Where jhr worksjhr works mainly in post-conflict countries where human rights abuses are still common. jhr's programs help rebuild local media communities largely destroyed by war and ensure they act as effective vehicles for human rights information now and in the years to come.
jhr in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
Population: 66,514,504The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has a long and unfortunate history. Few countries on earth have faced more heartache. More people have died from the effects of war in the DRC (over 5 million people) than from any other conflict since the Second World War.
Life Expectancy: 53.98 years
HIV/AIDS Prevalence: 4.2%
GDP per Capita: $300
Rank in Human Development Index: 168 out of 177 countries
While a relative peace has returned to much of the country since signing peace accords in 2003, parts of the country—especially Eastern DRC—are still highly volatile. Human rights abuses of all kinds are still commonplace.
Responding to an urgent call for more human rights efforts there, jhr opened an office in the DRC in early 2008, based in the capital city Kinshasa. jhr's work in the DRC is focused on working alongside local journalists, editors, owners and NGOs to facilitate the following activities:
jhr in Sierra Leone
Population: 6,294,774Brought to the worlds attention by the Hollywood movie 'Blood Diamond', the people of Sierra Leone suffered mightily during its decade-long civil war. Following tens of thousands of deaths, the displacement of more than 2 million people (one-third of the population) and innumerable atrocities, including wide-spread rape and the forced recruitment of child soldiers, the war officially ended in 2002.
Life Expectancy: 40.93 years
HIV/AIDS Prevalence: 7%
GDP per Capita: $600
Rank in Human Development Index: 177 out of 177 countries
Since then, Sierra Leone has enjoyed a fragile peace. While the government has been relatively stable, much more needs to be done to strengthen and rebuild the nation's developing democracy. Human rights abuses remain omnipresent—the UNDP ranked it last in the world in the protection of women’s rights.
jhr recognized the potential impact that Rights Media could have in Sierra Leone and began a small pilot project there in 2005. Based on our successes there and feedback from local media and human rights groups, jhr started a full five-year program there in 2007. jhr now works across Sierra Leone and alongside local journalists, editors, owners and NGOs to facilitate the following activities:
jhr in Liberia
Population: 3,334,587After has a most unique - and tragic - history. Founded by freed American slaves returning to Africa, it was ruled for over a century by an elite class of 'Americo-Liberians' (descendents of the freed slaves). Fed up, native Liberians rebelled, starting a long-string of events that led to a 14 year civil war, devastating the country. Since the official end of war in 2003, Liberia thankfully experienced many positive developments, including the election of Africa's first female Head of State.
Life Expectancy: 41.13 years
HIV/AIDS Prevalence: 5.9%
GDP per Capita: $500
Rank in Human Development Index: unranked
Despite some positive developments, the country is still rebuilding and human rights abuses are still commonplace.
jhr responded to calls for improved human rights awareness in Liberia by starting a five-year project there in the fall of 2008. All of our projects in Liberia will be facilitate by the Liberia Media Centre (LMC), a local NGO and jhr's lead partner on the ground. jhr, in partnership with the LMC, is working alongside local journalists, editors, owners and NGOs to facilitate the following activities:
jhr in Malawi
Malawijhr is currently running a short-term project in Malawi, sending young Canadian journalists there on eight month internships as part of a project sponsored by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
Life Expectancy: 43.45 years
HIV/AIDS Prevalence: 14.2%
GDP per Capita: $800
Rank in Human Development Index: 164/177
jhr measures its impact of this project differently than it measures success in its other, longer-term projects. Here, jhr is focused on the impact on both our local partners and on maximizing the life experience of the interns we send.
Through this project jhr adds values to local media houses, NGO's and development organization by providing them with experienced Canadian interns to lend a helping hand.
While Malawi is not a 'post-conflict' country like many of the others jhr works in, it still has tremendous human rights challenges. jhr's local partners in Malawi include:
jhr in Ghana
After several decades of coups and military leadership, Ghana's constitution was adopted in 1992. While the country has long been an example of positive democratic development in West Africa, many challenges remain with regards to local awareness of human rights and social justice.
To help address these issues, jhr worked alongside local journalists, editors, owners and NGOs to facilitate the following activities: