Sofibef runs five programmes in its outreach to ensure a women's human rights culture in Fizi. They are Research, Documentation - information and publication, Training and Education, Children, Internships and Networking.
THE RESEARCH, DOCUMENTATION - INFORMATION AND PUBLICATION PROGRAMME
The Research Programme is meant to play a pivotal role in defining women's human rights, analysing reasons for violations and prescribing appropriate means of addressing the issues. A research project was planned in 1999 on "Understanding Women's Human Rights and the Transformation of Violence Against Peasant Women", using Fizi as a case study. The research papers application has been written and sent to potential grant making organisations for funding and was funded.
The Documentation Unit does not really advance its delivery, both in terms of materials and manpower, because of shortage in the fund.
THE TRAINING AND EDUCATION PROGRAMME
Training and Education serve as the most effective ways of promoting respect for women's human rights and creating a women's human rights culture in the territory. The training courses under this programme are structured to ensure maximum participation and to deal with real life experiences.
There is a women human rights course being run regularly under the theme "Training Course for Women Paralegals" held in different villages, with the financial support from the Global Fund for Women/USA, Stiftung Gertrud Kurz/Bern, the Norwegian Human Rights Fund, Mama Cash/Holland and The National Endowment for Democracy/USA. The objective of the training course is to introduce peasant women to international and regional human rights instruments and to help them see how they can contribute to the promotion and protection of women's human rights in the course of the execution of their role as women.
The course covers topics such as: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the prevention and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, assistance to women victims of violence, the Family Act, unlawful detention and false imprisonment, Code of Conduct for military officers, etc.
The Education Programme seeks to raise awareness in Fizi about the status of women with the aim of increasing the flow of information between politico-administrative authorities, religious leaders, tribal elders, NGO representatives and women's groups. The method used to pass the message across is through workshops, conferences, debates, colloquia, meeting, and discussions organised by women.
The children's programme does not advance as would have been liked due to funds shortage. Negotiations have been initiated with the National Endowment for Democracy to sponsor the programme and our request was approved.
The programme continues to make further contacts with other institutions which deal with children in the region to raise funds to fulfil its mandate of mass education on armed conflict as they affect children, while paying special emphasis on the promotion and protection of the rights of the child in armed conflicts.
A few conference-debates have been organised, thanks to the external support from NED and NHRF funding. Most subjects cover topics like:
"Towards More Effective Children's Human Rights Information Handling" "Children, Peace and Non-Violence".
Sofibef collaborates with many local organisations like Socoodefi (Societe de Co-operaration pour le Developpement de Fizi), Ceprof (Centre de Promotion Feminine), Lusambya (a network of local women organisations), UWAFI (Umoja wa Akina Mama Fizi), Paphrdfi (the Philanthropic Association for the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy in Fizi), etc. to conduct important events including courses.
The objectives of these events and courses are:
- To equip the target groups with the knowledge of how to administer and manage their organisations
- To exchange and seek solutions to problems encountered in their work.
- Network's topics covered during these events include: auditing, accounting, computer skills, organisational effectiveness and strategic management.