June 2016 Newsletter

Hello to our network of champions for community driven social change!

In this edition of the newsletter you can support emerging leaders in Uganda and hear about welcome progress in the fight against gender-based violence in Haiti. In addition, we invite you to learn about this summer's initiative to collect the stories of heroes who resisted the genocide in Rwanda and review the latest progress on the grassroots leadership development platform Gather™.

UGANDA: You can help former child soldiers take leadership 

We are excited to announce that this August, our colleagues at Anorak Denmark will travel to Uganda to support our team of former child soldiers in Gulu as they create their own reintegration and prevention organization. You can help these young leaders in Uganda take control of their own lives and futures by visiting and sharing the Generosity Campaign.

We hope you will lend your support to these former child soldiers as they take leadership in all aspects of this ground-breaking new organization; from setting priorities and designing programs to management and evaluation. As you know from following this journey over the past several years, these dynamic young leaders who have returned from conflict have the insight, wisdom and energy to take the work of reintegration and recruitment prevention in the region to the next level.

HAITI: Progress in the Fight Against Gender-Based Violence

Thanks to your support, Malya and the team at KOFAVIV have reported clear progress in the fight to end gender-based violence in Haiti. In her latest update, Malya reports that incidents of GBV have dropped significantly and steadily since spiking to alarming rates in the days and months following the 2010 earthquake.

In efforts to pursue justice for victims, KOFAVIV and partners at the BAI have brought charges against alleged perpetrators and a small but growing percentage of these defendants have been prosecuted and convicted.

Moreover, the Goldin Institute's team of male "sensitization agents" are continuing their outreach and action programs to bolster anti-GBV awareness throughout greater Port au Prince as they also provide needed security for women and girls within the KOFAVIV facilities.

RWANDA: Collecting Stories of Resistance to Violence

AchilleTenkiangThe Goldin Institute is proud to annouce that Achille Tenkiang of Princeton University has been selected for our Global Fellowship program for 2016. Achille will spend his summer internship in Rwanda with our local partners at the Kigali Genocide Museum to uncover, document and share the untold stories of the heroes who resisted the genocide in 1994.

In addition to the value these stories serve in the ongoing process of healing and reconciliation in Rwanda, this oral history offers a unique opportunity to support genocide prevention efforts in Burundi and the Central African Republic. These neighboring countries sadly display alarming parallels to pre-Genocide Rwanda in terms of current levels of violence and the reality of growing hate speech on public airwaves.


GATHER: Building a Platform for Grassroots Leadershipgarenne bigby 2

The Goldin Institute is making great progress in building GATHER, the tablet-based distance learning course to promote grassroots leadership for social change. As the Director of App Development and UX, our colleague Garenne Bigby has been building the interactive capacity of the platform which now includes real-time chat and tools for shared learning.

We have been focused on “designing for the margins” -- making the content and navigation as user-friendly and accessible as possible for 
everyone in the Goldin Institute network. The Gather curriculum will offer a wide range of materials, perspectives and voices to guide group learning and reflection complemented by the opportunity for experiential learning through direct organizing assignments within their local community. Content will include the use of readings, interactive assignments, audio-visual stories with commentary, illustrations, synchronous web chats, a “virtual café’’ and robust discussion boards. If you are interested in joining the inaugural course, be sure to sign up for course updates at the bottom of this Gather Overview.

As always, thank you for being a champion for grassroots partnerships that create real change in the world. Please consider sharing this newsletter and the generosity campaign with your friends, colleagues and families.

If you have feedback on this edition of our newsletter, or story ideas you would like to see in a future issue, please contact our Newsletter Coordinator, Srilatha Lakkaraju. If you haven't already, but would like to receive our newsletter in your email inbox, sign up here

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Many organizations work on issues of poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability, women's leadership and conflict resolution. What sets the Goldin Institute apart is our community-driven approach. Help us expand online so we can expand our work on the ground. 

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Watch the latest videos documenting the work of our partners around the world by visiting our YouTube site. If you are interested in learning more about what effective grassroots partnerships look like, this site includes a collection of short videos highlighting community-driven social change initiatives around the world.



