Thousands of Liberians are caught up in the most devastating Ebola outbreak in history. The disease is leading to conflict, violence and corruption. Our Community Justice Teams are changing things. Their work has saved thousands of dollars in wasted resources, and now we need your help to raise additional funds to expand their coverage. A donation of just $4 will save citizens more than $8, empowering them to improve their lives.
As a result of the ongoing spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa, on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 the Liberian Government announced a complete quarantine of Monrovia’s West Point neighborhood, where our Community Justice Team is located.
Things quickly turned violent when Liberia tried to quarantine a neighborhood to contain Ebola http://t.co/wWqMZIVGRX— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 21, 2014
Fear and mistrust of governing institutions and public health authorities, already responsible for worsening the spread of this deadly disease, threaten to tear apart the fragile post-war peace in one of Liberia’s poorest communities. These dire circumstances has led to increased disputes between citizens and clashes with local authorities.
Photographing An Ebola Riot: Put Your Fear Aside And Go Forward http://t.co/JqH7gHgeiD— NPR Health News (@NPRHealth) August 20, 2014
But you can help! Now, more than ever, is the time to take action and help the people of West Point overcome these challenges. Our Community Justice Teams, who have already resolved more than 82 local disputes and are trusted by the community, are struggling to address the rising number of cases caused by the recent quarantine.
Even a small donation goes a long way, and would give the teams the resources they need to preserve peace and build trust in West Point during these trying times. This is how Ebola will be fought now and in the future.
For many Liberians, life is a daily struggle. Abuse of the law prevents Liberians from putting food on their tables, sending their children to school and accessing the essential healthcare services they need to stay alive. In the West Point community of Monrovia- Liberia's capital city- there is just one small court room for 75,000 people.
We've been working on the solution. The Accountability Lab is resolving community disputes in West Point- one of Monrovia’s poorest neighborhoods. Working with lawyers, we've trained 8 volunteer mediators. This “Community Justice Team” (CJT) resolves civil conflicts peacefully and equitably.
The system is free and is available to citizens 24/7 and each case is carefully documented through written records taken by a notary. The CJT also works with the local police and courts to refer civil cases to community mediators. This helps to reduce the cases in the local court.
"There is simply no justice for the poor. This system helps us."
This is a practical, bottom-up approach to justice and saves citizens valuable time, money, and effort. So far the system has resolved 76 cases, saving citizens over 1/2 million Liberian dollars and thousands of hours of time.
"I am deeply happy over what these people did for me, had they not been there I would be in jail."
Accountability Lab has invested $3,000 in the first CJT. For every $4 invested, we save Liberians more than $8 and over a week of time that they can use instead to make a living and take care of their families.
We are now trying to raise enough funds to bring CJTs to other high-density, low-income communities across Monrovia. We hope to raise $2,000 to cover small stipends for the program’s managers, mediators, town criers, and notaries.
Please support our work by donating through the button above or by simply sending a Tweet that mentions @AccountLab, a dollar amount (e.g. $8) and #tinygive!