[14 June 2018] -- The NoVo Foundation has awarded one of its new Radical Hope Fund grants to three Nigerian organisations – Collaborative Media Advocacy Platform (CMAP), Jire Dole, and Amnesty International Nigeria – for their Chicoco Collective project.

The Chicoco Collective is a platform for community voice, participatory urban development, and improved governance so Port Harcourt can truly be a city for all its residents. Project activities range from Nigeria’s first slum radio station, to a renewable energy and sanitation facility, to music albums.

On 13 June 2018, the NoVo Foundation announced $34 million in Radical Hope Fund grants to 19 social justice organisations around the world. The grantees are a diverse group, including organisations driving systemic social change in communities around the world, women Nobel Peace Prize laureates influencing the Korean peace process, Gen Z and Millennial Latinx feminist organisers in Texas combining protest with performance, and an international network devoted to eliminating the root cause of violence against girls and women.

The Radical Hope Fund is grounded in the belief that meaningful change happens from the community level up – informed by lived experience, powered by movement building and activism, and guided by the leadership of marginalized people as the best experts of their own lives and futures.

The first-of-its-kind fund is a direct response to alarming worldwide trends: The resurgence of hate speech and violence, escalating assaults on human and civil rights, widening wealth inequality, and the rise in nativism.

“We hear a lot about innovation in the social sector, but the truth is that marginalised communities are rarely granted the trust, support, and space they need to experiment and dream,” said Pamela Shifman, executive director of the NoVo Foundation, in a press release.

“The Radical Hope Fund grantees show us that radical innovation is already happening, feminist organising is already leading our way, and the answer so many are looking for in these challenging times is already in front of us, if only we are willing to back it up with the trust and support it deserves.”
About the Chicoco Collective

The Chicoco Collective works with activists, artists, architects, engineers and residents in the informal settlements and slum communities of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. It actively involves young people – young women in particular—to develop sustainable, community-driven media, advocacy, urban design, and human rights education programmes.

Chicoco Collective addresses pressing but often overlooked issues important to people in the informal waterfront settlements of Nigeria’s oil capital, Port Harcourt, such as forced evictions and the harassment of informal workers, gender-based violence, systemic rights violations, environmental justice and freedom of expression.
Radical Hope funding will be used to support:

  • Chicoco Radio: Launch the city’s first community-owned radio station, the only slum radio station in Nigeria, reaching 1.5 million people across the city and country through national syndication
  • Chicoco Space: Design and build West Africa’s most iconic human rights space and community media centre
  • Chicoco SolSan: Design and launch a sustainable community-owned renewable energy and sanitation facility, improving water and sanitation conditions for 30,000 waterfront residents
  • Chicoco Studios: Produce two albums and tour internationally with young musicians from the city’s slums
  • Chicoco Cinema: Produce a feature documentary, screen it to thousands of residents in Port Harcourt and Maduguri, and share their stories with people around the world
  • Chicoco Maps: Gather the deepest dataset on informal settlements in the city to support community-led design and development
  • Collective Spaces: Starting with a series of neighbourhood public space interventions, bring together urban actors from across the city to devise a City Development Strategy and establish the networks and instruments to implement projects citywide and collaborate with popular movements in the conflict-riven northeast Nigeria.


About NoVo Foundation 

NoVo Foundation is dedicated to building a more just and balanced world. Founded in 2006 by Jennifer and Peter Buffett, NoVo has become one of the largest private foundations in the world to support initiatives focused explicitly on girls and women, including a dedicated focus on ending violence against girls and women and supporting adolescent girls. NoVo also works to advance social and emotional learning, support Indigenous communities and promote local living economies.
Facebook: /NoVoFoundation
Twitter: @NoVoFoundation

CMAP is a longstanding partner of Cities Alliance, and we supported its Human City project through our Catalytic Fund.
“We hear a lot about innovation in the social sector, but the truth is that marginalised communities are rarely granted the trust, support, and space they need to experiment and dream.” --Pamela Shifman, executive director of the NoVo Foundation
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