November 2015 Newsletter

Over the past few months we've seen a healthy mix of strategic and organic progress at the Goldin Institute as new ideas are emerging into extraordinary initiatives and projects we've participated in for years are expanding into greater opportunities for community transformation. In this edition of the newsletter, you can read about the solidarity that was cultivated amongst the attendees of the Foundation for Reconciliation conference in Bogota, Colombia, the growth of a powerful partnership in East Africa that is changing the face of our Child Soldier Reintegration and Prevention efforts and progress on our grassroots leadership development platform.

Watch a brief video overview of this newsletter:

Colombia: Expanding the Network for Reconciliation

A sense of unity and purpose set the tone for the Foundation for Reconciliation's conference in Bogota, Colombia on October 21-26. Our associates Alexis and Srishtee participated in the conference and brought back with them the powerful conviction that communities, once united around a shared aspiration, can overcome the extreme challenges they often face. In its 5th year, this international convening of peace and reconciliation leaders had representation from the 18 countries including, but not limited to, Bolivia, Portugal, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Panama, Uruguay, Mexico, Chile, Cuba, Venezuela, Guatemala and Ecuador.

Our partner Father Leonel Narvaez, founder of the the Foundation for Reconciliation, led the conference with real world experiences that weaved inspiration, theories and insights into a powerful call for community leadership. Former combatants also took center stage to share the challenges and importance of humanizing and reintegrating former combatants, not only for their own sake, but also for the stability of the community. They told deeply personal stories of how rejection from society and the vilification of former combatants only loosens the threads within the fabric of a community, leaving too many young people vulnerable to violence and extremism.


[quote]While the history and nature of the conflicts varied between the 18 countries, we all shared the same commitment to forgiveness and reconciliation and the desire to continue to learn from each other."[/quote]

- Srishtee Dear, Goldin Associate


Click here to read more reflections and view photos from Srishtee and Alexis.

Representatives from each of the 18 countries also made presentations detailing how the ESPERE methodology was useful in their communities, proving once again that the idea of forgiveness and reconciliation breaks through cultural and geographical boundaries.

East Africa: Ending Recruitment of Children in Conflict

Co-founders Travis Rejman and Diane Goldin with our partners in East Africa, included is former child soldier Charles Okello, pictured 3rd from right, standing between Travis and Diane.

Our leadership team spent September in East Africa meeting with partners from Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. Following recommendations from the former combatants who lead our work in Uganda, the Goldin Institute and our partners at Arigatou International are now expanding our efforts to prevent the recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts throughout the region.

Charles (pictured third from right) was one of ten former child soldiers who led the research team that conducted over 100 oral testimony interviews with their peers to collect and analyze the stories, experiences, and insights of children forced to fight in armed conflict.


[quote]Child soldier abduction and recruitment doesn't stop at the border. We need a regional strategy to stop a regional problem."[/quote]

- Charles Okello, Uganda


The knowledge and aspirations collected through this groundbreaking research was collected in the report, Alone and Frightened: Experiential Stories of Former Child Soldiers of Northern Uganda. Charles and two of his colleagues from the research team, Geoffrey and Janet, joined over 40 leaders from Kenya to present the research report and to encourage an expansion of the reintegration program to include a focus on preventing children from being used in armed conflicts in the first place.

The need and commitment to work towards the end of recruitment of children in armed conflict was affirmed by all in attendance, including Goldin Institute representatives and senior leaders from the region such as Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia (Advisor to the President on Peace, Cohesion and Conflict Resolution) and Professor Abdulghafur Elbusaidy (Chairmen of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims).

The Goldin Institute is pleased to work in solidarity with our partners throughout the region on two key initiatives focused on preventing the use of children in armed conflict, particularly in light of the growth of violent extremist groups. This new initiative has two primary elements – a youth leadership development component named the Youth Peace Ambassadors and the public solidarity element named CRAVE: Community Resistance Against Violent Extremism.

One example of the initiative's results is the work of Maryam Famau, founder of local partner organization known as Peaceful Innovation in Nairobi. We saw first hand how Maryam and her team offers youth who are targeted by extremist groups like Al-Shabab an effective mixture of counseling, peer groups and job training to interrupt the recruitment process. These initiatives are combined with our Youth Peace Ambassadors program to provide advice, support and solidarity to reverse the recent growth of violent extremist groups throughout the region.

