The Rural Integrated Center for Community Empowerment (RICCE) empowers rural communities to participate in decision-making in Liberia, with emphasis on issues that impact on their lives and threaten community peace and security. To do this, RICCE facilitates community based peacebuilding and conflict resolution processes, and works for the promotion of biodiversity and transparency in natural resource management.
RICCE was established by development specialists, engineers, health professionals, grassroots activists and professors at the University of Liberia who were alarmed by the conditions of rural residents in 2005. At the time it was observed that the rural people were neglected when it came to political decision-making, economic opportunities, better schools, hospitals and basic protection of fundamental human rights. These conditions still exist today, contributing to conflict in Liberia.
RICEE is also involved in advocating for women's rights, promoting female empowerment through programmes that allow them to participate in leadership and decision making processes.
RICCE implemented a project titled “Building Women Capacity to Facilitate Tribal Harmony and Peaceful co-existence between the Gio and Krahn Tribes”. The project provided peacebuilding skills to 40 rural women that facilitated dialogue between two opposing tribes with a long history of disunity in Nimba County.
The organisation is working to strengthen community peace to enhance development in Doumpa and Zuaplay, Nimba County. Through this initiative, facilitation of peaceful dialogue between these two towns with a long history of land conflict led to the settling of a dispute that had lasted for over thirty years.
As tension relating to concession agreement increases, RICCE is creating awareness and promoting the formulation of policies and laws governing forest resources in Liberia. The project provides information to affected communities in Nimba County on policies governing the forest sector and the social agreement with regards to benefit sharing.