On 28 September 2009, a peaceful demonstration against the military junta taking place at the stadium in Conakry was violently repressed by security forces, and many people were subjected to sexual violence. A trial against several high-ranking officials finally began on 28 September 2022, but to date, no survivor has received reparation.
Guinea became the site of our first Act project in 2019, and we have been working hand-in-hand with survivors and civil society organisations. Together, we co-created a programme of interim reparative measures to help survivors rebuild their lives in the absence of reparations issued by the State.
Interim reparative measures being co-created with survivors
Survivors have participated in the design of the reparative measures for both individuals and the collective community of survivors. All measures were tailored to meet their needs, improve their livelihoods, and address the mental and physical effects of the harms perpetrated against them. The interim reparative measures survivors chose are:
Financial compensation for education or a housing project;
A collective memory book;
Financial management training.
Each survivor developed a plan to make the best use of their compensation and participated in regular trainings to bring this plan to fruition. Almost all survivors sought to become financially independent through the project. For example, some chose to buy a plot of land for agriculture, while others bought a motorcycle-taxi. In parallel, one-on-one psychological therapy group therapy, family mediations was made available to survivors. Many also received gynaecological treatment. Among survivors who participated in an impact evaluation, quality of life ratings almost doubled because of the project. Survivors felt mentally and physically better, and more confident in themselves and their future.
As our interim reparative measures project comes to an end in 2023, we will continue to provide technical support and advocate in Guinea to ensure that the State upholds the right to reparation for survivors.
"Before 28 September I was selling rice at the market. I was with my husband. After I went to the stadium, I had a health problem and we divorced. I had no one to support me. The money I had saved up from selling rice was used to go to the hospital. My situation was critical. I suffered a lot.
With the reparation money, I bought equipment and now I make soap. The soap is well made, people have said "Hey! Your soap is good!". Now I have apprentices and I want a big space. I'm confident about my work.
What I would tell other women is to have courage. I protested for a change in my country. I'm not discouraged."
“There was a time of one or two months, when I closed my eyes I would see people getting raped and killed in front of me. Honestly, what I saw there, it tore my heart.
I've liked sewing since school. I studied until the fifth grade and then I stopped going to school. After the fifth grade, I told my uncle I wanted to open a sewing shop. The day after receiving the money, I called the salesman and asked him to send me an embroidery machine. Embroidery is really important, it brings me a lot of clients. When something is embroidered it has value, when someone wears it you can see it.
Really, there is a lot of change. I'm working and I earn a salary. And on top of that, I don't waste what I earn."
“Since the events, I had been walking with my head down. Some people criticised me and said, "You went to the stadium to make trouble". I was alone and ashamed. I had no more friends and I stayed home. But I found the strength, and I held out. Then, I recieved the money.
With the money I received from the reparations I bought a freezer, I fixed up my home, I paid my children's school fees. I started making candy out of kantini, bissap, and ginger.
Since the reparations I have seen a difference. When I get dressed and go out, people approach me. Those people who criticised me and said bad things about me, now they approach me. They say nice things about me. There's been a change."
- Adama Sira
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