As we come to the close of 2021, it is only befitting for us to extend our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to our many volunteers and abled staff members in the United States, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and to our few individual donors who steadfastly stood by us in 2021.
The year 2021 and the one that preceded it have been very difficult for us. The Corona Virus pandemic greatly hindered the implementation of projects we had planned. We have not received any major or institutional funding from 2019 to date. We have significantly streamlined everything ranging from staff to operational hours because of the lack of funds.
We, however, did achieve noticeable successes in the form of collaborating with other NGOs in Sierra Leone’s Eastern Provincial city of Kenema, the establishment of closer working relationship between the Liberia and Sierra Leonean offices and the acquisition important documents from governments in both countries. But more than all of this is our enduring commitment to championing the cause of human rights everywhere.
We wish everyone a joyous and prosperous new year.
Ever since December 12, 1997, the United Nations set aside June 26 as International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, many have worked not only to celebrate this day but to ensure that torture is eradicated and that perpetrators are brought to justice.
We at GAATI proudly join all individuals, governments and organizations in the fight against torture. We remain relentless and uncompromising in advancing this noble cause.
As we celebrate this day, it is only befitting that we pay homage to all those who succumbed to torture and salute courageous survivals. We call on all nations to promptly ratify the United Nations Convention against Torture.
We also call on well meaning institutions and individuals to support our efforts. Our work has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In February 2020, we visited Sierra Leone and Liberia in further fulfillment of mission. Our work in Africa is being interrupted by the rapid spread of the Novel Corona Virus. We are operating at half mark given restrictions and guidelines from authorities in these countries.
We remain very concerned about vulnerable communities such as amputees camps,orphanage homes and homeless people,during this outbreak. Our team is constantly devising strategies that will enable us to continue to work for these people.
YEAR END MESSAGE
As the year 2019 draws to an end, and the advent of a new one inevitably on the horizon, we would like to thank all of our donors, supporters, partners, friends and well-wishers for their support and encouragement.
Happy New Year to all of you. We look forward to working with you as we strive to make every community everywhere in the world torture free.
It was a difficult year for us. Funding and related issues impacted our operations in significant ways. We are however hopeful that the new year will usher in more support and greater collaborations.
GAATI APPOINTS COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE TO LIBERIA
It is our immense delight to announce the appointment of Mr. Oscar N. Goyee as our acting representative to the West African nation of Liberia. Mr. Goyee is a man of impeccable character and has multiple years of professional work in the non profit and development sectors. His great expertise and knowledge will contribute to the success of mission.
He will oversee our operations in Liberia.
Welcome Oscar. Let us eradicate torture and other forms of injustice.
GAATI CELEBRATES UNITED NATIONS DAY IN SUPPORT OF VICTIMS OF TORTURE
Today marks the thirty second anniversary of United Nations Day recognizing and supporting victims of torture.
As we embark on this solemn occasion, it is imperative that we reflect on the turmoil torture has caused for millions across the world. The gruesome situations in Uganda, Myanmar, Yemen, North Korea, Sierra Leone, etc. are frequent reminders and admonitions that we conduct the fight against torture with fierce urgency. We must stand up to this menacing crime with all the fibers of our make-up. We call on nations that have not ratified this convention to do so immediately. Let us work together to make the world torture free.
GAATI applauds all rights workers, advocates, supporters, donors and people of goodwill for their support in this endeavor.
OUR TRIP TO SIERRA LEONE
Our visit to Sierra Leone in March 2019 was an eye opener and an opportunity to further understand the plight of torture or abuse victims. We observed that there is a huge community of amputees languishing around Freetown, Kenema (Eastern Province)and other parts of the country. These people are direct victims of the unspeakable cruelty that characterized the Sierra Leonean civil war which lasted from 1991 to 2002. The impact of the war still lingers.
We also observed that the healthcare sector, particularly outside of the capital city Freetown, needs enormous assistance especially after the crippling Ebola virus outbreak in the country in 2014.
We observed gangsterism on the rise. It seems to have a transnational dimension.
Environmental issue was also of concern to us during the trip.
Early childhood education in the interiors of the country needs improvement.
While the central government is making meaningful strides in the fight against corruption, dishonesty (corruption) still remains entrenched in both public and private sectors.
GAATI VISITS SIERRA LEONE
We are pleased to inform you about our recent visit to the West African Coastal nation of Sierra Leone. The purpose of the trip which lasted for ten days, was to explore the possibility of the establishment of regional office that will oversee expected operations in that part of the world.
Sierra Leone experienced an eleven year devastating civil war which started in 1991. The war was characterized by unspeakable torture, indiscriminate killings and wanton destruction of the nation infrastructures and other properties. The nation is slowing transitioning to stability and democracy but the long term effect of war presents serious challenges to it. The effect of torture and other forms of abuse that occurred during the war still haunts the country.
More about our mission to Sierra Leone will be published soon.
GAATI MOVES TO NEW OFFICE
We are glad to inform you that we have relocated to the busy Uptown neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. Our new address is:
Global Act against Torture and Injustice
4554 N. Broadway Street
Chicago, IL. 60640
GAATI GRACES KOVLER CENTER TORTURE TREATMENT SYMPOSIUM
GAATI was pleased to have been a part of the Heartland Alliance’s Marjorie Kovler Center Torture Treatment Symposium held on Thursday October 18, 2018 in Chicago.
The program featured many different speakers ranging from torture survivors to former and current Directors of the Kovler Center, The Chicago Torture Justice Center and the Executive Director of Torture Abolition and Survival Support Coalition (TASSC)International, Leonce Byimana.
We thank the center for the invitation and look forward to more collaborations.