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2-Day Technical Workshop on Healing and Justice Mechanisms to Prevent, Support, and Strengthen Holistic Rehabilitation for Torture Survivors in Nigeria

2-Day Technical Workshop on Healing and Justice Mechanisms to Prevent, Support, and Strengthen Holistic Rehabilitation for Torture Survivors in Nigeria

On June 25th and 26th, we held a 2-day technical workshop on healing and justice mechanisms to prevent, support, and strengthen holistic rehabilitation for torture survivors in Nigeria. This workshop commemorates the UN International Day in Support of Torture Victims and is funded by the European Union through the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims and United Against Torture Day 1 began with welcome remarks from Mrs Kanayo Olisa-Metuh, Executive Director of LGCF, and goodwill messages from NCoS, the Ministry of Justice, NPF, and NHRC. Senator Anyim Pius Anyim (GCON) delivered his opening remarks and declared the workshop open. Day 2 featured engaging group sessions and presentations. Discussions covered various crucial topics, including international and national legal frameworks for torture prevention, understanding torture, practical tools and strategies for torture prevention, and rehabilitation and support for torture victims. We identified the gaps in the justice and healing process for survivors and developed better approaches using international laws and standards. Now it is time to put in the work. In attendance were Sen. Pius Anyim, the Attorney General of the Federation, high-ranking officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) present at the event. We also had in attendance, development partners and stakeholders, including the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Amnesty International, Federal Ministry of Justice (FMOJ), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), National Orientation Agency (NOA), Legal Aid Council of Nigeria (LACON), Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHAPA), Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), Search for Common Ground (SFCG), Secure the Future (SDF), I Hope Behind Bars (HBBA), SLC, and Sow a Smile. We sincerely thank everyone for their support towards the success of this landmark event. Watch the Highlight of the Event Here

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LGCF unites with other CSOs to lend its voice to the advancement of the SDGs at the United Nations Civil Society Conference in Kenya

Legend Golden Care Foundation (LGCF) team joined over 4,000 activists, advocates, and influential voices from around the world at the United Nations Civil Society Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, to share solutions for a better future. Representing LGCF, our Executive Director, Mrs Kanayo Olisa-Metuh, and our Program Manager, Patricia Akor, attended the #2024UNCSC, where they called on governments to protect and expand civic space to ensure grassroots engagement in the 2030 Agenda. Throughout the day, our team actively participated in focus group sessions, sharing their ideas and solutions with the diverse array of civil society organizations present at the conference. As an organization committed to promoting peace, justice, and accountable institutions, we recognize the vital role that civil society plays in ensuring accountability for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Executive Director, in her submission during one of the sessions, stated, “The end game of the UN SDGs is that no one should be left behind, and I dare say that by 2030, most of the global south will be left behind. We can’t take away the importance of the community. We are talking about parts of the future; it will be meaningless if we don’t make any impact. How are we going to make that impact? Is there a way we can come up with different coalitions across various thematic areas so that by the time we leave here, we’d know we are leaving with something tangible?” Truly, it was an incredible experience at the #2024UNCSC in Kenya. We’re grateful for the opportunity to contribute and learn, and we’re excited to continue driving the 2030 Agenda forward. Watch Highlight Reel Here

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Community Engagement in Kabusa Village: Reducing Stigma and Supporting Torture Survivors (RESSTOR)

