Rarica Now is the recipient of half of the funds raised from the (sold out!) limited-edition Rainbow Intrepid belt. We chatted with president and CEO Adebayo Katiiti, about the organization and the amazing work they do.
Rarica Now has a looooong list of services available to LGBTIQ+ refugees and newcomers. We’re not kidding, friends. The group does everything from helping the community find legal support or food, to hosting events like movie screenings and dance parties for members of the LGBTIQ+ community to connect with one another. But that’s not all!
“We advocate for change in Canadian policy and legislation,” says Adebayo. “We connect individuals to services they need, [provide] assistance to navigate the asylum process [and help with] housing and fundraising money to pay for legal representation.”
Adebayo started the organization. He saw a need through his own experience as a transgender person new to Canada, who feared persecution if he was to return to his home in Uganda. He wanted to start a safe space for the LGBTIQ+ refugee and newcomer community in Edmonton, many of whom lack a support system because they’re new to the country. Rarica is all about building community and giving people what they need to not only succeed, but flourish.
Rarica Now is one of the two organizations Team Unbelts supported through the Rainbow Intrepid belt campaign in June. Adebayo says the money raised will help immensely, which we’re just delighted to hear.
The group holds biweekly meetings, and some of the money raised will help with bus tickets or other transportation so people can continue to attend and get the support they deserve, as well as connect with others in the LGBTIQ+ community to feel safe and empowered. Adebayo says some of the money will also be used to buy food or assist with legal fees.
“I don’t know how to express the joy I feel,” says Adebayo. “I'm really grateful and I'm looking forward to a bright future.”
That just makes our hearts sing, and we’re tickled pink (or rainbow) to be able to help. We’re so proud to have sold out *completely* of our limited-edition Rainbow Intrepid belts. THANK YOU to everyone who supported the campaign. Exciting news: we’ll be adding Rainbow to our permanent inventory over the course of the summer. Make sure to follow us on IG to be the first to know.
- Liz Pittman