Thank you OSF-SA

Yesterday I submitted our final progress report to the Open Society Foundation for South Africa [OSF-SA]. This brings to a close 7 years of funding and support we have received from the OSF-SA since 2007.


The OSF-SA first contacted me on the 3rd October 2007 following a programme on Carte Blanche which highlighted the work we were doing and what we were trying to achieve in SA. The then Programme Director of the Criminal Justice Initiative of the OSF-SA ,  having watched the programme, sent me the following email:

“Dear Vanessa

The Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF-SA) is a grant making organisation based in Cape Town ( The goal of the Criminal Justice Initiative (CJI) as a programme of the Foundation is to build accountability within the criminal justice system with the intention of ensuring a more humane, efficient and accountable criminal justice process as a whole. To this end, the CJI provides funding to a range of NGO’s working in the field of criminal justice.

While we can give no guarantees of financial support at this stage, we would be very interested in hearing more about the DNA Project and its work. If you are interested in setting up an initial exploratory meeting with us, please give me a call or send me an e-mail.

Kind regards

Well, the rest as they say, is history. Following a meeting the next week with the OSF-SA and after drafting and submitting my first funding application on behalf of the DNA Project on the 19th October 2007, The OSF-SA provided The DNA Project with a development grant for R43 000 on the 3rd December 2007. This grant was our first official funding grant ever received and allowed the DNA Project to get off the ground and start fulfilling its objectives. Since that time, the OSF-SA has provided continuous assistance to our organisation by supporting the following initiatives:

• Developing our Post Graduate Honours Degree in Forensic Analysis;
• Lobbying Government to pass the DNA Act;
• Attending the Interpol DNA User’s Conference in Lyon in both 2010 and 2013;
• Producing and distributing DNA and Crime Scene Awareness Material throughout SA;
• Creating training protocols for DNA and crime scene awareness workshops;
• Hosting national DNA and Crime Scene Awareness Workshops amongst first on crime scene responders and the general public;
• Funding the operational costs of the organisation such as audit fees, support staff salaries and travel;
• Developing the website;
• Hosting a series of Legal workshops for officers of the court to ensure DNA’s optimal use in the criminal justice system;
• Registering a series of training materials and workshops with SASSETA for the DNA and crime scene awareness training protocols have developed;
• Publishing a paper for the CJI Occasional Paper Series on Forensic DNA Profiling.

May we take this opportunity to thank the OSF-SA for helping us to pursue and fulfil our stated objectives to date. Whilst our work is by no means over, their unconditional support of our organisation and the continued trust and belief they have shown in the work that we have done since 2007, has carried us through some of the most groundbreaking and challenging years we have faced in our efforts to maximise the use of DNA profiling in South Africa to help resolve crime.

with heartfelt appreciation and thanks from,

Vanessa Lynch and the rest of  The DNA Project Team.

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