We are pleased to share the success of our recent community engagement initiative that took place on March 27, 2024, in Kabusa Village, Abuja, Nigeria. Under the theme ‘Reducing Stigma and Supporting Torture Survivors (RESSTOR),’ the project aimed to raise awareness, provide support, and empower community members regarding torture, legal rights, and psychosocial well-being. This event was implemented by the dedicated team members of the Legend Golden Care Foundation (LGCF) with support from the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) and United Against Torture, with funding from the European Union.   The morning session began with meticulous arrangements made by our team to ensure a smooth and impactful session. Beneficiaries were warmly welcomed, and attendance was carefully recorded. The focus of the morning session was on legal and psychosocial support services. Legal experts from LGCF addressed questions related to rights, legal processes, and access to justice, providing much-needed guidance. Trained counsellors offered valuable psychosocial support, discussing emotional well-being, coping strategies, and trauma management.   The afternoon session continued seamlessly, with personalized attention and assistance provided to beneficiaries. Mrs. Kanayo Olisa-Metuh, the Executive Director and Founder of LGCF delivered a welcome address, highlighting the purpose of our visit to the community. Distinguished professionals, including representatives from the Committee Against Torture Nigeria (CATN), the Inspector General of Police, the Controller General of Corrections, the National Human Rights Commission, and the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, shared their goodwill messages. Mrs. Ogechi Ogu, a guest speaker, discussed the implications of torture on individuals and families, encouraging participants to share their experiences.   The engagement fostered active participation from attendees, who openly shared their experiences and concerns. Awareness about available resources and avenues for seeking help was emphasized, empowering community members to take charge of their well-being. To foster a sense of unity and identity, branded T-shirts and face caps were distributed, which participants proudly wore, symbolizing their commitment to the cause.   The impact and reach of the community engagement were significant. A total of 150 beneficiaries participated, with a notable presence of women and children, highlighting the inclusive approach of the project. By providing legal guidance, psychosocial support, and a platform for dialogue, we have taken an important step towards reducing stigma and supporting torture survivors in Kabusa Village.   We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the stakeholders, community members, and partners who contributed to the success of this event. Together, we will continue to strive for a society that upholds the rights and well-being of all, working towards the healing, justice, and reintegration of torture survivors.

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Sensitization for Psychosocial Support and Rehabilitation for Inmates, Victims of Torture and Vulnerable People

Recently, LGCF conducted an engaging sensitization program in Yola, Adamawa state, focusing on psychosocial support and rehabilitation for inmates, victims of torture, and vulnerable individuals. This program, funded by the European Union through the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) and United Against Torture, aims to create awareness, provide support, and empower those affected by torture.   Day 1: GDSS Malkohi Sensitization: On the first day of the program took our team to GDSS Malkohi, situated within an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Adamawa state. The team engaged with students, most of whom were residents of the camp, to educate them about the implications of torture and the available reporting mechanisms. Through interactive sessions, the students were empowered with knowledge and encouraged to become advocates against torture. By reaching out to the younger generation, LGCF is fostering a culture of compassion and empathy that will have a lasting impact.   Day 2: Nigerian Correctional Center, Yola New: Continuing our impactful journey, our team visited the Nigerian Correctional Center in Yola New, where they engaged with inmates. The focus of the discussions was on the consequences of torture and the importance of rehabilitation. Through enlightening focus group discussions, valuable insights were gained, enabling LGCF to further tailor our efforts to address the specific needs of the inmates. The leadership of the correctional facility in Yola New expressed satisfaction with the program and pledged their ongoing support, recognizing its potential to bring about positive change.   Commitment and Collaboration: The success of LGCF’s sensitization program is a testament to the commitment and collaboration of various stakeholders. The European Union’s funding, channelled through the IRCT and United Against Torture, has provided the necessary resources to make this initiative possible. Furthermore, the support and cooperation of GDSS Malkohi and the Nigerian Correctional Center, Yola New, have played a crucial role in ensuring the program’s effectiveness and sustainability.   LGCF’s sensitization program highlights the advantages of rehabilitation and psychosocial support for inmates, victims of torture, and vulnerable individuals. By raising awareness about the consequences of torture, the program encourages reporting mechanisms, ensuring that the voices of survivors are heard and justice is sought. Additionally, by emphasizing the significance of psychosocial support, LGCF aims to provide a safe space for healing, addressing the emotional and psychological traumas inflicted by torture. Through vocational training and skill-building initiatives, we equip individuals with the tools necessary for their reintegration into society, fostering a sense of hope and empowerment.

