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Empowering women to become paralegals

We believe in empowering women by giving them the training and knowledge to becoming community paralegals.

Our 16-topic educational program on women’s rights give participants the opportunity to become paralegals. Students sit two exams – one half way through their curriculum and the other at the end. This exam covers things such as the definition of human rights, Tanzanian laws that protect women and how to pursue matters through the justice system.

Students must receive over 75% in each exam in order to obtain their paralegal certificate.

Our paralegals play a very important role and act as grassroots legal advocates in their communities They provide advice and information to fellow community members on women’s rights who might be dealing with issues around property, inheritance or marital disputes.

As many traditional communities maintain customary laws, our paralegals provide a bridge between the community and information about, and access to, their human rights, the law and the structures that implement this at a statutory level. As paralegals come from the community they are uniquely positioned to negotiate good and fair solutions empowering both individuals and communities.

We recently met up with some Mamas who finished their paralegal certificate one year ago (pictured above).

The Mamas told us the training had empowered them to assist others in their community. Since becoming paralegals they had been approached by not only women, but men as well to provide legal advice on marriage and property issues.

As respected members of the community these Mamas are able to share valuable information to empower others to stand up for and defend their rights. They also shared that many others in their community wanted to also become paralegals themselves after hearing about their experiences and the knowledge they were able to impart.

One of our students said that she has been able to help her fellow community members on five different occasions thanks to her paralegal knowledge.

“A friend came to me to ask about land use. Land had been taken from this man by his brother. I advised him to go to the Ward Office. In the end, the land dispute was resolved,” said one of the Mamas. “When I have been able to offer advice on law, people ask where I learned this. They say they wish they could have come to the training too.”

We hope to conduct refresher training with our paralegals and train more across the Arusha region, so more people can make a positive impact in their community. However, funds are required to make our vision a reality. If you would like to support our paralegal program and help create more legal advocates that can empower women even in the most remote communities, please donate today.

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