Who are we?

Our identity


An equitable and inclusive West Africa, free from all forms of violence and discrimination.

Our mission

ISDAO is an activist-led fund dedicated to building a West African movement that advocates for sexual diversity and sexual rights through a flexible approach to grantmaking and the strengthening of a culture of philanthropy committed to promoting human rights and social justice.

Our approach

The implementation of our mission is guided by the following four pillars:

  • To increase and diversify the resources available to promote and advance the rights and safety of LGBTQ people in the West African region as well as to strengthen a culture of philanthropy committed to promoting human rights and social justice.

  • To respond to the realities of our region, which is characterised by a nascent and ever-changing LGBTQ movement and context. We aim to develop the vibrancy and diversity of LGBTQ communities, as well as the organisation and leadership of lesbian, bisexual and queer women, non-binary and transgender individuals, communities, groups, organisations and movements.

  • Adopt a flexible approach to grantmaking to support innovation and recognise the diverse stages, forms and expressions of activism in the West African region. We are committed to the growth of organic movements that require adaptability and long-term commitment.

  • To promote advocacy for change by engaging stakeholders in dialogue and building knowledge through the promotion and strengthening of a culture of documentation of the work and lived realities of LGBTQ organisations and communities.

Our principles

ISDAO's work is guided by the following principles:

  • We are an activist-led fund, which means that we consider equitable representation of the LGBTQ community in the fund's decision-making processes to be essential to ensure sensitivity, transparency and accountability for the human and financial resources entrusted to us.

  • We believe in building movements based on ideological principles - The Fund's work is rooted in the understanding that the patriarchal nature of the system, institutions, norms and practices support the oppression of women, trans*, and intersex people. We recognise the ways in which power operates in our society, including in the organisation of spaces. We are therefore committed to strengthening movements whose work focuses on an understanding of power and the role of financial and human resources in dismantling power hierarchies for greater freedom and justice.

  • Autonomy, Inclusivity, Diversity and Intersectionality - We believe in self-determination and therefore recognise the diversity of queer and non-binary people, their specificities and needs. Individuals reserve the right to define and live their gender identity and expression. We intend to create spaces that allow for diversity of identity and expression. We will support existing and emerging initiatives of LGBTQ individuals and organisations working to transform sexuality policies to enable self-determination at all levels.