we will share on our website and social media on an ongoing basis. If you know of any that are not included here, please share them with us, on our Facebook page or via info@redumbrellafund.org

In solidarity,

Red Umbrella Fund Secretariat

 

25 Feb

New Grantees

The Red Umbrella Fund made 30 new grants in 2019! This is more grants than we ever made before in one year. We welcomed 19 new grantee partners and continue to supporting 21 other sex worker-led groups and networks that we have funded before.  You can view the complete list of grants here: https://www.redumbrellafund.org/grantees/

All new grants were selected by our Program Advisory Committee (PAC), which reviewed over 100 applications eligible applications from across the world. The PAC is comprised of eleven sex worker rights activists from different geographic regions and is at least 80% current/former sex workers. For three months they volunteered countless hours to review applications and select the final grantee-partners.

We  thank our 2019 PAC for their expertise and efforts to ensure Red Umbrella Fund is self-determined by the global sex worker community. They had to make extremely difficult decisions as the funds available were in no way sufficient to match the needs of the applications received.

At the moment the International Steering Committee (ISC) is meeting to reflect on the 2019 developments and achievements, and determine the new strategic plan and set the new priorities for the coming year.

02 Jul

Red Umbrella Fund 2019 call for applications is open!

** The 2019 Call for Applications has now closed. A new Call is expected in June/July 2020. If you applied before the deadline you can expect a response before 1 November 2019. **

We have opened the 2019 call for all organizations and  regions.

Please visit the link  https://www.redumbrellafund.org/grantmaking/apply-grant/

Deadline shall be on the 31st of July!

 

 

 

 

19 Jun

Red Umbrella Fund is looking for new PAC members to join us in Amsterdam!

** This process is closed for 2018 – new opportunities are expected in 2020 **
We are looking for dedicated sex worker activist from the regions of Africa, Asia and Latin-America for our Program Advisory Committee (PAC)!

Every year our PAC comes together for the final part in the decision making process for the new grants that the Red Umbrella Fund will make. The reading of these grants takes place from from mid-August until early October. The 2019 PAC process ends with a 4 day meet up from 7 to 10 October in Amsterdam.

If you are available and your English is well enough to communicate with other group members, nominate yourself to Red Umbrella Fund before the 21st of July 2019!

Please read the requirements in the attached documents (don’t forget the endorsement letter) and hopefully we see you in October?

PAC Self Nomination form 2019

21 Dec

Join the ISC

** Sorry – now closed **
The Red Umbrella Fund is looking for committed sex worker rights activists to join our International Steering Committee (ISC)!

  •  Are you a sex worker and an experienced activist interested in supporting the sex workers’ rights movements at a global level?
  • Do you agree with the need to respect sex work as work and ensure that sex workers everywhere can organize themselves to claim their human rights?

We have 3 positions open for new ISC members from:

  • any Spanish speaking countries in Latin America or the Caribbean;
  • any Francophone and Lusophone countries in Africa;
  • any country in South Asia.

Roles and Responsibilities

The International Steering Committee (ISC) is responsible for the key strategic and programmatic decisions of the Red Umbrella Fund. While its members come from different parts of the world, all ISC members are expected to keep the global perspective of the Red Umbrella Fund at the forefront of their decision making.  The International Steering Committee (ISC):

  1. Sets the grantmaking criteria and priorities, selects the Program Advisory Committee (PAC) members, and approves the new. (Grantmaking)
  2. Recruits, supervises and supports the Fund Coordinator, and approves policies and procedures related to strategic and key programmatic decisions. (Management)
  3. Reviews and approves the Red Umbrella Fund annual plan and budget. (Planning)
  4. Ensures that the Red Umbrella Fund’s communications are consistent with the agendas of key global and regional networks of sex workers and the fund’s own vision and mission. (Communication)
  5. Supports communication, cross-learning, and capacity building. (Learning and sharing)

What we are looking for:

  • Sex workers’ rights activist, who identify as (current or former) sex workers and are part of a sex worker-led organisation.
  • Sex workers’ rights activists based in South Asia, Latin America (Spanish speaking countries) or Africa (French and Lusophone countries). Note that the other (sub-)regions already have representation on the ISC at the moment.
  • Able to communicate well (read, write and speak!) in English, Spanish, French or Russian. We especially encourage English speaking activists to nominate themselves.
  • Someone with regular e-mail access and availability to attend ISC meetings (by phone, WhatsApp or Skype) and at least one international meeting per year.
  • Someone able to volunteer several hours per week for ISC discussions and responsibilities at different times of the year.
  • Candidates must be interested and available to commit to actively participate in the ISC for at least three years. Membership can be renewed once for another three years.

