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JIRANI BORA-Bridging the Divides

Equip traditional security groups known as"sungusungu" to be Good Neighbors between refugees & host to inspire solutions to shared problems

Photo of Temba Vicent

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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

Tanzania was host 330,755 refugees and asylum-seekers 2018, Kigoma citizens as refugee host community have conflicts with refugees in the villages surrounding refugee camps. Two main factors led to growing tensions between refugees and host communities: 1) the insufficient provision of food to refugees in the camps, 2) The strict enforcement of the government’s encampment policy. These two factors force Refugees to exit the camps illegally and search for work in the farms, collecting firewood and to conduct small business under risk conditions. Host communities they accused refugees as criminals, land conflicts, Theft, and armed robbery. When refugees are outside the camps are exposed to abuse and mistreatment by host village/traditional security groups locally known as "sungusungu" including the arrest, extortion, beatings and other physical violence. Sungusungu they lack knowledge of formal rules, regulations and best practices of human rights, poor technical know-how to justice, and experience to navigate legal Government machinery. Women and children were the most affected. Local Security services in these communities face immense challenges in tackling crime, conflict, and violence.Jirani Bora: This is the Swahili word that means Good neighbor. This is the platform that recruits and train village/traditional security groups from host community and refugees locally known as "sungusungu" to become Good neighbors Champion as connectors of peace to build relationships between both sides.They will acquire the capacity building, manuals, and general technical skills to provide free counseling, conflict mediation techniques, legal aid and assisting the conflict victim from both sides to live free from violence and exploitation. Jirani Bora aims to improve community security between the welcoming (Host) communities and refugees relation by reducing three types of violence: criminal violence, inter-communal violence, and violence against women and girls.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

Kigoma region is one the regions in Tanzania that has relative increase in poverty levels. The majority of refugees live in three refugee camps in kigoma region northwestern Tanzania: Nyarugusu (Kasulu), Nduta (Kibondo), and Mtendeli Camps in Kakonko district. In Kigoma region, conflicts often occur as refugees and host community has misunderstood each other. Many times host community felt not empowered and involved with international development activities which support only refugees side.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

Jirani Bora use sungusungu groups as a bridge between refugees and host community to resolve conflicts, build societies and relationships . This including conflict prevention, management, resolution and transformation.The essence of sungusungu is relevant in Tanzania, with its population projected of 55 million, has only around 45,000 police officers against its requirement of double the number. It is appropriate for sungusungu to fill this gap with relevant of Human right skills and counseling.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

Jirani Bora these are Village/traditional security groups locally known as “Sungusungu” formalized as community volunteers with a role in crime prevention. They provide patrol in the villages to reduce theft of crops, livestock and household belongings. The involvement of sungusungu to maintain security has not been without problems and overstepping their mandate. In Kigoma region, the situation is worse between refugees and host communities. There is widespread criticism of sungusungu, they are accused of using excessive violence as a means of punishment, severe beatings of suspects, and in some cases, the suspects lost lives after failing to confess crimes. If the negative action isn’t resolved, refugee revenge through illegal ways to seek justice. Sungusungu go beyond basic need by listening, work, and participation security leadership with refugees to become Good neighbors champion and stand up to assisting victims of conflicts to access their human needs of joy, hope, and dignity

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

This concept empowers and lifts up locally rooted knowledge, encouraging sungusungu to be solution providers themselves, rather than outsider security providers. We create a solution at the intersection of peace and prosperity by training sungusungu to become Good Neighbors Champion in refugees and host communities. They will build bridges between refugees and host community people because they involve community; it has become part of the community. The task of promoting peace and prosperity will be sustained by sungusungu themselves who are part of the community.Jirani Bora will help to decrease tensions and misunderstandings between the refugee/migrant population and the host population. Over time, the occurrences of violence and conflicts will reduce and community mindset will show change. Changing mindsets is a long term process, but refugees/hosts will receive help with their cases are immediately resolved with this sustainable social assets model in their community

