From Geneva to Rwanda in Seconds

I’d like to begin by saying that working virtually with International Bridges to Justice has been somewhat of a blessing. Through working virtually, I have been able to work on a variety of projects for both the Geneva office and the Rwanda Bridges to Justice office. I would think that if COVID had not restricted my traveling to Rwanda, I would not have been as involved with the Geneva office. Lately, however, projects in Geneva have tapered off a bit. This does not mean however that I haven’t been busy. Rwanda Bridges to Justice has been keeping me busy this past week with grant proposals and experience tables.

Currently, Rwanda Bridges to Justice is working on applying for PRM funding from the United States Department of State for their Prison Fellowship Program. The program seeks to strengthen the rule of law and transitional justice in Rwanda by enhancing equal access to justice and upholding due process rights for suspects and accused persons in Rwanda. The program will do this by providing free legal assistance to hundreds of vulnerable people, by educating investigators, lawyers, prison staff, and judges on forensics and crime scene analysis, and by educating the general public about their fundamental legal rights. Working on this funding proposal has been very educational and hopefully, RBJ gets the funding they need to continue such important work.

I have also helped the RBJ office with constructing experience tables that the Geneva office requested from them. The main goal of the experience tables is to list the objectives and results of projects the RBJ office has worked on in a succinct and uniform manner. Therefore, I analyzed RBJ’s funding proposals, project objectives, and results for three different projects and transferred applicable data and information into the experience tables. The three different projects I analyzed were: RBJ’s Prevention of Torture Project in Rwanda, Improving Human and Legal Rights Implementation within Rwanda’s Criminal Justice System and Protecting Human Rights within Rwanda’s Criminal Justice System. All three of these projects had different donors contributing to them including the European Commission, UNDP, and NED grants. Thus, I analyzed different types of funding proposals to gather the information needed for the experience tables. Through creating these experience tables, it is clear that RBJ has had a large impact over the past few years on Rwanda’s criminal justice system and will continue to do so in the future.

I only have a couple more weeks left with IBJ and RBJ. I look forward to delving into any new projects they throw my way. Thus far, this summer has been very informative, and I have learned a lot about how difficult and time-consuming applications for funding can be for non-governmental and non-profit organizations.