Our Team: Welcoming New Associates

nancy news  marjan news  G news

Nancy Wairimu is an active Youth Peace Ambassador from Mombasa, Kenya. Nancy has been a youth leader since high school where she was elected as a student representative for the national schools council. Nancy has already participated in trainings for youth leaders in Zanzibar and Kenya.

Marjan Adbulrahman brings a MA in Communications and Media Technology and his experience working to support the CRAVE program with partner organization Arigatou International to his role as a Youth Peace Ambassador. He is currently focusing his work on identifying and collecting Islamic-specific resources to counter the recruitment and exploitation of Muslim youth.

Garenne Bigby has been working behind the scenes to redesign the Goldin Institute website as well as the development of the Grassroots Leadership platform, GATHER. Gather is an online curriculum and community of practice that will transform the way grassroots leaders across the globe learn from each other and implement community driven social change in their own communities. Look for more news on Gather in the next newsletter!

As always, thank you for supporting the work of the Goldin Institute! Please continue to be a champion for grassroots partnerships that create real change in the world.

If you have feedback on this edition of our newsletter, or story ideas you would like to see in a future issue, please contact our Newsletter Coordinator, Srilatha Lakkaraju. If you haven't already, but would like to receive our newsletter in your email inbox, sign up here

June 2015 Newsletter

Inspiration in the face of adversity is the common thread weaving throughout this month's newsletter as we share with you updates from around the globe including stories of heroic work by strong female leaders, breaking boundaries to strengthen societies and the dynamic possibilities of leveraging technology to promote grassroots partnerships for global change.

Watch a brief video overview of this newsletter: 


We recently caught up with Global Associate Malya Villard, although not in Haiti running KOFAVIV as you would normally expect to see her, but in Philadelphia. Due to death threats against her for her public role in fighting for justice for victims of sexual and gender-based violence, Malya has been forced to temporarily continue her important work from the US while she applies for asylum. We are excited to share this interview with Malya where she speaks passionately and courageously about her work.

A quick update of KOFAVIV's work over the past two months reveals that twenty-five trained male agents continue to work in high risk areas to prevent violence and provide support when women are attacked. In addition, the organization's call center is up and running. As a testament to its importance, within the 15 day period of April 15 to April 30 the center received 153 calls, two from victims of sexual violence, 104 calls for information and 47 calls for advice. Malya and the KOFAVIV staff will continue despite constant threats to ensure the safety of those in their community and a brighter future for Haiti.

Community Leadership Course

Inspiration and an update on the work in Haiti was only one piece of our conversation with Malya. We were pleased to continue the interview with Malya to hear her experience, wisdom and knowledge of strategic community organizing when resources are scarce and the work can be dangerous.

Through our interview, we took the lessons and insights Malya shared with us and are working to shape them into a case study for a new pilot Community Leadership course we are developing. Over the past several months the Goldin Institute has been working with the Danish Design School KaosPilots and a growing network of partners to develop a course designed to support global community driven social change.

In early May, the Goldin Institute hosted the KaosPilots team at our offices as they helped design and develop this virtual classroom, workshop and think tank. Structured as a series of modules to explore community-driven social change, a set of participants from around the globe will take a 12 week course together online. The term "together" is crucial as participants will explore topics such as leading adaptive change, asset based engagement and mobilizing community resources through a curriculum that values shared learning and the local knowledge of each course member. Participants take what is learned from the module, implement it in their own community and reconvene through the app to discuss their lessons learned and share best practices and principles. Look for an announcement on how to apply for this groundbreaking course in upcoming newsletters!


Adversity takes the form of growing violent unrest in the Philippines. The Mindanao region where our global Associate Dr. Susana Anayatin is located has suffered from ongoing conflict for many years but the violence and displacement has increased greatly since January when Philippines Special Forces conducted a raid in Tukanalipao. Sadly, the aftermath of the raid has combined with clashes between local groups leading to a dramatic increase in violence as well as tens of thousands of displaced families. Further, tensions with the Government of the Philippines as well as disagreements within the negotiating partners are threatening to derail the ongoing peace process aimed at solving the crisis in Mindanao through a negotiated settlement granting greater autonomy and development to the region.

