At TIMBY we’re extremely excited to announce that we’ve won the 2018 BridgeBuilder Challenge, supported by the GHR Foundation and OpenIDEO. This challenge was designed to use open innovation to identify and strengthen solutions to urgent global challenges at the intersection of peace, prosperity and planet. Our idea was selected from 675 projects submitted across 195 countries and territories. Each BridgeBuilder challenge awards a total of US $1 million dollars that address urgent global challenges in radically new ways. In collaboration with our partners at the Forest Peoples Programme and from the Sengwer community, we’ll be working to design and implement an evidence-based reporting system to increase evidence-based documentation of illegal evictions and forest degradation in the Embobut forest, the Sengwer’s ancestral land in the Cherengany Hills of Kenya.

sengwer house subjected to fire Sengwer community member’s house set on fire by KFS guards

The project comes hard on the heels of the forceful eviction of Sengwer families, including the burning of Sengwer homes and the use of live bullets to shoot at community members, an approach that led to the Kenya Forest Service killing one Sengwer community member. You can read more about the ongoing violence and evictions in our blog.

It’s an incredibly ambitious project but we’re looking forward to what’s achievable when we put together some of the best minds in mapping, design, community law, diplomacy and storytelling.

Stay tuned for more over the next 18 months. For more about the GHR Foundation, OpenIDEO and the BridgeBuilder Challenge, please see their press release.