TrustAfrica to administer grants fund from Shell’s compensation in Nigeria

 

Alliance magazine

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TrustAfrica has been selected to manage the grantmaking of the Kiisi Trust, formed as part of the settlement of a lawsuit brought by survivors of human rights abuses arising out of the operations of Royal Dutch Shell. The abuses culminated in the execution of nine members of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) in 1995.

The trust fund, which comprises $5 million of the $15.5 million awarded to the Ogoni plaintiffs, will be spent on education, health and community development initiatives among the Ogoni. This is likely to include programmes in skills and agricultural development, adult literacy and small enterprise support. The selection of TrustAfrica as what is effectively donor advised fund manager, is part of a commitment to openness by the Kiisi trustees. Working with the Kiisi Trustees and their Advisory Council, TrustAfrica will administer a participatory community-based process to identify and assess potential grantees, develop grant applications for approval, monitor and report, and distribute the funds. TrustAfrica will publish the list of grant recipients on its website together with updates and reports on the results of the work with our grantee partners.

The continued involvement of the Ogoni community in the spending of the money will be secured by the use of the Advisory Council, which is predominantly made up of Ogoni, ongoing stakeholder consultations and the launch of a NextGen Ogoni Internship program geared specifically for Ogoni youth to build professional capacity and knowledge in the key thematic areas Kiisi Trust will be operating in.

The settlement is part of a long-running and bitter controversy. Though Shell agreed to put its hand in its pocket over the matter and was to do so again in 2015 over oil spills in 2008 and 2009, it has been heavily criticised for its slowness and frugality in doing so. Shell operated in Ogoniland from 1958 to 1993 and environmental campaign group Greenpeace points to the legacy of environmental degradation those operations and spillages have left.

TrustAfrica has been selected to manage the grantmaking of the Kiisi Trust, formed as part of the settlement of a lawsuit brought by survivors of human rights abuses arising out of the operations of Royal Dutch Shell. The abuses culminated in the execution of nine members of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) in 1995.

The trust fund, which comprises $5 million of the $15.5 million awarded to the Ogoni plaintiffs, will be spent on education, health and community development initiatives among the Ogoni. This is likely to include programmes in skills and agricultural development, adult literacy and small enterprise support. The selection of TrustAfrica as what is effectively donor advised fund manager, is part of a commitment to openness by the Kiisi trustees. Working with the Kiisi Trustees and their Advisory Council, TrustAfrica will administer a participatory community-based process to identify and assess potential grantees, develop grant applications for approval, monitor and report, and distribute the funds. TrustAfrica will publish the list of grant recipients on its website together with updates and reports on the results of the work with our grantee partners.

The continued involvement of the Ogoni community in the spending of the money will be secured by the use of the Advisory Council, which is predominantly made up of Ogoni, ongoing stakeholder consultations and the launch of a NextGen Ogoni Internship program geared specifically for Ogoni youth to build professional capacity and knowledge in the key thematic areas Kiisi Trust will be operating in.

The settlement is part of a long-running and bitter controversy. Though Shell agreed to put its hand in its pocket over the matter and was to do so again in 2015 over oil spills in 2008 and 2009, it has been heavily criticised for its slowness and frugality in doing so. Shell operated in Ogoniland from 1958 to 1993 and environmental campaign group Greenpeace points to the legacy of environmental degradation those operations and spillages have left.


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