Despite the conflict, Susana and her team are moving forward and have brought the number of schools in the region with newly installed access to safe drinking water up to 98. As part of her continuing work to promote sustainability and ecological preservation, Susana led a series of trainings on Environmental Protection and Cultural Sensitivity to over 129 soldiers of the 61D Division Training School in the Philippine Army in honor of Earth Day celebrations.

Susana's partnership with the local communities throughout Mindanao has made possible a fragile but significant collaboration between the Philippine army and rebel groups which continues to bring clean water to schools and communities across the Mindanao region despite the increased tensions in the region. Both rebel and military leaders have declared that bringing life-saving clean water access to the schools in the region through this project is a way to "win the peace" rather than fight the war.


Time and time again we have been exposed to the disturbing reality of youth participation in militant violence. Parents in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Somalia have called for assistance in addressing the growing threat of their children being recruited or forced to join Al-Shabaab and other armed militant groups.

The Goldin Institute and Arigatou International are expanding our partnership to address this problem of child recruitment. On January 14 and 15, twenty-four leaders from local grassroots initiatives gathered together for a workshop to discuss strategies for Countering Violent Extremism. The discussion was robust and varied, beginning with an identification of what makes communities vulnerable to violent extremism and ending with a commitment to support a youth-led peace ambassadors program. For more information, you can read the full report Countering Violent Extremism workshops here.

Watch our next newsletter for more information on the Community Leadership Course as well as some exciting additions to our growing team from Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar!

Until next time, remember that you can get the latest news as it happens by joining our online community at Facebook and Twitter.



October 2014 Newsletter

Greetings from the Goldin Institute! We are excited to share this month's newsletter highlighting the work of our global associates who are positively contributing to their communities by stepping up their efforts and stepping out of their safety zones to ensure that their good work moves forward.

Watch a brief video overview of this newsletter: 


While the peace negotiations continue to break new ground in Colombia, paramilitary-linked groups opposed to the peace process have issued threats against human rights defenders, including our colleague Fr. Leonel Narvaez of our partner organization the Foundation for Reconciliation. In response to the death threats, Fr. Leonel has publicly invited the authors "to sit down and talk." His plea for peace continues:


[quote]It is paradoxical that they threaten you with death because you work for forgiveness and reconciliation ... To those who threaten me, I offer my forgiveness and my understanding ... We forgive because we understand that you are not fully responsible for your mistake, for your rage. Someone, somewhere, has infected you all with their resentment. You are also victims just as we possibly will be."[/quote]


Amidst this backdrop of intimidation, our Global Associate Lissette continues the work of implementing a community-driven approach for child soldier reintegration which continues to grow and gain the respect of local educators, community members and former child soldiers. Despite the contentious atmosphere and threats of violence, Lissette and her colleagues continue their work with compassion in their hearts and resolve in their minds.

We had the chance to catch-up in conversation with Lissette via Skype where she walked us through the current status of these important peace negotiations and explained how they could impact her work and her community. You can view this conversation with Lissette in full here.

The Institute's Global Associate Lissette Mateus (far right) leads a Forgiveness and Reconciliation training workshop in Colombia.


As a testament to our Global Associate's passion for environmental sustainability in the conflict zone of Mindanao, our own Dr. Susana Anayatin has helped change the world yet again. Augmenting the work to provide safe drinking water to schools, including the implementation of new wells restoring clean water at an additional 15 schools in the Kabuntalan Province this month, the team in the Philippines participated in a national effort to break the world record of trees planted in an hour. On September 26, 2014 Dr. Anayatin was among the 113,000 volunteers including government employees, students and military personnel that broke the invisible, but often contentious boundaries that separate these groups to unite for environmental protection. As Guinness World Records continues to verify the count, officials in the Philippines report 3.2 million seedlings planted in six different areas on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. Notwithstanding world records, the planet is in a better position to mitigate climate change and the new trees are essential to protect the watersheds and promote access to safe drinking water for generations to come.

Dr. Anayatin taking part in the reforestation tree planting project in Mindanao.

