Swiss Non Profit Organisation Donation Bern Transgender community Non-binary clothing exchange LGBTQ+ inclusivity Gender-affirming products Safe space initiative Queer community support Social entrepreneurship Trans refugee support Community-driven initiatives Inclusive events Gender expression Supportive environment Solidarity and inclusivity LGBTQ+ empowerment Rafael's leadership in LGBTQ+ initiatives
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Rafel Al Doori
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December 18, 2023
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The Transformative Power of Trans* Open Wardrobe

In Bern, an initiative is taking off to exemplifies the spirit of compassion and community: the Trans* Open Wardrobe. Created by Rafel, this project is part of our social entrepreneurship incubation program 2023-2024 dedicated to supporting queer community initiatives. Now in its third month, the Trans* Open Wardrobe is more than just a clothing exchange; it's a perspective of hope and inclusivity for the transgender and enby community.

The inception of the Trans* Open Wardrobe was deeply personal for Rafel. As a trans refugee in Switzerland, he recognized the acute need for safe spaces where transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive individuals could express themselves freely and safely. This realization led to the creation of a project that not only addresses the practical needs of these communities but also fosters a sense of belonging and support. At the heart of the project are the events themselves, where participants find more than just clothes. The wardrobe offers a variety of donated items, including gender-affirming products like binders, makeup, and sometimes shoes. These events are meticulously planned to ensure a safe and welcoming environment. Participants can try on clothes in makeshift cabins, partake in cakes and drinks, and connect with others in the community. It's an atmosphere of joy, safety, and solidarity, reflecting the project's core mission of providing a supportive space for self-expression.

Rafel's dedication to the project stems from a deep-seated commitment to his community. The joy of providing a safer space for trans people to exist without fear, to find clothes that express their true selves, and to see them feeling more free and safe in society is immeasurable. His enthusiasm and dedication are palpable as he speaks about the impact of the Trans* Open Wardrobe on the lives of its participants. Supporting the Trans* Open Wardrobe is a multifaceted endeavor. While the project thrives on the spirit of volunteerism and community donations, it also faces practical challenges. Financial contributions are crucial for covering the costs of running events and maintaining storage for the donated clothing. These donations play a vital role in sustaining and expanding the project's reach.

Looking to the future, Rafel envisions a world where the Trans* Open Wardrobe can touch more lives across Switzerland. He dreams of expanding the project's reach, hosting events in various cities, and increasing their frequency. This expansion would enable the project to become more accessible, touching the lives of a broader segment of the transgender and non-binary people, and fostering a larger community of support and affirmation.

The Trans* Open Wardrobe, supported by our incubation program, stands as a testament to the power of community-driven initiatives in creating positive change. It's a project that goes beyond providing clothes; it offers a space where individuals can be themselves, connect with others, and find support in a world that often overlooks them.

Through Rafel's leadership and the community's support, the Trans* Open Wardrobe is not just changing lives; it's nurturing a more inclusive and understanding society.

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