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

A group of men refugee from Nduta Camp Kigoma explained: “If you’re caught outside of the camp, it seems like you’re a thief”. They went outside the camp and were robbed by Tanzanians. They went to the farm job in the neighbor village as labors, after finished they asked for payment but the owner refused to pay them. He was among the sungusungu group members. There are widening gaps around the grievances of hosting refugees, which could widen if left unaddressed. The truth is extraordinary in its simplicity: local security is a sungusungu’s issue. They needed to be respected as an empowered good neighbor Champion who can lift themselves out of conflicts, and change violence. So I thought what if we are able to grow them as good neighbors champion and replicate this model for other sungusungu groups. They will be chosen to go to the training because they are experts in local security and it was clear that they would take ownership of the project and ensure that it thrived.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

Refugees and Tanzanian hosts of different genders and ages share the view that the relationship between them has deteriorated significantly. Most cases of refugees get in trouble are those leaving the camps with no permit, theft in villages close by, fighting and rioting. All these had a direct correlation with the decrease in food distributed in the camps. It is possible to predict an increase in arrests of refugees when considering two factors, one internal factor to the camp and another external. Internally, on the one hand, as food rations decrease in the camps more individuals feel compelled to leave to search for alternative livelihoods and food for their family. On the other hand, externally, the farming and cultivation season which spans from August up to January also sees more demand by Tanzanian farmers to employ refugees in their farms, thus there are more refugees seeking employment out and consequently more arrests. They are harshly beaten, refugees need to be assisted

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

Despite Tanzanian hosts are often hostile towards refugees due to the perceived threat against the livelihood of their own. Refugees' access to international aid widened the gap between the two, but there is strong shared history, social, cultural and economic relationships that go beyond the formal. A large part share livelihoods, which are a significant element in one’s identity and plays a part in shaping one’s routines, lifestyle and social practices. However, there are a number of very significant signs that informal relationships prevail. Some somewhat are more meaningful as regular visits between friends and inter-marriages. Jirani Bora, therefore, has sought ways to create a platform where both communities could recognize each other as social and economic partners in the hope of peaceful coexistence. By facilitating the participation of both representatives from both sides, Jirani Bora can improve social relations, promote dialogue and mutual understanding to reduce tensions

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

Jirani Bora will works at three levels: local (community), Regional and national. At the community level, the programme identifies locally defined problems, and supports activities designed to address the immediate problem as a means to open up opportunities to address the broader causes of violence more systematically.Jirani Bora involves the currently or previously experiencing displacement people/refugees and host community in the whole process as the sustainable solution providers. At the region level, Jirani Bora works with security actors and stakeholders in Kigoma region to achieve better coordination and integration and to apply lessons derived from local interventions more widely. At the national level, the programme will works with government and other stakeholders on highly specific areas of local security development and implementation that are relevant to the problems that Jirani Bora is addressing at the local level.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Systems design: Solutions that target changing larger system

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Prototype: We have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Group or Organization Name

Remoteness Ltd

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

Remoteness Ltd is a non-profit company that helps people who are marginalized and poor to build their own solutions and take ownership of their community’s opportunities. RMT improving lives in lasting ways by creating local positive solutions. Our solutions allow those who are poor and marginalized to use the best innovation practices to earn a dignified living, be healthy, Peacefully, prosperity and take part in the benefits of their communities.

Website URL:

http://remoteness.co.tz/

Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country

Arusha Tanzania

Organization Headquarters: City / State

Arusha Tanzania

24 comments

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Photo of Ikong James
Team

This is so sad to know that this is going on I believe your intervention is much needed Temba Vicent 

I curious to know the dynamics of the "sungusungu" are the refugees also part of it? How do they become part other solution without having to wait for the impact of improving security? How sustainble is the platform as I read that you actually have been using your own private funds too which can be very challenging in regards to the magnitude your intervention requires. Also what will be the main deliverable to the platform is it to train the "sungusungu" to increase levels of security or to train communities in skill activities enabling them to work togther for common goal.
You could refer to the community research toolkit here: https://uploads-ssl.webflow.com/5a147545b687370001bfd10c/5d1669526ad3cb33291bf633_User-Experience-Interview.pdf and the prototyping toolkit here https://uploads-ssl.webflow.com/5a147545b687370001bfd10c/5d1669546ad3cba5e81bf634_Prototyping%20Toolkit_BB2019.pdf as a guide to help you visualize the idea.
Excited to see the idea evolve and grow through the challenge.
Best wishes