Poverty and Peacemaking

In many parts of the world, poverty and violence are common-place and intertwined realities. To explore and address these issues, the Goldin Institute participated in the Poverty and Peacemaking interdisciplinary conference and gathering at Princeton University on September 19 and 20. The conference was a concerted effort on the part of Princeton University and the community of Sant Egidio to amplify the dialogue between development professionals and students, scholars, government officials, activists, diplomats and religious leaders from around the world. The Goldin Institute was pleased to moderate a panel with participants from the Salvation Army and the World Bank focused on a new initiative to support peace building efforts through community-based heath care centers in Kibera - an informal settlement within Kenya.

Pinceton University's Poverty and Peacemaking conference, late September.
Photo Credit: Matt Weiner

Welcome Alejandro

alejandro for newsletterPlease join us in welcoming a new member to the Goldin Institute team. Alejandro Di Prizio comes to us as an AmeriCorps member completing a year of service through Public Allies Chicago.

Alejandro will serve as our Online Education Associate, bringing to the Goldin Institute many skills including a fluency in Spanish. Prior to joining AmeriCorps, Alejandro worked to create innovative family programs at the Art Institute of Chicago and later as a founding member of The Creative Agency for The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA). Outside of his service at Goldin Institute and AmeriCorps, Alejandro is an active musician and visual artist.


Next Newsletter

Watch our next newsletter for an exciting progress update from our partners around the world. Can't wait until the next newsletter? Get your Goldin Institute fix by jumping onto our Facebook page for the latest news as it happens and join the growing community dedicated to uplifting stories of grassroots partnerships around the world at the tumblr site GoGrassroots!

As always, if you have suggestions of individuals who may want to receive this e-newsletter or stories you think we should tell, contact us at news@goldininstitute.org.

Fall 2014 Newsletter

It has been several weeks since we've given you an update on what we have been up to. Locally and abroad, much is moving forward and we are excited to share this newsletter with you!

Watch a brief video overview of this newsletter: 


As usual, there is much activity and progress in the Philippines. Access to safe drinking water continues to be a priority for our Global Associate Dr. Susana Anayatin as she and her team install safe water wells in the Mindanao region. We are excited about their progress and would like to share with you our new interactive map which illustrates completed and planned projects. Click on each completed project to get a snapshot of the many individuals who now have access to safe-water. This map dynamically changes as Susana and her team update the data and make plans to service new schools.

  The Goldin Institute Philippines have provided safe drinking water to over 24,000 students throughout Mindanao.  

As in many countries, one step forward can be met with many challenges to our progress. Recently, Cotabato City and the Maguindanao Province experienced severe storms that resulted in flooding. Over 15 villages are under-water and schools are faced with adversity as books, classrooms and facilities are damaged. Despite the flooding and difficult learning environment, students are motivated to learn and teachers are able to work around the challenges and teach strategically. To help provide direct support to the flooded region, please click here. All donations in the month of September will be dedicated to flood relief and are fully tax-deductible.

In addition to flood relief, Dr. Anayatin and her team remain focused on safe drinking water access and are motivated to keep the community united.On Sept. 12, 2014, J. Marquez Elementary School in partnership with the Department of Education, the Philippine Army and the Goldin Institute Philippines launched the Peace Consciousness Month and International Day of Peace with the theme "Nagkakaisang Bayan para sa Kapayapaan," translated to United People for Peace. The activity symbolically paralleled the recent peace process occurring between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Philippine Government. The activity promoted peace amidst a diverse student population and the Mindanao community. Students were instilled with the value of peace by engaging in various activities such as a peace poster contest and a peace jingle contest.


Go Grassroots!

Goldin Institute is excited to announce GoGrassroots, a Tumblr site created as an online forum for those working at the grassroots level. The site supports grassroots movements across the globe. Regardless of their involvement with the Goldin Institute, organizations are able to share ideas, peer review each other's work and learn from each other as grassroots movements continue to positively impact communities in need. Take a look at the site to learn about innovative grassroots work and the skilled leaders who are directing the initiatives.

gograssroots teaser

One innovative leader you may have recently seen on GoGrassroots is Brian Concannon, Executive Director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. The Goldin Institute partnered with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs to host a discussion featuring Brian and Fran Quigley, author of the new book How Human Rights Can Build Haiti. A key message Brian conveyed during the event was that effective change in Haiti begins with the work of those struggling within the country.


