New shipment of mobile cinema kits and partners. Next to the 8 mobile cinema kits already distributed to the first batch of local partners in August,10 additional kits were assembled and shipped to DR Congo late October. All have been distributed to 10 new partners, making the total of partners involved in the campaign to stand at 18 (6 in Kinshasa and 12 in South Kivu). Over the coming 10 months all partners will organize around 30 screenings, reaching out to an estimated total of 25,000 people. Some of these screenings will target community members, others judiciary personnel. Even though part of these screenings will be organized within projects that those partners have funded by other donors, the campaign budget has foreseen a contribution of USD 10,000 for each organization to contribute to the logistical costs involved in organizing the screenings. Next to these screenings, SFCG has begun organizing large public screenings with the community film in both Kinshasa and South Kivu, reaching an estimated 240,000 people by September 2013. Next to the projection kits, also the final version of the films and the moderation handbook were brought to Congo and distributed.
Training of facilitators
In August and November two training sessions for the local facilitators of the campaign films has been organized in Bukavu, eastern Congo. The first training targeted the 8 organizations first to join the campaign; the second training targeted both the initial and new organizations. The trainings were organized in a practical hands on-manner with ample space for facilitation exercises and feedback. Attention was paid to how to introduce screenings, key-questioning, technical facilitation tricks and tips as well as the collection of data so as to monitor changes in perception before and after a screening. During the last day of the training real beneficiaries (community members and lawyers) were invited to challenge the moderators to perform before a real audience. The training was given by Nynke Douma (MCF) in collaboration with experienced moderators from Search for Common Ground.
Official launch of the campaign
The pilot period has been extended until late October, which was due to some delays in projection administration as well as the fact that the official approval by the Congolese Ministry of Justice was still pending. Even though screenings continue over the coming weeks, the official launch of the campaign is scheduled for the 10th of December, International Human Rights Day. It is planned to involve the Congolese Minister of Justice during a public screening in Kinshasa, in addition to generating ample media publicity amongst others by means of a television feature on the campaign to be produced by the Congolese state media network RTNC.
The partners of the campaign, through the Congo-based campaign coordinator, will collaborate in planning lobby activities during the entire campaign period. Lobby will in part be realized by organizing screenings for parliamentary members, and will focus on debating two key challenges observed in the Congolese justice system: the weak financial contribution of the Congolese state to the functioning of the justice system, and issues linked to independence and neutrality of judicial staff which are often compromised by corruption, political pressure and NGO interference in the justice system.
Capacity building through the involvement of Dutch judges
First discussions are held with a number of Netherlands-based organizations of magistrates, judges and lawyers to study how their expertise could be transferred to their Congolese colleagues, for example by organizing maser-classes in DR Congo as part of the campaign’s activities. Focus of such exchange activities will probably lie on ethics of the profession.