Read the Call for Nominations to join the ISC with more information!

The Self-Nominations Forms as we are not accepting nomination anymore.

More information:

  • Applications were accepted in English, Spanish and French.
  • Who are the current ISC members?
  • Learn about the history of the Red Umbrella Fund
22 Jun

Call for Applications Open

Sorry – the Red Umbrella Fund’s 2018 Global Call for Applications is now closed!

  • Is your group, organisation or network led by sex workers?
  • Do you agree that sex work should be recognised as work?
  • Do you contribute to building and strengthening the sex workers’ rights movement(s)?

The Red Umbrella Fund gives grants to sex worker-led groups and networks that are registered or unregistered. In 2018, we expect to make about 25 core funding grants to local, national and international sex worker-led organisations and networks.

Apply for a grant here next year![credit images: Atelier Victoria Catalina]

La nueva convocatoria global del Fondo Paraguas Rojo 2018 está cerrada

Haz clic aquí para Español.

Фонд «Красный Зонт» закрыто прием заявок о соискании грантов на 2018 год!

Нажмите здесь для Pусский!

Notre 2018 Appel à Propositions est fermé!

Cliquez ici pour l’application Français!

01 Jun

Come Join the PAC

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

The Red Umbrella Fund is looking for 6 activists to join the Programme Advisory Committee (PAC)! The PAC is the international sex worker-led peer group that reads the applications received by the Red Umbrella Fund and selects which new grants to make.

Application form here.

What do PAC members do?
PAC members read and score the applications and select which applications should be funded by the Red Umbrella Fund. Some of this work takes place from home and by e-mail, some in-person at a meeting in Amsterdam. New PAC members commit for one grantmaking process (until October 2018), and can stay on the PAC for up to 3 years.

Who are on the PAC?
The PAC has up to 11 members, always with a large majority (at least 80%) sex workers. The Red Umbrella Fund wants a PAC that is diverse in terms of gender and geography

Who can apply?
We have vacancies for sex workers or strong allies from:

  • Latin America;
  • Asia or the Pacific;
  • Europe or Central Asia; or
  • Anywhere – but with a global (or at least international) understanding of the movement.

Minimum requirements:

  • Language: able to read and discuss funding proposals in English.
  • Availability: able to commit 5-10 hours each week between 15 August and 3 October 2018 to review applications and to participate in the PAC meeting in Amsterdam (7 – 10 October 2018). Travel and meeting costs will be covered.
  • Affiliation: be part of and/or endorsed by at least one sex worker-led group or network.
  • Internet: regular email and some Skype contact.

What else you need to know:

  • If your group plans to send in an application to the Red Umbrella Fund, you can also be on the PAC. But we will make sure that you will of course not  score your own application!
  • PAC membership is voluntary, unpaid and requires a high level of commitment.
  • PAC members must be able to read about 5 proposals each week during the review period (15 August – 3 October).
  • Positions for allies are limited on the PAC and relevant sex worker candidates will be prioritized.

But also:

  • The PAC is an exciting and meaningful opportunity to contribute to the Red Umbrella Fund’s grantmaking to sex worker groups around the world.
  • As PAC member you learn more about sex worker activism in different regions.
  • Many PAC members find the experience useful for their own fundraising and activism.

About the Red Umbrella Fund
The Red Umbrella Fund is a global fund by and for sex workers. We publish one Call for Applications each year. Since 2012, the Red Umbrella Fund has made 129 grants to sex worker-led groups and networks in over 50 countries.

Read about the experience of another PAC member here

28 Mar

Funding a Movement

Introducing the New Grantee Partners of the Red Umbrella Fund

The Red Umbrella Fund received 130 eligible applications from sex worker-led groups and networks during our Global Call for Applications last year. All these applications were reviewed and scored by our 11-member Programme Advisory Committee (PAC) and, after many days of deliberation among the sex worker activists, 26 groups were selected for a new grant. We are thrilled to announce that the total grant amount for all our new grants in 2017 was just over 1 million US dollars!

In fact, since the creation of the Red Umbrella Fund in 2012, we have made 129 core funding grants to 91 different groups and networks for a total amount of just under 4 million US dollars.

