Human Rights Defenders Masaka (HURIDEM)
Areas of work
- First responders to human rights crimes
- Legal support and advice
Runners from the 2017 Uganda Marathon renovating a chicken coop for a source of income
HURIDEM is led by the very tenacious Shifa, who demands respect from the authorities of Masaka through her non-corruptible and fierce attitude towards injustice and its removal from the community.
With a broad spread of volunteers, HURIDEM operates out of a humble office where people come to report any cases of human rights violations. On average, the group receives 2 cases a day that can range anywhere from rape to land grabbing. The Uganda Marathon runners in 2017 supported HURIDEM with a sustainable poultry farm that is set to cover all the running costs of the organisation’s office. However, there is a great deal of outreach work conducted by HURIDEM as their team of volunteers seek statements and evidence to build cases for the vulnerable victims, counteracting the inadequate police service and helping them to receive justice.
2018 Goals for HURIDEM
- To create a first response service that will see 15 victims of rape per year, gain appropriate legal and emotional support.
- To enable 4 HURIDEM volunteers to gain access to paid work by the end of 2019.
How you’ll help us achieve the goals
Arriving at the scene of a crime as quickly as possible gives a great advantage in ascertaining evidence, which increases the chances of positive arrests. The fastest and most convenient way to travel in Masaka is by motorbikes known as boda-bodas.
With your funding, HURIDEM will be able to buy 5 bodas. One they’ll keep at their head office, whilst the others will go to their volunteers in the field. The volunteers will be the first responders to any cases outside of Masaka Municipality and they’ll be able to use their new bodas to reach the scene of the crime quickly. If that wasn’t a big enough impact, each volunteer can also earn an extra income as a boda-boda taxi driver, using the money to gradually buy the boda off HURIDEM to make it their very own. They would then be able to continue volunteering for HURIDEM as they have their very own boda taxi service to support them and their family. HURIDEM will then use the money paid back to buy another boda for a different one of their 50 volunteers so the cycle continues and more people are reached quickly and can be supported to fight for justice.
HURIDEM stand and fight for all human rights. So when they came across Jacob, a young blind man who wasn’t able to attend school, as there aren’t any specialist blind schools in Masaka, they jumped to the cause.
Mobilising their network they worked with his mother to gather old clothes, bags and shoes to sell. The money generated was then matched by HURIDEM and was used to help Jacob learn the skill of paper bag making. Using this skill, he has now started his own small business, which generates enough money to cater his own needs.