How do the drums of peace sound after 12 years of civil war? In Burundi, the challenge is to keep addressing the divisive factors that drove the country's brutal armed conflict, while finding ways to nurture the country's fragile democracy. This performance by traditional drummers outside Bujumbura forms part of an UNDEFfunded project to bring communities together, while training women to take up leadership positions, and thus improve governance in the country as a whole. The project, titled 'Nawe Arashoboye!' or 'She can, too!', is implemented by Search for Common Ground.
Democratic Republic of Congo
How to build a stronger culture of democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo, after decades of chaos and corruption followed by the world's deadliest conflict since the Second World War? An UNDEF-backed project is training 700 local leaders to act as
multipliers in participatory local governance and human rights. Each multiplier will then go on to train hundreds of others, leading ultimately to almost 100,000 leaders trained. The project is implemented by the Organisation Paix Unité Réconciliation
Reconstruction, a local NGO.
People of the Menja minority are scattered geographically throughout southwest Ethiopia, making them more vulnerable to social exclusion. UNDEF funds an initiative to integrate them into society, including through schools. Thanks to the project, implemented by Action Aid Ethiopia, Menja children in Telo District now interact fully with
others, where previously they were often not included in shared school materials,
benches or play space. Menja children have also been appointed as class monitors and student police, responsible for conflict resolution in the school compound.
Community radio plays a key role in upholding the rights of all groups as established in Ghana's 1992 Constitution. UNDEF funds an initiative to ensure that marginalized groups in rural Ghana have the radio frequencies they need to fully exercise their
constitutional right to communicate, and to make radio more participatory. The project, implemented by the Ghana Community Radio Network, includes a wide range of listening circles such as this one.
After 14 years of civil war, Liberia’s women remain highly vulnerable. UNDEF funds a project to give them voice through Liberia Women Democracy Radio, one of the first
radio stations in Africa to feature exclusively broadcasts by women for women. The station, run by the Liberia Women Media Action Committee, also trains female journalists -- a key component in a country where the war left women's literacy levels
lagging far behind.
Following the long and brutal conflict in Sierra Leone, sustained communication between all communities is critical. UNDEF funds an initiative to facilitate a national dialogue by strengthening local media. Implemented by Journalists for Human Rights, the project holds monthly community forums bringing together journalists, civil society
representatives and government officials to discuss specific local issues related to democracy and governance. The project played a vibrant role in preparing for the 2007 elections, celebrated by festivities in local communities.
Somalia is one of the most challenging environments in which NGOs can operate. A new project funded by UNDEF in Somaliland works to raise women’s awareness of their rights and how to exercise them. Implemented by the local Women’s Integrated Network, the initiative trains a core group of local young professional women to educate,
support and assist women working in markets and shepherding. It works through consultation sessions such as this one at Hargeisa market.
Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, justice and the rule of law are essential to empowering women to fight AIDS. In Tanzania, UNDEF supports a ground-breaking partnership between women judges and a grassroots activists to develop the role of the judiciary in
addressing HIV/AIDS. Judges and magistrates who have taken part in the trainings have established a track record of issuing judgments striking down discriminatory laws and
practices in areas such as property rights, inheritance, custody and violence against women. The project brings together the Society for Women and AIDS in Africa-Tanzania, the International Association of Women Judges and the Tanzania Women