Thursday, April 10, 2008

Nigerian Legal Defence Group Wins MacArthur Foundation's Grant

A Nigerian legal defence group is among the eight winners of the 2008 MacArthur Foundation Awards for humanitarian services. The details of the winners are in the following press release.

10 Apr 2008 15:00 Africa/Lagos

MacArthur Foundation Announces 2008 Winners of Award for Creative and Effective Nonprofits

Eight Organizations Receive up to $500,000 to Advance Innovative Work

CHICAGO, April 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced today that eight organizations in six countries will receive the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

Each organization will receive up to $500,000, a large sum considering their annual budgets are under $2.5 million. The organizations will use their new funding for a range of purposes, including purchasing new office space, developing training and research facilities, upgrading technology, and undertaking new research.

"From its founding, the MacArthur Foundation has sought out people and organizations that have the creativity, energy and breadth of vision to change the world for the better," said MacArthur President Jonathan Fanton. "These imaginative and influential small organizations have an impact altogether disproportionate to their size. They are addressing problems and injustices, finding fresh solutions, and proving themselves as leaders and innovators."

The 2008 recipients of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions are:

-- Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montana, Tlachinollan - Guerrero State, Mexico: By defending minority communities and bringing violators of human rights to justice, Tlachinollan is strengthening Mexico's civil society and building a stronger system of justice.

-- Juvenile Law Center - Philadelphia, PA: One of America's oldest and most respected public interest law firms, the Center advances the welfare and needs of society's most vulnerable citizens: youth in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. The Center advocates for the rule of law to provide a voice for children, ensuring fair, developmentally appropriate solutions through legal advocacy, policy change and public education.

-- Kazan Human Rights Center - Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation: Employing a strategy of targeted litigation, it has brought widespread attention to the issue of police abuse. The Center calls on Russia's legal system to observe the spirit of the law and defend the vulnerable.

-- Legal Defence and Assistance Project - Lagos, Nigeria: The Project offers support and legal assistance to indigent prisoners and defends human rights for all. By reforming the administration of criminal justice, and training government officials, it is instilling respect for the law as a key element of a healthy democracy.

-- Project Match - Chicago, Illinois: Project Match's workforce development research has provided a more complete understanding of the challenges faced by those trying to find work, helping to make individuals and families more self-reliant and secure.

-- Public Radio Exchange (PRX)/Station Resource Group - Cambridge, Massachusetts: By gathering and distributing new programming and using technological innovation to expand content choices, PRX is leading public radio to become more interactive, diverse, and democratic.

-- Sangath - Goa, India: Sangath is a leader in child development, adolescent and family guidance, and behavioral and mental health services, providing direct services to benefit Goa's 1.4 million people and conducting research to generate evidence to influence policies to promote the health of over 400 million children and adolescents in India.

-- Tany Meva Foundation - Antananarivo, Madagascar: One of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, Madagascar is also home to more than 20 million people, the bulk of whom live in poverty. Tany Meva, the nation's first environmental foundation, seeks to increase sustainable use of the environment, to educate and empower communities and to save the threatened forests.

In making these Creative and Effective Institutions awards, the Foundation does not seek or accept nominations. To qualify, organizations must demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness; have reached a critical or strategic point in their development; have budgets of less than $2.5 million per year; show strong leadership and stable financial management; have previously received MacArthur support; and engage in work central to one of MacArthur's core programs. Approximately 1,000 organizations worldwide are eligible for the Award.

On June 12, winners will be honored at an awards ceremony at MacArthur's headquarters in Chicago. The Foundation will also host seminars to highlight the work of these organizations. The sessions will be open to other nonprofit institutions, providing an important opportunity for mutual learning.

The MacArthur Foundation is a private, independent grantmaking institution dedicated to building a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. With assets of $6.8 billion, the Foundation makes grants of approximately $260 million each year.

Source: MacArthur Foundation

CONTACT: Brian Wesolowski, +1-202-457-8100, for the MacArthur
Foundation; or Andy Solomon of the MacArthur Foundation, +1-312-726-8000

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