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LGCF Kickstarts its Radio Program on Rehabilitation and Psychosocial Support for Torture Victims

Introduction: Torture, an egregious abuse of power and violation of human rights, leaves deep physical, emotional, and psychological scars on its victims. Recognizing the urgent need to address this issue, the Legend Golden Care Foundation (LGCF) with funding from the European Union (EU), through the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), and the United Against Torture, has launched a groundbreaking radio program. The primary aim of this program is to shed light on the horrors of torture, challenge the stigmatization faced by survivors, and provide crucial information about their rights and avenues for legal recourse. In addition, the program emphasizes the importance of rehabilitation and psychosocial support for torture victims. Episode Highlights: On the first and second episodes of this thought-provoking radio program held last month, LGCF had the privilege of hosting distinguished guests who brought their expertise and insights to the discussion. Mr. Kabiru Aliyu, Deputy Director of the Monitoring Department at the National Human Rights Commission, shared his invaluable knowledge of the rights of torture survivors and the role of the commission in addressing torture cases. Angela Uwandu, the remarkable Country Director of Avocats Sans Frontieres France, provided an inspiring perspective on the issue of trauma among female torture survivors and reporting mechanisms.    Program Schedule and Objectives: The radio program, scheduled to air every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month, serves as a powerful platform to raise awareness about torture and its devastating consequences. By reaching a wide audience, it aims to break the silence surrounding this heinous act and encourage individuals to take a stand against torture. The program also focuses on combating the stigmatization faced by survivors, promoting understanding and empathy within society.   Education and Reporting Mechanisms: One of the core objectives of the program is to educate the public about the reporting mechanisms available for torture cases. Many survivors hesitate to come forward due to fear, lack of knowledge, or the belief that justice is unattainable. By providing accurate information, LGCF aims to empower victims and their families to seek justice and support. The radio program also highlights the importance of documenting and reporting incidents of torture to ensure accountability and prevent future occurrences.   Rehabilitation and Psychosocial Support: LGCF recognizes that rehabilitation and psychosocial support are vital for torture survivors to heal and rebuild their lives. The radio program strives to create awareness about the availability of therapeutic interventions and support services. By emphasizing the benefits of rehabilitation, including physical and mental healthcare and counselling, LGCF aims to encourage survivors to seek the assistance they need and deserve.   The LGCF radio program on rehabilitation and psychosocial support for torture victims marks a significant step in the ongoing fight against torture and the advocacy for survivors. By raising awareness, challenging stigmatization, and educating the public, this program aims to foster a society that rejects torture and provides support to those affected. Through the collaboration of IRCT, and the United Against Torture and funding from the EU, this radio program serves as a beacon of hope, guiding survivors towards healing, justice, and a brighter future.   Join us every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month as we continue to explore this critical issue and work towards a world free from torture, where the rights and well-being of all individuals are respected and protected.

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LGCF conducted a baseline survey in the Kabusa community of Abuja, in preparation for an EU-funded project.

In preparation for the implementation of the rehabilitation and psychosocial support program for torture survivors, funded by the European Union (EU), through the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) and United Against Torture, scheduled to begin on March 1st, we conducted a baseline survey to assess the impact of torture in the Kabusa community of Abuja, Nigeria. Participants were asked to fill out questionnaires to understand their pain points, enabling us to tailor our interventions accordingly. Since 2022, Legend Golden Care Foundation (LGCF) has been showcasing its unwavering dedication to rehabilitation, providing vital support to around 100 survivors of torture and inhumane treatment, particularly within the Custodial centres of the Nigerian Correctional Service. LGCF’s intervention left a profound impact on these survivors, guiding them on their path to healing and recovery. As a testament to LGCF’s commitment, two of these rehabilitated survivors were employed as full-time staff and provided with accommodation, underlining our holistic approach. The achievements of 2022 ignited LGCF’s determination to expand its effort, exemplified by the establishment of our walk-in rehabilitation and psycho-social support therapy centre at our office. This funding will enable us to achieve our goal and surpass the number of torture survivors receiving comprehensive rehabilitation support. The primary impact of the IRCT project is the comprehensive rehabilitation of torture survivors, specifically women, girls, and children, ensuring their holistic recovery and reintegration into society. LGCF will carry out rehabilitation and Psycho-social Therapy Services: such as counselling, medical treatment, vocational training, and legal assistance, directly to the survivors and their families.

