Justice is essential for the wellbeing of the citizens and is a fundamental goal of every civilized nation. Law and order are important for the proper functioning and advancement of society. The absence of proper knowledge of legal rights, human rights, and constitutional directives gives rise to several social evils like child labor, human trafficking, manual scavenging, etc. It is necessary to create legal awareness amongst the people so that they are able to identify any wrong or injury caused to them as a legal wrong and are able to redress through the proper legal procedure. The project aims at improving the access of legal assistance to the underprivileged and vulnerable community members. The proposed project will also educate the youth about the various laws so that they grow up to be law-abiding citizens. Through awareness sessions on legal literacy, will help in building the capacities of local communities to advocate for human rights and access to justice for vulnerable populations.
Justice is essential for the wellbeing of the citizens and is a fundamental goal of every civilized nation. Law and order is important for the proper functioning and advancement of a society. Absence of proper knowledge of legal rights, human rights and constitutional directives gives rise to several social evils like child labour, human trafficking, manual scavenging, etc. It is necessary to create legal awareness amongst the people, so that they are able to identify any wrong or injury caused to them as a legal wrong and are able to redress through the proper legal procedure.
The proposed project will educate the youth about the various laws through Legal Literacy Clubs, so that they grow up to be law abiding citizens. Also, through awareness sessions on legal literacy, will help in building the capacities of local communities to advocate for human rights and access to Justice for vulnerable populations. The establishment of Community Legal Support Centers will provide legal aid to the vulnerable community members. Legal Aid which means giving free legal services to the poor and needy who are unable to afford the services of an advocate for the conduct of a case.
Project Goal: The project aims at improving the access of legal assistance to the underprivileged and vulnerable community members through the establishment of Community Legal Support Centers in Kenya.
- To increase knowledge of community members on legal literacy and the constitutional remedies available for the underprivileged and vulnerable sections of the community through legal awareness campaigns.
- To initiate legal literacy clubs in colleges for youth to understand the various constitutional rights, legal obligations and also their legal rights in 25 colleges.
- To establish 5 community legal support centers to help the deprived and vulnerable community members.
Awareness sessions on legal literacy: Towards legally empowering the local communities, it is important to organise a mass awareness session on legal rights and constitutional remedies. Legal awareness and legal literacy lie at the base of any effort toward legal empowerment. The project will start through a mass awareness program wherein our organization shall make the communities aware about their legal and constitutional rights. All the sessions will be conducted in very simple and easy to understand language. The main objectives of the legal literacy awareness sessions will be:
- raising awareness and building capacity
- education and legal empowerment
- strengthening community solidarity
- supporting grass-roots advocacy
Legal literacy awareness will be achieved through a series of camps, lectures, and interactive workshops on essential and elementary legal laws. To make the awareness programs effective we shall also be using other methods like
- road shows
- radio talks
- street and theatre plays
- publication of relevant books, periodicals, posters, and charts that deal with particular laws
- distribution of pamphlets, brochures, and stickers
- display of paintings
- illustrations in comics
Along with all the activities mentioned above, we shall also be placing display boards in public places to help the public understand the various aspects of law. Through the awareness sessions we shall empower thousands of men, women and children to understand legal terms and use it in everyday life.
Establish Legal Literacy Clubs (LLC) in colleges: We shall establish legal literacy clubs in colleges for students to learn and understand the law of the land. The Legal Literacy Club shall be run under the guidance of the college teacher (College Club Incharge), who will be nominated by the college principal. Our team will coordinate with the College Club Incharge and shall develop a course of action for the LLC. This will include:
- Selection of LLC members
- Schedule of lectures to be organised
- Topics for lectures
- Competitions to be organised for the LLC members
- Awareness Sessions for non club members
The primary purpose of establishing these LLCs in colleges will be to promote democratic legal literacy and awareness amongst young people. This knowledge will help them in making the best use of existing schemes and exercising their constitutional rights in a proper manner. The members of the LLC shall also help us in conducting awareness sessions in their locality. Some of the activities that will take place in the LLC will include:
- Debates in various schemes
- Competitions on social issues
- Discussions on important local, national and global issues
- Legal awareness on various aspects within their locality
- Essay competitions
- Review of important acts and policies
Training for Paralegals: Through the project we shall also train over 200 paralegals. These paralegals will help in bridging the gap between the society and the judicial system. Very often it is difficult for common people to understand legal terms and procedures which leads to both illegalities and injustice. The paralegals will help in the following:
- Provide support in carrying out pre-litigative work like investigation, fact finding, out-of-court settlements, filing FIRs, etc.
