Barry’s Oxford Half Marathon

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Barry O’Leary is a solicitor and partner at Wesley Gryk Solicitors LLP and is running the Oxford Half Marathon on 8 October 2017. Barry has kindly offered to use the challenge to raise money for Micro Rainbow International.

Less than three years ago, Barry (in his words) ‘couldn’t run for the bus’ but he started to run (using the couch potato to 5 k plan) when he decided to undertake the Pride 10K in support of Micro Rainbow International in 2016. He has surprised himself that he has this year moved up to the half marathon.

As a solicitor, Barry has represented many LGBTI individuals in asylum claims over the years. He knows the importance of MRI’s work. He is running to assist with our work both in the UK and around the world.

He knows many refugees who have availed themselves of MRI’s services after being granted refugee status in the UK. He has seen from his own clients the particular challenge in connection with homelessness and very much applauds MRI’s achievement and ambition in this regard.  He has also met with our staff and beneficiaries in Cambodia and attended a meeting with them and the EU ambassador in Phnom Penh to discuss the work of MRI. He saw first-hand the challenges ahead, but also the determination of those working to end LGBTI poverty in Cambodia.

He is looking for your support to help to assist our work, but also to keep him going over those last few miles. The greater your support, the bigger the incentive for him to make it to the end of those 13.1 miles.

Across the globe lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people face family rejection and homelessness, they are discriminated in schools and drop out before achieving a qualification, they are prevented from accessing employment and public services.  Many also face persecution and extreme violence, including murder.  These factors contribute to creating a reality of poverty for many LGBTI people.

Your donation today will change LGBTI people’s lives. With your support, MRI will enable LGBTI people living in poverty to:

  1. set up income generating activities that will improve their livelihoods. Recently in Cambodia $1000 allowed a lesbian to set up a stall in the market where she sells handbags, a small activity which produces enough profit to improve her life;
  2. access vocational training to improve their skills and find employment: since January 2016, over 70 LGBTI people received training in Rio de Janeiro;
  3. improve their confidence and self-esteem to achieve their full potential in life. In 2016 MRI delivered 280 hours of one-to-one support, 80 coaching sessions and over 100 support groups to LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.

With your donation you are making the world a more equal place, for everyone and everywhere. A world where love wins.  THANK YOU. Let’s #endLGBTIpoverty together.

If you would like to make a comment or ask a question, please join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

If you like the work of MRI please do make sure to stay connected by signing up to MRI’s quarterly e-bulletin. If you want to have even a greater impact on LGBTI peoples’ lives consider becoming an Ally. Allies help MRI to reach out to more LGBTI people in poverty and to provide them with some of the tools they need to lift themselves out of it.

For more information about MRI’s work please contact Sebastian Rocca, Founder and CEO

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