Accra, 10th February 2020
The Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund (ATJLF) announced today, almost half a million United States Dollars in funding to 17 organizations from six West African countries, to advance Transitional Justice (TJ) efforts in the sub-region. After months of a rigorous selection process from it first open call for proposals, projects were selected from Côte d’Ivoire (4), and Sierra Leone (4); Guinea (3) Liberia (3), The Gambia (2) and northern Nigeria (1). The awards range from $10,000 to $50,000 USD per organisation. All projects will be implemented over a 12-month period and are expected to commence immediately.
“Our approach in this first round was both exploratory and ambitious,” said Idayat Hassan, Chair of the ATJLF Advisory Committee. “We have selected both small community-based and survivor-led organisations, and big and established national NGOs in all six countries. The overall aim is to promote knowledge transfer and build a community of practice for transitional justice in West Africa.”
The 17 grants announced today will support Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and survivor groups to undertake truth-seeking and truth-telling initiatives, support demand-side justice and accountability processes, and augment survivor-led reparations for victims in the six countries. The grants will also support a range of projects to promote reconciliation and social cohesion at national and community levels. In addition, the grants will support projects that seek to develop and strengthen national policy frameworks on transitional justice patterned after the African Union Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP), to ensure redress, and engender greater involvement of vulnerable and marginalised groups.
“The selected projects reflect the aspirations of the ATJLF. They are intended to individually and collectively support locally relevant and contextually driven transitional justice initiatives in the six countries,” said Makmid Kamara, Director of ATJLF. “Through these projects, we are ushering in a process that will ultimately reactivate survivor agency, while contributing to rebuilding communities affected by conflicts and dictatorships in the continent, starting with West Africa.”
Administrated by the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) in Accra, Ghana, the ATJLF is funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and a partner U.S.-based private foundation, with the goal of supporting civil society, community-based, and survivor-led organisations in undertaking meaningful transitional justice initiatives in West Africa.
The ATJLF Secretariat is pleased to be working with the selected organisations in furtherance of credible and sustainable interventions on transitional justice in the sub-region. The organizations receiving grants in this first round are:
1. Cote d’Ivoire
a. AFDI-CI will implement a CSO-led reparation and reconciliation initiative to promote social cohesion within four different communities.
b. The COVICI project will work with survivors of human rights violations to advocate for a more inclusive national reparation and reconciliation processes and disseminate the AUTJP in Côte d’Ivoire to encourage the development of a national transitional justice framework.
c. PLAYDOO-CI seeks to address the prevailing knowledge deficit on transitional justice in Cote d’Ivoire through awareness-raising and knowledge transfer activities targeting traditional leaders and other groups in the country.
d. RAJP will target the inclusion of youth and young people in transitional justice conversations while building on memorialisation activities to promote communal healing.
a. The CSO Gender Platform project will help to disseminate the AUTJP and advocate for the development of a national transitional justice policy in The Gambia. Through this project, the organisation will advocate for inclusive and increased citizens’ engagement in the ongoing TJ processes and will use policy dialogue sessions to help promote reconciliation and demand for sustainable institutional reforms.
b. Journalists for Justice’s project will create a permanent, credible, and popular online memorial platform that will enable Gambians to remember and honour those who suffered human rights violations during the country’s dictatorship days.
a. AVIPA will create a space for dialogue at community and national levels; establish a platform for reflection on past human rights violations as well as facilitates interaction between the state and survivors. It will draw on the AUTJP to advocate for the Guinean authorities to develop a national Transitional Justice (TJ) framework to guarantee non- recurrence.
b. ASD will undertake community mobilization initiatives targeting youth in remote communities of Guinea by creating and operationalizing youth clubs in schools and other learning institutions to promote understanding of transitional justice and facilitate partnership between these clubs and associations of victims and survivors, to promote demand for accountability from affected groups.
c. COJEDEV will advocate for the establishment of an interim reparation fund for victims of human rights violations of the period between 2010 and 2019. The project will also develop a database of survivors of abuses and atrocities from political violence in Guinea. This database will then be used for any future judicial mechanisms to hold perpetrators accountable.
a. GJRP will continue with the fight against impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Liberian civil war. The project will gather war crime related evidence to support prosecutions outside Liberia. It will also increase the Liberian public’s awareness and understanding of the steps being taken to address impunity for war crimes, as well as of the government’s responsibilities and the citizen’s role in advocating for justice in Liberia.
b. The LIMASA project seeks to create a database of survivor-generated records of sites of massacre in Liberia. The information and evidence collected will then be used to link perpetrators connected to those massacres in order to hold them accountable and for the victims and survivors to receive some restitution.
c. Lutheran Church Massacre Survivors Association’s project will provide support to survivors of the St Peter’s Lutheran Church massacre, many of whom continue to carry war-related disabilities and trauma. The project will provide psycho-social healing and survivor-led reparation interventions for survivors in Monrovia.
a. The Kishimi Shelter and Care Foundation project will provide psycho-social care and trauma healing to internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing the Boko Haram conflict in the northeast. The Gombe-based project will target IDP women, the elderly, children and persons with disabilities, and provide them with customised psycho-social services. In addition to amplifying the agency of survivors, the project will train at least 300 IDPs as trauma counsellors who will deliver first aid psycare services in the camps, prior to referring them for professional counselling and support.
6. Sierra Leone:
a. CGG will develop a national transitional justice policy framework and work with relevant government ministries to create Sierra Leone’s first TJ policy. Drawing from the AUTJP, it will collaborate with other CSOs and grantees to reactivate national conversations on the need to utilise transitional justice benchmarks to promote good governance.
b. The CHRDI’s project will digitize the country’s war history by using new technology to transform a majority of the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Special Court records from paper to digital material that can be used by stakeholders and members of the public.
c. Fambul Tok Intl will build on an ongoing initiative to use a women-led alternative dispute resolution platform to address communal conflicts and contribute to social cohesion in the community.
d. The MRCG’s project will develop the knowledge of selected Sierra Leonean journalists and media practitioners to publicise the activities of all TJ-related projects while helping to change the narrative on transitional justice issues in Sierra Leone.
For the editor
For more information and media enquiries, please contact Makmid Kamara, Director of ATJLF via [email protected] or via mobile on +233553369902.