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Portraits of Survivors

Unlike many international organizations, the Global Initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation knows that in conflict and post-conflict settings, local communities know best what they need. For this reason, in all their projects, the GIJTR works hand in hand with local civil society organizations to ensure they have the support they need to help their communities preserve and share their experiences of conflict and play an active role in forging a more stable and peaceful future – often through art-based programming. Below are examples of such GIJTR-sponsored community outreach initiatives.

Rohingya Women and the COVID-19 Pandemic

To address COVID-19’s impact on women in the camps, GIJTR partner AJAR conducted daily COVID-19 “Awareness Discussions” with members of the network of Rohingya women facilitators.
The aim of these conversations was to listen to how the women were feeling and provide a safe space for them to voice their concerns and how they are processing any changes during these times.
In the initial months, women reported many misperceptions about COVID-19 that were spreading through the camps. In response, AJAR communicated directly with 80 women, providing accurate information on COVID-19 risks and mitigation measures.
The women have since shared this information with at least 375 others, protecting these and many others’ lives.
Given that women and girls are disproportionately affected by conflict, and that in recent months there has been a spike in domestic violence reported in Rohingya camps in Bangladesh, the program supports one of the project’s key goals: women’s voices are not lost in this context.
In May 2020, GIJTR and AJAR collaborated with the Liberation War Museum (LWM), a founding Site of Conscience in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to launch an online exhibition sharing stories from Rohingya women survivors told through embroidered panels. For more information, visit:

Advocacy and Awareness in Guinea

With support from GIJTR, local partners joined together to form CONAREG - the National Coalition in Support of Reconciliation in Guinea - and produce this documentary which shares victims' testimonies to raise awareness of socio-political unrest in Guinea from independence to the present day.

Creating Channels of Trust in Colombia

To promote healing, awareness and accountability, the GIJTR recently supported seven truth-telling projects in marginalized communities, projects that have been shared and replicated throughout Colombia. Truth-telling is a process that encourages everyday people to share their personal stories of conflict in a way that can help them address their trauma and promote social cohesion.
For one project, shown here, one of the GIJTR’s local partners, Fuerza Mujeres Wayúu, an indigenous women’s organization, organized a knitting circle with survivors in the municipalities of Maicao and Hatonuevo. As the women knitted mochila bags in honor of their missing loved ones, they also shared stories of their experiences during the conflict.
Once a survivor's bag was finished, a recording of their story was placed inside it. To share these experiences, many of the bags were exhibited in towns throughout the region, encouraging others to share their stories as well.
In another project, with GIJTR support, local partner the Memory Committee of El Castillo developed community workshops with victims and families of disappeared persons to record their stories through a craft project. Project participants manufactured personalized dolls in honor of their loved ones, recording their memories and experiences in an accompanying MP3 player.
The dolls were then exhibited in communities around Colombia, and visitors could listen to the stories accompanying each doll. Often these communities expressed a desire to replicate the project in their particular context.
Other projects, like this community mural in Guacoche, Cesar, Colombia, made in partnership with GIJTR’s local partner the Community House, brought community members together to make a collective portrait of their experience, which helps build social cohesion.
Locals, and even visitors from surrounding areas, like to visit the murals, making them places where survivors and others can safely share their own stories of the armed conflict, helping to break taboos about speaking on the topic.