[quote]Invest from the bottom-up; those experiencing Haiti on the ground are the voices that know what is needed to help themselves and the country."[/quote]

- Brian Concannon, human rights attorney



GoGrassroots was the brainchild of our intern Alexis Smyser. Alexis has recently completed her 10-month internship with the Goldin Institute. Please join us in congratulating her on a successful completion of her internship. We thank Alexis for all the good work she has done for the Goldin Institute and wish her well on her next endeavor!


Co-founder Diane Goldin and Advisory Board member Mimi Frankel at the Chicago Council for Global Affairs

Next Newsletter

Keep an eye out for our next newsletter where we will highlight the continued work of the National Platform in Uganda.

As always, if you have suggestions of individuals who may want to receive this e-newsletter or stories you think we should tell, contact us at news@goldininstitute.org.

Summer 2014 Newsletter

It has been a busy summer for us at the Goldin Institute! Visits from global advocates, interviews with local community leaders and progress with our partners around the globe have kept us moving forward both locally and abroad. We are thrilled to share this latest update with news from our recent work on the ground in Uganda and Zanzibar.

Watch a brief video overview of this newsletter: 


In June, Diane and Travis travelled to Uganda to participate in a training led by our Global Associate Lissette Mateus Roa from Colombia. Lissette trained our partners in Uganda to use the ESPERE methodology. Developed in Colombia, the methodology is designed to engage the local community by using schools as centers for reconciliation for former child soldiers in the region.

The training took the form of an intensive eight day workshop wherein program participants learned about strategies to promote forgiveness and reconciliation and obtained tools to carry these ideas forward within their community. Sixteen individuals—including child combatants, teachers, counsellors and community members—from five different regions of Northern Uganda participated in the training.

ESPERE Training for Former Child Soldiers in Uganda.

From theoretical to tangible, the workshop began by developing the concepts that would lay the foundation for communities to reintegrate former combatants and develop resiliency against the practice in the future. Language barriers, cultural differences and preconceived notions quickly dissolved as the ESPERE program took root with participants and it became clear that the need for forgiveness and reconciliation, especially towards young combatants, is universal.

The first three days deconstructed the idea of forgiveness and what it means to forgive. Beyond verbally saying the words "I forgive you," workshop attendees learned that forgiveness requires tools, engaged with a thoughtful process, to fix problems that arise for both victims and perpetrators. In addition to a cultural perspective, forgiveness was presented through an academic and practical viewpoint, connecting with all participants in ways that honored and enhanced their personal and communal affiliations. Participants explored ways that forgiveness is instrumental in mending the societal fabric tattered by conflict. Over the next two days, participants were guided through approaches to reconciliation that highlighted the need for an individual to think about the bonds they are trying to fix and identify the terms on which a newly reconciled relationship can function. During this session, surprising connections occurred between everyone in the room. Even though the scars of war were etched in the hearts and minds of both participants and trainers coming from very different circumstances and regions, everyone shared the desire to return to a peaceful community without hostile relationships.

On the sixth day of the workshop, program participants now equipped with the conceptual foundation of forgiveness and reconciliation went through a "train the trainer" session. Lissette taught program participants the methodology behind the ESPERE program so they are able to lead the reintegration program themselves. Finally, the last two days of the program leveraged what was learned and developed plans to put this knowledge into practice. Program participants met with former child soldiers and created action plans based on their insights and aspirations. Speaking with former child soldiers allowed program participants to understand their needs through the new lenses of forgiveness and reconciliation. The first-hand perspectives of the former child soldiers also informed participants about gaps in their society that they could address. The attendees and eventual graduates put together action plans to concretely outline their next steps to carry forward the tools and knowledge gained in the workshop for an outcome that was beneficial and sustainable for their community.

Action plans created by program participants consisted of strategies to train between 15- 90 individuals of varying backgrounds on the ESPERE program throughout the Northern conflict zone of Uganda. By engaging former child soldiers, formerly abducted women, students and survivors of violence, the ESEPRE program will carry forward the idea of forgiveness and reconciliation with the aim of bringing peace to the community. The Goldin Institute is looking forward to partnering with these program participants who will lead community driven social change for reintegration.


Following the training in Uganda, Travis and Diane headed to Zanzibar for a three-day Peace Camp hosted by our colleagues at the Arigatou Foundation and the Global Network of Religions for Children, an international interfaith network dedicated to securing the rights and well-being of children worldwide.

