2022: Leaping for Greater Strides!
Dear Partners and friends,
Happy New Year!
Welcome to 2022-a year we hope will be one of superlative advancements in all ramifications for each and every one of us and our families. 2021 was in part a daunting and impactful year for us as an organisation. On the one hand, we, like the rest of the world were reeling back from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and experienced some changes including the loss of the Founder of the CLEEN Foundation-Mr. Innocent Chukwuma. These notwithstanding, we bounced back better and stronger; pulling through victoriously and recommitting ourselves to the vision of the organization.
In the spirit of resilience, CLEEN was able to achieve results through our various interventions on public safety and security. Our initiatives to combat human trafficking and forced migration of women and girls in at-risk communities and teenagers in selected schools in Edo and Lagos States reached a total of 1,100 teenagers. We enhanced the voice, agency, advocacy and communication capacities of grassroots women-led organizations in the focal states to form a critical mass of advocates against human trafficking of young women and girls. Our innovative strategies of programming led to a collaboration between the CLEEN Foundation, Silver Bird and Kada Cinemas to screen documentaries based on the experiences of survivors as pathways to drive home the point in an atmosphere of fun and entertainment. We carried out massive radio sensitization campaigns and documentaries on human trafficking and forced migration reaching thousands of listeners beyond our catchment areas.
Conflicts and the role of state and non-state actors in the disappearance of persons was a key interest area for CLEEN. We explored the use of geospatial technology through capacity building for the Nigeria Police to enhance their skills in finding the missing through which affected families can gain closure and support. This is still being piloted and will hopefully yield fruitful results. The ongoing insurgency and counter insurgency efforts by our security forces has continued to be a key pillar of our strategic focus in the last 4 years through ensuring these efforts are human rights friendly and respecting while actors and institutions are held accountable for their actions.
The ongoing attacks from the activities of armed bandits and the reoccurring farmer-herder clashes is another keen interest area for us. We are responding through the establishment of an Early Warning and Early Response (EWER) system that prevents and mitigate recurring violence against civilians in at-risk areas of northern Nigeria. This initiative will expand EWER capabilities including escalation of real-time alerts of village burning incidents using geospatial technology. This project will work collaboratively with existing EWER structures in focal states and empower women and youths to be change agents in the security of their communities.
In furtherance to our commitments on monitoring the utilization of the forfeited Abacha Loot 3 for infrastructural development in Abuja-Kano Road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and 2nd River Niger bridge, tremendous work and progress are ongoing. These infrastructures when fully completed are poised to further open up the states and their environs to robust development and commercial activities all to the benefit of the Nigerian people. The security of elections and the electorate saw us observe the Anambra Gubernatorial elections and the conduct of security agencies. Our report can be accessed via cleen.org. In all of these, gender equality and social inclusion formed the core of our interventions keeping our eye for equality and social justice for women and men involved in our initiatives.
For this year 2022, and in line with our strategic Plan (2019-2023), we are set to deliver results-packed interventions on various projects in line with our mission and vision. At this point we must reiterate our commitment in bridging the widening justice gaps and improving the security of Nigerians and their communities by strengthening the existing institutions to be more accountable to the people. The foundation will strengthen police reform processes and community policing in Nigeria to stimulate and inspire human rights-centered approaches and compliance for effective police and policing. These interventions are with a view to entrench deeper democratic principles and values in Nigeria; reduce serious organized crime through streams of interventions to build a more effective, efficient and professional police service. In view of securing the polls ahead of 2023 elections, we will build the capacities of security actors on rights-based approach to election policing and enhance civic participation towards free, fair and peaceful election. Some of our 2021 interventions as outlined above will continue to run and deliver results.
We must not fail to acknowledge the tremendous support from funders and partners through which we are achieving all of the above. Our profound gratitude goes to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Ministry of Justice, the Mac-Arthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, UN Women and the Government of Italy, OSIWA, Open Society Foundation (OSF), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Equal Access International, U.S. Department of State, UNDP and the European Union and other strategic partners.
Finally, our story continues to be one of awe-inspiring grit and dogged determination. Armed with the hope of new beginnings and what they inspire, we are ready to take on 2022. While the tasks ahead look daunting, we are rolling up our sleeves and getting the work done and excellently so at the CLEEN Foundation. As always, we will be leveraging on the superlative leadership of our Board and Trustees, an effective Management Team, and a rich work-force of dedicated and competent staff.
I welcome you all to 2022!
Acting Executive Director