Photo of Temba Vicent
Team

Hello Ikong James 


Thank you very much for the positive questions please my answer below:


A. The dynamics of the "sungusungu" are the refugees also part of it?

The increase of crimes is a problem in many different parts of Kigoma region as a welcoming/Host community for refugees. This increase has brought into question the community control capabilities of established institutions. Individuals and communities have tried different means and mechanisms to cope with these crimes. In Kigoma Tanzania, as a welcoming/host community for refugees, there is a significant increase in criminality that causes for alarm. The Kigoma region in Tanzania is a community rural inhabitants, who found themselves under threat and without adequate protection from the official state institutions, felt obliged to form village/traditional security groups locally known as Sungusungu groups to protect themselves and their property. But Sungusungu does not only provide protection to life and property, its members also perform other functions which demand collective community action. These organizations and their activities should be understood as part and parcel of how local communities cope with different circumstances in which they find themselves within the surroundings of which they are a part. In this case, Kigoma region in Tanzania as a welcoming/Host community rural inhabitants deal with the issue of crime and lawlessness in the same way as they deal with other social issues through neighborhood collective action. They help each other to combat crime, and trace stolen items and other properties, as they help each other in matters related to marriages and funerals. They keep each other informed of criminal behaviour and potential criminal activities, in the same way as they keep each other informed of social events, like where dances are to be held, who is likely to attend or not, and why. When refugees are outside the camps are exposed to abuse and mistreatment by host village/traditional security groups locally known as "sungusungu" including the arrest, extortion, beatings and other physical violence. Sungusungu they lack knowledge of formal rules, regulations and best practices of human rights, poor technical know-how to justice, and experience to navigate legal Government machinery. Women and children were the most affected. Local Security services in these communities face immense challenges in tackling crime, conflict, and violence.

In the refugee, they have their own administration and refugee security guard which doesn’t have the influence and power in the host communities. Our platform will involve the refugees part to the solution to create a concrete social bridge.


b. How do they become part of other solution without having to wait for the impact of improving security?
Our solution is like a chicken and Egg phenomenon, which means all solution going simultaneously. Sungusungu were coming from the community and involving the community. We tried different profiles in the communities but we realized sungusungu were already working in the community. When we started we didn’t know what the core competencies were. Later we discovered that Sungusungu needed strong local security skills: an ability to solve disputes/conflicts, to provide legal aid, educational and awareness-building services on the laws, human rights and plights to needy communities and skills on how to empower communities and individuals take positive action to access their rights and thus justice – all skills the Sungusungu they lacked and there are urgent need to develop our solution further. Jirani Bora platform empowers sungusungu as good neighbor Champion who can lift community out of conflicts, and change violence. After they received our training they will be able to improve local security levels between Host communities and refugees. Jirani Bora formalized their roles in order to break stereotypes that fuel conflict such refugees are criminals, land conflicts, Theft, and stop mistreatment of refugees including the arrest, extortion, beatings and other physical violence. This is what we mean to help them to become good neighbors Champion. Sungusungu are inevitable, especially when we talk about de-institutionalization. Some people still believe that we should invest in building police stations/Post. There is a role for police stations/Post, but it should not harm community security approach, that can help to narrow the insecurity gap. We will never reduce crimes and insecurity gap unless we take security issues to the community by empowering sungusungu and ordinary people with evidence-based interventions. Police officers and other outsiders should take a public security approach, by providing support for such interventions. They need to work closely with sungusungu to achieve this.