- Carry out community education programs and conduct awareness sessions on legal aspects.
- Sensitise lawyers and law practitioners about social implications and social issues associated with different cases.
- Conduct research and data collection on socio-legal issues.
- Provides counselling with a rights/issue-based perspective and out-of-court settlements.
Establish Community Legal Support Centers: To provide legal aid to the poor and the underprivileged community members, we shall be establishing community legal support centers. These Community Legal Support Centers (CLSCs) shall provide free legal services to the community members. The trained paralegals will run these community legal centers and shall provide free legal services to the people. All the CLSCs will have necessary resources to help the local communities. Each center will have one legal expert and one paralegal to provide legal aid to the people who come to the center.
The following activities will be available at the Community Legal Support Centers:
- Resolve pending legal cases
- Awareness session on constitutional rights on legal advice in targeted countries for the program
- Training for Paralegals
- Filling necessary legal documents
- Preparing for legal hearings and other procedures
- Counselling sessions for women and girls
- Identifying cases for legal aid – set priorities on types of cases to be handled;
- Women Rights – Domestic abuse,sexual harassment at workplace.
- Child rights – juvenile felony etc.
- Labor Laws – e.g wrongful termination, poor pay.
- Elderly legal issues
- Landlord/Tenant Disputes
- Contract Disputes
- Wills, Powers Of Attorney, Advance Directives, And Other Probate Matters
- Social Security Appeals
The formation of Legal Literacy Clubs in colleges will help in ensuring that the project has long term sustainable results. The young people who will learn the various aspects of law and constitutional rights will carry forward their knowledge with their family and friends. Also the trained paralegals will work with the community members and will help in bridging the gap between the community and the judicial system. The mass awareness drive will also ensure that people are able to make the best use of their legal and constitutional rights.
Monitoring and Evaluation
A Monitoring and Evaluation team shall be constituted to review progress of the project and provide overall guidance to the field team. Responsibilities of Monitoring & Evaluation team shall be to:
- Ensure timely delivery of project goals and objectives
- Review project expenditures against activities and outcomes.
- Approve monthly work plans
- Communication and documentation
The Monitoring and Evaluation team shall collect data and information to measure performance and progress towards objectives. The team shall conduct pre and post assessment of the participants to assess the success of the awareness sessions. Also, the team shall collect feedback forms from the trainees of the Paralegal Training Program. The Monitoring and evaluation team will produce consolidated reports on project progress and results.
Agency’s Role and Responsibilities
Our organization will be responsible for the following project activities:
- Mobilise the community members and communicate with community leaders in advance.
- Design and develop an awareness schedule.
- Publish communication and outreach material.
- Facilitate community meeting process and venue management.
- Facilitate necessary infrastructural arrangement for holding the meetings.
- Ensure participation of all community members during community meetings and sessions.
- Document the process and the expected output of the process in presentable format.
- Impart training to the paralegals.
- Meetings with college administration to initiate Legal Literacy Clubs in their respective colleges.
- Liasioning with government officials to establish Community Legal Support Centers.
- Project Director: He/she will recruit the other staff members and will oversee the functioning of the project. He/she will be responsible for developing linkages with government officials and maintaining communication with the donors.
- Project Manager: He/she will be responsible for managing the overall project and will support the project director in ensuring the project success.
- Legal Expert: A legal practitioner shall be hired to provide legal literacy and awareness. The Legal expert will be training the Paralegals and will also be coordinating with the Legal Literacy Club members.
- Other team members will include Trainers (2), Community mobilisers.