International Bridges to Justice (IBJ) www.ibj.org the home organization of JusticeMakers (www.justicemakers.net) awarded the 2008 JusticeMakers Finalist Grant to Robert Kibaya to implement his project in Kikandwa rural communities in Uganda East Africa refered to as Rural Communities Criminal Justice Awareness Project – RCC-JAP.
Extending Criminal Justice Services to Rural Africa is the key for rule of law and democracy in Africa.
Criminal justice is greatly missing in most of the rural communities in Uganda due to greater distances between criminal justice service providers and the community people. Additionally, lack of information has led to continuous suffering of mostly women and children in the hands of fellow men because they don not know how, where to express and report their criminal cases. Rural women and children in my community face many hardships which include but not limited to rape, harsh treatment, property rights abuse, name it.
Most of their cases are never presented in courts of law for judicial action because they lack information on whom to contact and so, issues are always resolved unprofessionally on a personal ground fully centered with bribery.
This project has created two Community Criminal Justice Monitoring Committees (CCJMCs) at the village level. The committees are equipped with basic criminal justice skills by two experienced visiting lawyers and they play a monitoring, evaluation and sensitization role within the rural communities.
Periodical public dialogues between the community people, local leaders, church leaders, area member of
Parliament, District Police Constable (DPC), District Governor (Local Council 5 Chairman-LC5), Residential
District Commissioner (RDC), Prison chiefs and key figures in criminal justice arena organized to boost up the exercise.
Each committee complies of five people two of which play leadership roles in their respective communities. The CCJMC members are trained in various criminal justice issues and equipped with contact information of key criminal handling departments both at the local and national level. CCJMC members are sent in their respective communities for extension of awareness campaign to even that woman, man and child who cannot read and write.
The established information resource within my Organization’s office in Kikandwa allow village people to access and share information about such institutions which can help them to solve their criminal and human rights issues.
Additionally, a list of nearby legal aid lawyers and their contact details are made available in my office in
Kikandwa village who take on pro bono legal counsel activities so that any accused person can directly get in touch with someone who knows how to defend his/her rights before or after arrest.
The project has established a consultative strategy with the justice sector actors aimed at sensitizing them about the need for information sharing and getting closer to rural community people. The strategy includes establishing a working relationship between the civil society organizations and the judicially with the aim of extending judicial services deep in the communities.
Links to the justice makers project
Blog post for Robert’s Justice Makers First Session Project implementation report in Kyampisi Sub-County
Bibliographical information blog post about Robert and his justice makers project
Blog on Roberts Justice Makers Project currently under implementation posted by an intern in Switzerland (Jessica) working in International Bridges to Justice Offices the home of Justice Makers.
Robert’s project considered for Justice Makers Award and this link takes to the preliminary application period
An article seen in the new vision news paper of 20th Sept. 2009 about Robert’s workshop on human rights and criminal justice with Police, Local Council leaders, lawyers, Children and Community people.
Extending beekeeping project in rural communities of Kikandwa and the surrounding is one of our main focuses to reduce poverty among the household rural farmers and to reduce on tree cutting for brick and charcoal burning. Proposals have been submitted to various stakeholders to support us. We aim at donating five (5) KTB standard hives to each household farmer in Kikandwa on a loan basis. Farmers will then pay in terms of bee products for a specified period of time. Any funds realized from loaned out hives and equipments will then be invested in project extension programs.
Reading training materials were donated by Bees For Development (www.beesfordevelopment.org) a UK charity which aims at developing and promoting beekeeping worldwide especially in developing countries. In addition, CTA (www.cta.int) a Netherlands Based Organization donated various publications of which some were used for the workshop especially those on bees.
As an Organization, we have a plan of distributing five (5) hives per household in Kikandwa Village on a loan basis where the farmer can pay back in terms of bee products like honey, propolis, bee wax, and others for a specified period. Whatever paid back then can be used for extending the industry to other communities
The Organization established a community Information Access Centre which is housed in its offices in Kikandwa village. The Centre is being supported with donated publication from various donors where the majority are Agricultural publications donated by CTA (www.cta.int) Other donors which have donated to the centre include: Bees for Development (www.beesfordevelopment.org), Uganda Human Rights Commission (www.uhrc.org), Tear Fund (www.tearfund.org), Tactica (www.tacticaltech.org)
With great increase of publications in the centre, the Organization has proposed a bigger infrastructure to house the centre. The proposed structure has a computer room which can house up to twenty (20) computers, a library which can accommodate over thirty (30) readers at a time, three (30) offices and latrine facilities.