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Collaborative Approach to Accelerating Justice Reform in Nigeria

Collaboration is at the heart of the Accelerating Justice Reform in Nigeria (AJURN) approach. The project actively engages with key government agencies and other stakeholders to forge partnerships that can drive impactful reforms. Courtesy visits have been conducted to build relationships and foster understanding among stakeholders.  An instance worth noting is a visit aimed at fostering collaboration between Legend Golden Care Foundation (LGCF), Hope Behind Bars Africa (HBBA), and the Director General of the Legal Aid Council. This visit was part of the Accelerating Justice Reforms in Nigeria project, to enhance access to justice for pre-trial detainees. During the meeting, both Legend Golden Care Foundation and Hope Behind Bars Africa reiterated their dedication to partnering with the Legal Aid Council. The objective is to facilitate legal representation and support services for individuals in pre-trial detention.  Access to Justice Initiatives: Accelerating Justice Reform in Nigeria (AJURN) is actively working towards enhancing access to justice for pre-trial detainees facing financial constraints. Through the mobilization of pro-bono lawyers, the project seeks to ensure legal representation for those who need it the most.  An illustrative instance involves a young woman accused of having a suspected stolen SIM card. Our team in Maiduguri, Borno State, led by Yakubu John Esq, represented her. Pleading non-guilty, the team promptly presented an oral bail application. The court granted bail to the defendant, pending the resolution of the core issues in the case. The Accelerating Justice Reform in Nigeria Project is poised to make a substantial impact by addressing congestion issues in custodial centres and advocating for diversionary measures. Through the collective efforts of LGCF and Hope Behind Bars Africa, this initiative embodies a commitment to a fair and just criminal justice system in Nigeria. As we move forward, we remain dedicated to the principles of collaboration, advocacy, and positive transformation in the pursuit of a more just society. Stay tuned for further updates on our journey towards a reformed criminal justice system in Nigeria.

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The Grand Finale of the Hope for Freedom Tournament 2.0 – A BEYOND THE WALL INITIATIVE

The Grand finale of the Hope for Freedom Tournament 2.0 was incredible and satisfying. Every cheer during the event fueled our determination to push forward with the Beyond the Walls initiative, a project by Legend Golden Care Foundation. Our esteemed guests from the Nigerian National Assembly, Nigerian Correctional Centre, and other remarkable individuals were not just pleased but committed to supporting our cause. The tournament, which spanned six weeks, culminated in an unforgettable Grand Finale on Friday, September 9, 2023. We were honoured to have the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Corrections, Hon. David Umar, and the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Justice, Hon. Barr. Sunday Umeha, all in attendance. The presence of the Controller General of Corrections, FCT Command, Ibrahim Idris, added to our delight at the event’s success. Mrs. Kanayo Olisa-Metuh, Executive Director of Legend Golden Care Foundation, passionately emphasized the project’s profound impact, stressing its invaluable psychosocial support for enhancing inmates’ self-esteem and promoting rehabilitation through a positive mindset shift. In a world where justice often feels elusive, the Legend Golden Care Foundation (LGCF) stands out as a beacon of transformative efforts within the “Beyond the Walls Initiative.” This self-funded, five-year project goes beyond conventional criminal justice reforms, aiming to reshape lives within correctional facilities and bring about positive transformations beyond physical barriers. Our sincere gratitude to all contributors for bringing this vision to life. Together, we leverage the power of sports to inspire hope and catalyze transformative change, building bridges towards a brighter, more equitable future. Bridging hope and justice, Legend Golden Care Foundation’s (LGCF) Beyond the Walls Initiative focuses on reshaping lives and fostering positive change.

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Creating Awareness and Change: A COURTESY VISIT TO SILVERBIRD

