When ordinary people work together, they can change history. That core belief guides the Obama Foundation, and resonates strongly with the justice innovation philosophy that drives us at HiiL.
Of course, we can continue now with a formal text, all well meant and heartfelt. But what we really want to say, Funkola and Sorieba, a very big congrats on your Obama Fellowships!
Your selection – as two justice innovators – by the Obama Foundation fills us with joy, because we know how hard you have worked to get where you are now with your justice innovations. Like the Foundation says: ordinary people working together can change history. Well, you both have already achieved something amazing.
For those who don’t know you yet, but will very soon no doubt, allow us to tell those people a bit about their journey. Funkola Odeleye and Sorieba Daffae have made a direct impact in their respective countries (Nigeria and Sierra Leone respectively). Their results achieved by the models they innovated are becoming gold-standard examples of justice innovations.
Our cooperation started through our Innovating Justice Challenge. When we met, Funkola and Sorieba were ambitious, bright and had a very clear idea how they wanted to make a change. And we are fortunate, because we know there are more Funkolas and Soriebas out there that we want to welcome through our challenge.
No-one can bring that change without support and exchange of ideas with people who have the missing knowledge and experience. We at HiiL have developed our Justice Acceleration programme, providing that hands-on support people like these two new Obama Fellows.
Our aim is to make justice user friendly and people centered. Our mission is to empower people to deliver the needed changes themselves.
Funkola and Sorieba, like other innovators we have worked with through our Acceleration programme over the past years, managed to scale their ventures nationally and beyond. Their selection by the Obama Foundation is a recognition of the spirit and work that was put into making their innovations succeed and bring justice closer to ordinary people.
Funkola and Sorieba, you have made inspiring changes to your respective countries, by making justice accessible, affordable and effective. You managed to navigate between legal constraints and entrepreneurial challenges. You found the flow that allows you to fight for justice innovation. And we are happy we could support you sailing between those cliffs.