Selecting diversity

In the selection of grantee partners, the Programme Advisory Committee always confirms that the final selection reaches a diversity of groups and networks, including those working at local level, like Sex Workers Advisory Network of Sudbury (SWANS) in Canada or Asociación de Trabajadoras Sexuales Trans de Quito in the capital of Ecuador, those working more at national level, like All India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW) in India, Desiree Alliance in the US, and Organización Nacional de Activistas por la Emancipación de la Mujer (ONAEM) in Bolivia, as well as those working at regional level such as RedTraSex in Latin America. As well as a diversity of reach, the PAC ensures that groups that work with women, men and trans sex workers are all included. Some new grantee partners have a more specific focus, such as Ashraya in India that works with sex workers who are living with HIV or Rainbow Mirrors Uganda that focuses on young trans sex workers. Another grantee partner, TAMPEP, was recently transformed into a regional network of migrant sex workers in Europe.

Registered or not

The grantee selection includes some groups that are relatively new (two years old or less), such as the Surinamese Coalition of Sex Workers (SUCOS) in Surinam and the migrant sex worker group Red Edition in Austria. About one in three grants are made to groups that are not formally registered, like Asociación de Mujeres Liquidámbar in El Salvador. Reasons for not being registered can be multiple; sometimes it is a political choice of the group, in other cases the registration process is complex, lengthy, or registration is simply denied to self-organising sex workers. For just over one-third of the grantee partners, like for Strumphet Alliance Network in Fiji, this is the first international grant the group has ever received. Other groups, like Organisasi Perubahan Sosial Indonesia (OPSI) in Indonesia and Parapli Rouz in Mauritius, have more experience with international funds but need the Red Umbrella Fund grant to support their organizational development and human rights advocacy costs that are hard to cover with the restricted project and services-focused funding more commonly accessible to them.

Safety

Whereas all grantee partners work in countries where sex work is highly stigmatized and criminalized one way or another, the safety concerns differ greatly per country. In some countries violence against sex workers is extremely high, and some groups have a strong focus on violence prevention and trauma healing services. Many leaders in the movement have shared receiving threats or direct violence related to their public identity as a sex worker. This risk is often further increased when someone also identifies with or demonstrates support to LGBTQ communities. Arbitrary arrests, police abuse and brothel evictions are common among many of our grantee partners. HIV/AIDS Research and Welfare Center (HARC) in Bangladesh, for example, has organized strongly around brothel evictions. Numerous groups limit their online presence, and one of our grantee partners remains anonymous in our communications to prevent potential repercussions.

 Visibility

Other groups put in much effort to increase their public visibility. Macedonian sex worker organization STAR-STAR, for example, has organized impressive demonstrations full of red umbrellas and, in December 2017, attracted visibility through their Skopje Red Light District art performance as shown in this video. Also Men Against Aids Youth Group (MAAYGO) in Kenya, Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistance Movement (SWARM) in the UK and Unidas en la Esperanza (UNES) in Paraguay have used video as a tool to get their messages out. AMMAR Cordoba in Argentina consistently shows their presence at demonstrations, events, and local festivals and markets.

Dilemma

We are proud to have been able to contribute to getting more and better money to the sex workers’ rights movements, and we thank our institutional and individual donors for their support. But it is also clear that there is a still a significant gap for the movement in accessing the funds needed for their organizing and activism. For two-thirds of the grantee partners, this is their first grant from the Red Umbrella Fund.

“It is exciting to have a fund where we, sex workers, are in the driver’s seat but also very difficult. Each year, we make new grants to sex worker groups in different parts of the world and these groups do such great and important work. But it also means that each year we have to say ‘sorry you were not selected’ to the majority of the groups that apply and this is hard. We know how hard it is because we have that experience too.”
– Tara Burns, International Steering Committee (ISC) of the Red Umbrella Fund

Whereas it is great to be able to support new grantee partners, it also means opportunities for longer-term partnership from the Red Umbrella Fund have not been available for all groups that we would have liked to continue to support.

More grantmaking

Next month, the International Steering Committee (ISC) of the Red Umbrella Fund will come together to make new decisions about the Red Umbrella Fund’s strategies and priorities. Follow us on social media to make sure you don’t miss our next call for applications.

 

By Nadia van der Linde
Coordinator, Red Umbrella Fund

Additional introductions and information about the new grantee partners can be found on the Red Umbrella Fund’s Facebook page.