Legend Golden Care Foundation (LGCF) is excited to share the latest developments in our commitment to championing social justice and fostering positive change. Through collaborative efforts with our dedicated partners, we recently embarked on a courtesy visit to Silverbird Communication, establishing a partnership aimed at community impact. During this visit, we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Victor, the Business Manager, whose warm welcome set the tone for an insightful discussion. In our conversation, we explored potential avenues for collaboration, aligning our shared commitment to making a positive impact on communities. As we move forward, LGCF remains dedicated to making significant strides in various areas crucial to the well-being and empowerment of individuals and communities alike.   A summary of some of these programs includes the following: Awareness and Advocacy: Through various media channels, we aim to educate and engage the public on the importance of human rights, legal aid, and the acceleration of criminal justice processes. Our programs focus on raising awareness and promoting the active involvement of communities in advocating for social justice Legal Aid and Human Rights: We recognize the significance of providing legal aid and promoting human rights principles. Our dedicated team of legal experts works tirelessly to ensure access to security and justice, emphasizing non-custodial measures to speed up criminal justice processes. Policy Analysis and Public Policy Advocacy: We actively engage in public policy analysis to influence positive change. By fostering gender equality, social inclusion, and rehabilitation, we aim to dismantle barriers and create a more just and inclusive society. Social and Human Capacity Development: Our commitment to socio-economic empowerment extends to comprehensive programs encompassing entrepreneurship, mentorship, life planning skills, and leadership development. We believe in nurturing individuals to reach their full potential. Women’s Economic and Financial Empowerment: Emphasizing the importance of gender equality, our initiatives focus on empowering women economically and financially. Through education and entrepreneurship programs, we strive to create opportunities for women to thrive. Research and Digital Technology Integration: Embracing the digital era, our Research and Digital Technology (RDT) Program leverages technology for impact assessment, evidence-based advocacy, and knowledge dissemination. We have transitioned to digital reports for convenience and efficiency. Education and Livelihood: We believe in the transformative power of education. Our programs encompass education and livelihood initiatives that contribute to the overall development of communities. We invite you to join us on this transformative journey towards a more just and equitable society. Together, we can create lasting change and empower individuals to lead fulfilling lives. Stay tuned for more updates, and thank you for being an integral part of our shared mission.

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THE JOURNEY TO MUSA: A CALL FOR COLLECTIVE ACTION IN NIGERIAN EDUCATION

In today’s world, knowledge is the gateway to opportunities. It cannot be emphasized enough how important it is for children to attend school. Education is a powerful tool that drives personal growth, societal development, and national progress. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, a country with a rich cultural heritage and diverse population, the issue of out-of-school children poses a significant challenge, which makes it all the more important to stress the significance of giving every child access to education. Education is crucial for these young minds, as it not only helps them acquire academic knowledge but also nurtures their potential. During Legend Golden Care Foundation’s (LGCF) visit to Yola, the capital of Adamawa State, we found “Musa”. The story of Musa, though not unique, sheds light on a persuasive issue where modest amounts, such as 20,000 Naira, can determine a person’s educational fate. Education is a basic human right, yet the lack of resources creates a cycle of poverty, hindering many Musas across the country.  Countless individuals encounter formidable challenges in accessing education, students are often prevented from pursuing their dreams due to financial barriers. While transforming the entire education system seems daunting, changing one life at a time is sure to cause a ripple effect towards the grand end goal.   Children who are not attending school face various difficulties, such as limited access to healthcare, increased exposure to exploitation, and higher chances of engaging in harmful activities. The primary objective of bringing such children into the education system is not only to fill the classrooms but also to provide them with an opportunity to lead a better life. Education is a powerful tool for promoting equality, and ensuring that every child has access to schooling regardless of their socio-economic background can help Nigeria create a more inclusive society. Education empowers children by providing them with the knowledge and confidence necessary to overcome obstacles and dream beyond their current circumstances. Addressing the issue of out-of-school children in Nigeria requires a collaborative effort from the government, communities, and various stakeholders. It is essential to undertake initiatives aimed at improving infrastructure, providing scholarships, and raising awareness about the importance of education. These steps will help ensure that every child in Nigeria has access to education and can attend school.  Musa (not his real name) has been enrolled into the  Legend Golden Care Foundation (LGCF) scholarship support program, making him the 75th recipient. Addressing the issue surrounding education requires collaborative, collective efforts. Not everyone has the access or the ability to go to the trenches like we did, but you can partner with or support this cause together through donations. The presence of children in schools across Nigeria is a symbol of hope and a promise for a brighter future. It represents a commitment to breaking the chains of poverty, empowering young minds, and building a nation where every child’s potential is recognized and nurtured.

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