| by Stephen Diehl

News Stories

Kaifala, Joseph
Joseph Kaifala

Joseph Kaifala has won the inaugural Projects for Peace Alumni Award.

A survivor of the 11-year civil war in Sierra Leone, Kaifala received a Projects for Peace grant in 2007 to construct a library. He has continued to advance efforts to support the education of women and girls, including rebuilding educational infrastructure and establishing scholarships.

Kaifala spent time at the Middlebury Institute as a Davis United World Colleges Summer Nonproliferation Fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, where he researched issues relating to the U.S. Africa Command, African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, Non-Proliferation Treaty, and Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

The Middlebury Institute is a partner institution with Projects for Peace, a global program that encourages young adults to develop innovative, community-centered, and scalable responses to the world’s most pressing issues. The newly created award grants up to $50,000 in support of the ongoing peacebuilding efforts of a past Projects for Peace recipient who demonstrates innovation and persistence in working for peace and transforming conflict.

Kaifala will use the new award to expand opportunities for schoolchildren in Sierra Leone to visit the Sierra Leone Civil War Memorial in Freetown. It’s essential, he says, for students to learn about transitional justice mechanisms—the ways in which societies respond to legacies of massive and serious human rights violations—in order to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence. The funds will help ensure his organization reaches students in all parts of the country, helping to fulfill a mandate of Sierra Leone’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

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Projects for Peace