It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that many organisations such as HumAngle have experienced a turbulent past year. After launching in March, the COVID-19 pandemic hit with full force, putting life as we know it at a halt, with all expectations and targets having to suffer setbacks.
It is also no news that media organisations, both old and new, have experienced great financial difficulty.
In times like these, acknowledging and appreciating the efforts made by development organisations is more important than ever. In the case of HumAngle that was launched exactly a year ago, the level of success reached can only be described as remarkable. Apart from the efforts made by management and all the staff to keep the dream of HumAngle alive, it goes without saying that without the helping-hand stretched by organisations such as the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and the Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund (ATJLF), carrying out the vital work HumAngle has mandated itself to do would have been a lot more difficult.
The grant from ATJLF, a public charity established in 2018 by the MacArthur Foundation and a private US-based foundation, supports transitional justice efforts across Africa, with $1.5 million in funding to 42 West African organisations. The fund’s grants were announced in two batches during the peak period of the COVID-19 pandemic, in February and July 2020.
The partnership between ATJLF and HumAngle has produced, more notably, the stories of IDPs in Borno State, especially the women whose husbands have been taken away or killed by members of the terrorist group Boko Haram. These reports have gone a long way in narrating the plight of one of the most vulnerable populations in Nigeria.
The MacArthur Foundation has additionally extended generous support to this newspaper through the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), one of its grantee-partners. Also, HumAngle is a beneficiary of the Civic Defence Fund of the MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, and OSIWA. The Fund is administered by the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Foundation.
OSIWA similarly works towards promoting fair and independent justice and protecting the human rights of vulnerable groups, also in line with the reporting objectives of HumAngle.
The organisation’s emergency support, which lasted from March to December, was a huge pillar during the pandemic that provided funding to media organisations such as HumAngle to ensure they stayed afloat.
Partnering with OSIWA ensured the public remained informed on the latest information concerning COVID-19, countering misinformation about the virus, as well as later moving towards other aspects threatening society such as the #EndSARS campaign, which occurred towards the end of last year, and the Lagos panel enquiry that followed shortly after.
The past year has proven how partnering with development organisations can help the media to achieve great strides in reporting issues that continue to plague Nigeria and the African continent, such as insecurity, human rights, development and reform; giving room for both sectors to achieve their goals without influencing or interfering with one another, with accountability and transparency driving the mutually beneficial relationship between the two.
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