A three day legal aid activity in Kamukunji organized by Kituo Cha Sheria ended on 15th September, 2016 at Muyuyu, Eastleigh Third Avenue where over 110 clients were attended to by Kituo lawyer Maureen Thuo and Paralegals from the Kamukunji Community Justice Centre.
Previously Legal Aid clinics were held at Kiambui, PAG church which saw 110 clients attended to and at the Assistant Chief’s camp, opposite California Police station in California ward where over 60 clients were attended to. A total of over 280 clients, drawn from various parts of Kamukunji Sub County were attended to during the entire three – part legal aid clinic activity.
Addressing the participants yesterday, Airbase Location chief, Minicah Hamisi Otieno welcomed and appreciated the initiative by Kituo Cha Sheria, coming to the grassroots and helping community members. She encouraged residents to feel free to present their legal questions or problems saying that the lawyer and paralegals present could help and save them a great deal since the services were free.
Kamukunji Community Justice Centre Cordinator, Ezekiel Njenga thanked Kituo staff who participated in the activities and paralegals from the centre for having contributed greatly to the success of the activity. “We started on a little bit low note in Kiambiu but I am happy we are finishing on a high note here at Muyuyu, Eastleigh. Throughout the process, we have learnt various lessons and we have room for improvement next time,” he said
Nuria Abdi, a resident at Muyuyu, Eastleigh confirmed that residents in the area have got many problems that require legal help/advice. According to her, family and marital problems were top on the list affecting residents (including her) in the area.
“We hope that the intervention by Kituo will at least see us breathe a sigh of relief and hope for tangible legal help since our efforts to local authorities and even the police have proved futile,” she said. She remembers her husband leaving her in April this year for another woman within the same locality. The husband, whom she identified as Abdikadir chased her away with their three young children from the house claiming that Nuria had continually given birth to girls whereas he wished to have boys.
Since then, Nuria, who is currently pregnant, has been living in abject poverty with her three children. She says getting the daily food is a hurdle, leave alone school fees for her children.
Nuria compares the life she and her children are living to that of an asylum seeker. She says many more women experience the same problem in the area and it is their hope that the intervention of Kituo Cha Sheria will offer a ray of hope in salvaging them and restoring, dignity and womanhood to them. The CRADLE-The Children’s Foundation joined Kituo at Muyuyu, Eastleigh to deal with children rights matters.
Kituo Cha Sheria.
We Care for Justice
On 6th and 7th September, 2016 Kituo conducted training on M-Haki for volunteer advocates and community paralegals from the Coast region. The advocates were drawn from Malindi and Mombasa and paralegals from our justice centres in Lamukhani, Kwale County and Kisauni in Mombasa.
The successful trainings were held at the Bliss Resort in Mombasa and are meant to introduce our key stakeholders to M-Haki as Kituo cha Sheria is piloting the M-Haki platform to promote access to justice through which Kenyans can access legal aid through mobile phones, using the number 0700 777 333. M-Haki seeks to reduce the time and distance taken to access legal advice-Haki Mkononi!
The M-Haki message in the region was also taken to the people in the region on Baraka FM ahead of upcoming community outreach forums.
We Care for Justice.
Kituo Cha Sheria.
“Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with.” – Brodi Ashton, Everneath
Goal 16 of the sustainable development goals speaks to promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. In promoting access to justice at the grassroots level, Kituo Cha Sheria works with trained community paralegals – men and women doing sterling pro-bono work within their communities.
These dedicated and remarkable people generously donate their time, expertise, and energy to help close the gap in access to justice by offering credible and accountable legal aid services to indigent persons within their society. Our community paralegals bring Article 48 of the Constitution of Kenya to life at the grassroots level; Anne Orindi of the Nyando Community Justice Centre (Kisumu County) was one such champion. She passed on earlier this month and shall be laid to rest on 3rd September, 2016.
Access to justice is a very important judicial element and it is through access to justice that remedies can be availed to the people. In rural Kenya; where a high number of people live below the poverty line there is a notion among the economically challenged that justice is unachievable for the poor. The work of these community justice champions and the incorporation of traditional and community based mechanisms of dispute resolution methods is an important step in bringing justice to the people. This is especially viable in the rural areas where traditional structures are still intact.
Whether through leading workshops, training communities, building networks or sharing knowledge with fellow justice sector players, community paralegals give hope and encouragement where hope is sometimes all but lost in pursuit of justice.
Community paralegals go the extra mile in doing their work, in some cases more than other permanent staff.
Community paralegals are highly dedicated people, highly motivated by the desire to make tangible contributions to their communities by reaching the vulnerable and marginalized. They continuously develop their capacities to participate actively and constructively in the promotion of access to justice. We celebrate our grassroots justice champions!
Kituo Cha Sheria
We care for justice.
During the week of 22nd -26th August 2016 Kituo Cha Sheria was in Kisumu County for a series of activities. Through the support of the Netherlands Embassy in Nairobi Kituo conducted M-Haki market research and awareness, trained volunteer advocates in Kisumu and visited the Kodiaga Prison Justice Centre.
The Kisumu Region Community M-Haki piloting sessions and market research were held on 23rd August and 26th August in CREP Programme Centre in Awasi and the Manyatta Community Social Centre (Kosawo Hall) in Kondele respectively. The sessions held in Nyando and Kisumu introduced members of the public in the region to the M-Haki platform and will serve Kituo in gathering information on the situational analysis of legal justice in the region.
On 25th August at the Le Savannah Country Lodge in Kisumu; Kituo had the opportunity to engage about 20 volunteer advocates from the area on the M-Haki platform as well as getting their views on matters access to justice in the region.
On the 24th August 2016, the Dutch embassy officials and Kituo members of staff visited the Kodiaga Prison Justice Center to check on the center’s progress, get progress updates from the center as well as note the challenges that the center may be experiencing one year after its launch. The prison centre is run by trained prison paralegals that have filed 185 petitions of appeal and managed 38 acquittals within the year from within prison. The few noted challenges will be addressed for smooth running of the center.
Other successful outreach activities included 3 radio talk shows across the week meant to create further awareness on the M-Haki platform and the realization of an increased number of people using the service. The successful radio programs were conducted at Urban Radio 90.7 FM in Kisumu and Radio Nam Lolwe.
Kituo cha Sheria
We Care for Justice.