Photo of Temba Vicent
Team

Hello Ikong James 

c. How sustainable is the platform as I read that you actually have been using your own private funds too which can be very challenging in regards to the magnitude your intervention requires:
After identifying this large burden of crimes and insecurity issues between the welcoming/Host communities and refugees, I talked to the local and national authorities, but they had no money or facilities for our initiatives. So we started with whatever we have to run the initial pilot, using part of private own funds to pay for training materials, before we started building funding proposals from other organizations. Sungusungu were from the community and already doing community work. Jirani Bora formalized their role.
Sustainability of the Platform: Sungusungu were from the community. This platform empowers sungusungu as good neighbor Champion who can lift community out of conflicts, and change violence. The platform lifts up their locally rooted knowledge of local security, encouraging sungusungu to be solution providers themselves, rather than outsider security providers. We create a solution at the intersection of peace and prosperity by training sungusungu to become Good Neighbors Champion in refugees and host communities. They will build bridges between refugees and host community people because they involve community; it has become part of the community. The task of promoting peace and prosperity will be sustained by sungusungu themselves who are part of the community by formalized their roles.Jirani Bora will help to decrease tensions and misunderstandings between the refugee/migrant population and the host population. Over time, the occurrences of violence and conflicts will reduce and community mindset will show change. Changing mindsets is a long term process, but refugees/hosts will receive help with their cases are immediately resolved with this sustainable social assets model in their community

Photo of Temba Vicent
Team

Hello Ikong James 

D. What will be the main deliverable to the platform is it to train the "sungusungu" to increase levels of security or to train communities in skill activities enabling them to work togther for common goal.

Both of them will be our strategic deliverable in the following ways:

a. First, as I explained before, Jirani Bora: This is the Swahili word that means Good neighbor This is the platform that recruits and train village/traditional security groups locally known as "sungusungu" to become Good neighbors Champion and facilitate improved community security management. Sungusungu will acquire the capacity building, manuals, and general technical skills to provide free counseling, conflict mediation techniques, legal aid and assisting the conflict victim from both sides to live free from violence and exploitation. Jirani Bora aims to improve community security and safety between the welcoming (Host) communities and refugees relation by reducing three types of violence: criminal violence, inter-communal violence, and violence against women and girls. Jirani Bora will help to decrease tensions and misunderstandings between the refugee/migrant population and the host population. Over time, the occurrences of violence and conflicts will reduce and community mindset will show change. Changing mindsets is a long term process, but refugees/hosts will receive help with their cases are immediately resolved with this sustainable social assets model in their community. Of course, Sungusungu serve as significant pillars when it comes to disputes/conflicts resolution at the community levels between refugees and host communities. Empowered communities and individuals take positive action to access their rights and thus justice.

b. Second,Jirani Bora will train both welcoming/Host communities and refugees in skill activities enabling them to work together for a common goal. Empowerment means that both communities develop the skills that address their needs to use the local resources and laws to positively influence their lives as good neighbors and socio-economic Partners. Jirani Bora will Design and Support formal and informal spheres of interaction between refugees and host communities to share local socio-economic activities, business, and allow them safely interact with one another and break stereotypes that fuel conflict, and create new narratives of peace. These community opportunities all deeply improve human dignity and human rights on both sides. Diminishing relative deprivation on one side and improving self-reliance on the other are mutually connected and can be readily addressed by overcoming some of the humanitarian-development divides that persist in the region. These activities will open up opportunities to address the broader causes of violence more systematically. These activities including as follows:
1. Sports and Games: These could relieve the refugees from stress and reduce mental health challenges. This makes both refugees and host community come together to discuss issues and the coping mechanism for other problems in reducing the stress
2. Food solution Activities: There is a clear correlation between the decrease in food rations in the camps and an increase in theft by refugees and in the host communities. Refugees shared their gardening methods with HC and the HC eagerly learned from the refugees, expecting these refugees will be their customers in the future
3. Skills solution Activities: We link refugees and host communities youth with Local Vocational Training centers and business training. They work together as equal partners commonly solving community challenges and planning their future, learn from each other and to live in harmony.

Photo of Ikong James
Team

Thanks Temba Vicent for this deep insight however you may want to try amd look into involving refugees as part of the personel that form the " sungusungu " security grouo ao that they as part can focus on the interest of their fellow refugees hence being apart of the solution as well as improving their capacity too in conflict management and other trainings JIRANI BORA-Bridging the Divides may offer. I look forward to seeing this intervention grow through this challenge coruse.

Best regards,
Ikong James

Photo of Temba Vicent
Team

Hello Ikong James 

Thank you very much for the feedback. We will consider the views you mentioned for the improvement of our idea in order to build the concrete bridge between host community and refugees in Kigoma region

Best,
Temba

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