Volunteers, Pro Bono and Community Partners
The Liberia TRC Diasopra Project was also one of the first truth commissions to systematically engage pro bono volunteers as statement takers, researchers, outreach workers, and witness support persons. More than 600 volunteers contributed their time and energy over the life of the Liberia TRC Diaspora Project. Pro bono partners included law firms, law school clinics, and other community organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who were willing to work on an entirely voluntary basis, receiving no funding from either the TRC or The Advocates. Ultimately, the project included statement taking sites in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, New York, Newark, Providence/Boston, and the United Kingdom.
The TRC also asked The Advocates to assist with statement taking in the West African sub-region, specifically the Buduburam refugee settlement near Accra, Ghana. Drawing on volunteers from all of its pro bono affiliates, The Advocates took more than twenty volunteers on three trips to document the statements of refugees in Ghana. TRC Diaspora Project volunteers worked alongside TRC staff and Liberian refugees who had been trained as statement takers.
Volunteers, especially statement takers, were extensively trained. The full volunteer statement taker training manual and video archives of the volunteer training program are available by clicking here. All volunteers statement takers, and any other volunteer who was dealing with confidential data, signed a volunteer agreement, which is available for download below.
- Media Coverage of the TRC Diaspora Project