Join us! Announcing the 2018 DefendersTech Professionals Fellowship

Are you tired of rewriting rules on the corporate firewall?
Designed your last neighbourhood Taqueria logo?
Eyes bleeding debugging your Drupal plugin?
Sliced one too many market analysis segments?

Get away from it all but bring your skills with you. The DefendersTech Program at DefendDefenders is looking for technology professionals to join our team. On this short, costs-covered, secondment to Kampala, Uganda you will help human rights defenders working in the dynamic but turbulent countries of East and Horn of Africa to use technology safely and effectively. You will support and develop the ragtag team of trainers and technologists at DefendDefenders by contributing your unique expertise to our existing projects or begin the development of new ones.

What would I be working on?
DefendDefenders Technology Program works to enable safe and effective usage of technology by human rights defenders in Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia (including Somaliland). Our programs focus on digital security education and support, documentation and data, web presence, internet freedom/threats research and monitoring, and systems administration. We will find a project that improves or extends our existing activities based on your unique skill set. You will mentor junior professionals in your focus area.

Example Skill Areas

  • Digital Security (organisational and personal)
  • Systems administration
  • Data and documentation
  • User research
  • Data analysis
  • Data visualisation
  • Web development
  • Design
  • Mapping

Timing & Duration
Should take place in 2018. We can schedule flexibly. Duration is 1–3 months. We ask you stay a minimum of 5 weeks.

We’ll be up front here. We’ve got $4,000 for you and that needs to get you here from wherever you are, make sure you have a roof over your head and don’t drown in the tropical rains. The rest can go towards rolexes.

Location & Logistics:
The fellowship takes place in Kampala, Uganda, which, expatriates agree, is better than Switzerland. Kampala is a safe and agreeable place to spend your time with lots of side trip opportunities (Safaris, gorillas, chimps, anyone?). We will help you get settled near our office.

Apply Now
Applications are open until the end of February 2018. Send a letter of interest and a copy of your CV to [email protected] to apply or for any inquiry.

About DefendDefenders
DefendDefenders ( is the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project. We seek to strengthen the work of human rights defenders HRDs throughout the region by reducing their vulnerability to the risk of persecution and by enhancing their capacity to effectively defend human rights. DefendDefenders works in Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia (together with Somaliland), South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The DefendersTech Professionals Fellowship is enabled by the generous support of the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa.


Human Rights Defender of the month: Alex Njenga John

Alex Njenga has always believed in egalitarianism both as a principle and as a tool for justice. As a result, he has always been suspicious of, and at times hostile to social prejudices that treat some people as “more equal than others,” – to use a line from George Orwell’s famed political fable, Animal Farm.

Some of the experiences that have shaped his social and political outlook have been personal. As an adolescent in Kenya’s Uasin Gishu County, Alex was stigmatised and denied healthcare after he identified himself as belonging to Kenya’s sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) community.