The short-term change

Immediate assistance at a time of acute need – relief grants, facilitating family reunions, funding for travel arrangements, subsistence while in hiding, in exile or fleeing danger.

A radio journalist in Rwanda was forced to flee the country after reporting on opposition parties, which are banned, and marginalised minority communities. Having suffered physical attacks, persecution and death threats in Uganda and subsequently in Kenya, he and his wife sought resettlement via the UNHRC. At their time of acute need, PoC sent two grants to help them with basic living essentials and subsequently a move to secure and safe accommodation.

The longer-term change

It is our experience that many of those beneficiaries who have been brave enough to make a positive stand to uphold human rights are likely to devote all or part of their future lives to changing the world for the better. By supporting prisoners of conscience during their time of need we enable them to re-establish their careers and make a positive difference to our world.

A Kurdish lawyer, human rights activist and single mother was forced to flee Turkey. PoC awarded an academic bursary grant to enable her to re-qualify in the UK: “A huge thank you and everyone in Prisoners of Conscience for funding my LLM. I have completed my course and obtained MERIT. The course has a big impact on my future career, but more importantly, it has widened my understanding of economics and finance. Now I am volunteering at the law centre and had a six-month placement at one of the big corporate commercial global law firms. Soon I will be fundraising for the law centre to provide legal help specifically for refugees. I wish you all the best and hope to see a world without war!”

Impact measurement 

We are currently implementing a programme to better  

  • capture 
  • measure  
  • analyse and  
  • learn from  

the impact which our work makes for the lives of prisoners of conscience. In so doing we shall enhance our ability to report to funders, supporters, beneficiaries and all other stakeholders on outcomes and impact. 

Theory of Change 

PoC mission

Our charity exists to protect and uphold human rights by positively transforming the lives of prisoners of conscience – human rights activists and people around the world are persecuted daily for standing up to human rights abuses, often leaving them in danger of their lives, in hiding and/or exile, unable to meet basic accommodation and living needs and dealing with the emotional and mental aftermath of their brave actions.  

How we do it 

Financial grants   Practical assistance  Employability panel 
Hardship relief   Referral to partner agencies for counselling support, legal/process advice and other assistance    Employability skills training 
Family reunion  Signposting to other grant making organisations  Opportunities for meaningful, skills-related employment  

Change enablers 

  • Governance and leadership by trustee board and director 
  • Skilled staff working in an enthusiastic, committed and transparent environment 
  • Funding and external support sufficient to achieve our mission
  • Processes and internal systems to deliver excellence in financial grants, practical assistance and the employability panel 

Evidence of change 

  • Impact measurement by feedback from beneficiaries and referral agencies on financial grants, practical assistance and employability panel 
  • External evaluation 

Change achieved 

Protecting and upholding human rights by positively transforming the lives of prisoners of conscience to enable them to live safe, free and self-sufficient lives.