Dr. Maudarbux leads a discussion on the causes of violent conflict in the Horn of Africa region.

The event had youth participants from Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Each of these countries have experienced conflicts fueled by violent extremism. The Camp provided youth with the opportunity to share their experiences and come up with solutions that can prevent violent extremism, especially amongst the youth. Our partner from the Arigatou Foundation, Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, convened this group of youth peace ambassadors from throughout the Horn of Africa region and facilitator Belall Maudarbux trained them in new approaches to stop the growing trend towards violent extremism in the region. Based on our work in Uganda and Zanzibar, the Goldin Institute is excited to expand our partnership over the coming months to scale up this youth peace ambassadors program throughout our network.


Recently, KOFAVIV co-founder and 2012 CNN Hero of the Year Malya Villard-Appolon was in Chicago to update us on her work to provide social and legal support and combat sexual violence against women and girls in Haiti. While she was here, she courageously shared her story in a taped segment that aired on National Public Radio's Worldview program as part of a show dedicated to current issues in Haiti. In addition to the interview with Malya about her efforts to stop sexual and gender based violence in Haiti, the hour-long program included a live panel discussion on the latest legal proceedings to hold the U.N. accountable for the cholera epidemic in Haiti.

Global Associate Malya Villard (pictured right) during a speaking engagement at Loyola University.

A Look Forward

Watch our next newsletter for an exciting progress update from our partners in the Philippines and an exciting new online initiative that will profile innovative grassroots leaders and initiatives from around the world.

If you have suggestions of individuals who may want to receive this e-newsletter or stories you think we should tell, please contact us at news@goldininstitute.org

June 2014 Newsletter

Goldin Institute Update and Newsletter

As we celebrate the welcome news that our partners at the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti are bringing at least a dozen sexual violence cases to trial to hold perpetrators accountable, we ask for your help in raising awareness about the danger our Global Associate Malya Villard-Appolon and her partners at KOFAVIV continue to face for their heroic work to represent the victims and accompany them in the quest for justice.

As the co-founders of KOFAVIV and the most visible leaders representing victims of sexual violence, Malya and Marie Eramithe have come under increasing pressure from perpetrators to drop the charges and give up the fight for justice in the courts. Both have been accosted on the streets, bullets have been fired at their homes, the offices have been moved to more secure locations and their children have had to be relocated to escape the danger.

They will not give up the fight. Neither will we.

Our partners at World Wings International have long stood with us on the issue of defending human rights in Haiti - especially those rights directly impacting gender-based violence. As stated by our friend and colleague Alicia Cubota Smith:


[quote]Villard-Appolon, as with the many other women suffering from gender-based violence, needs our help. Public awareness is a crucial first step."[/quote]

- Alicia Cubota Smith


malya and staffAs a survivor of sexual violence herself, Malya's strength and courage to advocate on behalf of victims of violence is as clear as her voice. In 2012 Malya was awarded the CNN Hero of the Year AwardMalyastaff280by140  We are proud continue the fight against sexual violence in Haiti led by our Global Associate Malya Villard-Appolon and her colleague Marie Eramithe Delva. Since co-founding KOFAVIV in 2004, the organization has helped more than 4,000 rape survivors find safety, psychological support and/or legal aid. KOFAVIV is founded and staffed by victims of sexual and gender-based violence. You can learn more about KOFAVIV and the current situation by viewing this broadcast of Malya's lecture in Chicago at Loyola University from April 22, 2014.


Next Newsletter Preview:

Philippines:  Our projects in the Philippines continue to progress as Global Associate Dr. Susana Anayatin and her team work to provide access to clean water. Watch our next newsletter for new ways to understand and explore the water installation projects made possible through your support.

uganda and lissette

Uganda: Diane and Travis are traveling to Uganda to participate in a training led by our Global Associate Lissette Mateus Roa from Colombia. Lissette will be training our partners in Uganda to use the ESPERE methodology developed in Colombia to engage the local community in using schools as centers for reconciliation for former child soldiers in the region.

If you have suggestions of individuals who may want to receive our e-newsletter or stories you think we should tell, please contact us at news@goldininstitute.org.