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Help Us Build Resilient Communities & Prevent Violent Extremism

GCERF is committed to preventing violent extremism through support to grassroots initiatives around the world. Our Secretariat, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is a small and dynamic team of dedicated professionals from diverse professional backgrounds. We work collaboratively to solve complex problems and welcome applications from all qualified candidates.
Mali National Adviser

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“Close your eyes for a second,” says Moctar Kané, the GCERF National Adviser for Mali. “Imagine sitting in a community in Mali, you hear birds singing, you hear the noise of people pounding millet and preparing for lunch. You hear kids running to school. Life is normal. The day is going well. “And all of a sudden, you just hear the ricocheting sound of an AK47 or a machine gun. In a fraction of a second, your perspective on life has changed.”
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This is how Moctar, an Oxford graduate and recently elected Youth Ambassador for the African Union, explains the “existential threat” that hangs over childhood in the parts of Mali that are vulnerable to radicalisation. It is not always a lack of opportunity, or a lost sense of community that drives a person into violent extremism. Sometimes, it is the fear that what a person has can quickly be taken away. “It’s not that they all lack jobs, some want to protect their current means of survival,” he said. Mali has been gripped with a series of crises in recent years, including a secessionist rebellion and military coup in 2012, a bourgeoning narcotics trade in the country’s north, inter-community violence, banditry, a dysfunctional justice system and organised crime.

“Mali has become a cocktail of instability,” Moctar said. This is why a piece-meal approach to violent extremism is not the answer.

Moctar said the GCERF model of bringing together a range of actors is critical, including both national and local governments, as well as civil society actors. He believes programmes targeting youth are the most important for stemming radicalisation in Mali.

“Youth are the ones fighting the battles. They provide the manpower, take all the risks, and do the fighting,” he said. “People like to think that the youth are the future but this skips an essential step – they are the present and it’s not the leaders of extremist groups taking arms and fighting. No, it’s the kids who have been marginalised, who have been dispossessed, and found themselves in deprived situations and with no hope.”

That is what motivates his work for GCERF. Moctar wants to prevent children from living through violence because “it rewires how you see the world at an age when all you need is love and care”. Moctar has been struck by the level of detail in proposals submitted to GCERF for the upcoming round of activities due to start in Mali this year and is optimistic about the change they can bring. “It just takes one person to believe and the sequence will kick start,” he said.

“I fully endorse the growing focus on the need to mobilize local actors, including civil society and youth, as our first line of defense against those who preach hate. We believe the Global Community Engagement & Resilience Fund presents an obvious vehicle for putting grassroots level responses to radicalization into action.”

H.E. Jeppe Kofod Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, September 2019

“I was struck by two key factors in combating terrorist radicalisation and recruitment in Nasawara State (Nigeria), both of which GCERF is helping to advance. First, trust between communities and their local authorities is critical in efforts to curb terrorism. Second, young people diverted away from a violent agenda can become our strongest allies for peace.”

Mr. Chris Harnisch, Deputy Coordinator, Bureau of Counterterrorism, United States, October 2019.

“In order to respond to the evolving terrorism threat, we need to build resilience at all levels through a comprehensive and inclusive approach, involving all parts of society. We need to start at the grassroots level by engaging families, local communities, religious bodies and the media to help win the hearts and minds of our young people so they reject the violence and nihilism offered by terrorist groups and violent extremist ideologies. Our increased partnership with GCERF will be critical in this regard.”

Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), June 2019.

“The activity which made the greatest impact on me was the work with unemployed youth. It was a very graphic description of how the work of GCERF can turn around an individual’s life and set him on the path to security. It was very impressive.”

H.E. Mr. Paul Foley, Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia on a field visit to Bangladesh in 2019.

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National Advisor - Somalia

GCERF is seeking a National Advisor_Somalia based in Mogadishu to lead coordination of grant making and management in-country. The National Advisor will visit GCERF-funded grant activities in Somalia and prepare monitoring reports as well as attend coordination meetings on preventing and countering violent extremism.  Applicants should complete the template provided in the link and submit their proposals to bids@gcerf.org by 10 July 2020. 

Full details are available here: National Advisor_Somalia 

There are no current openings