Greetings from Himiza Social Justice,
Himiza Social Justice is a non profit making organization working to promote access to justice in Geita region of Tanzania. In achieving this noble goal, the organization has a legal and policy advocacy program with its core activity of provision of legal aid to the community. Currently the organization has trained 150 paralegals, has three volunteer legal aid officers (lawyers), accountant, and two supporting staff.
After attending the course in Budapest last year, our organization and I committed to start implementing the Legal Aid Act No. 1 of 2017. Among other things, the organization has to organize lawyers who would provide legal aid to the needy. With this the organization has seen a need to create a portal or an application that will enable registering lawyers passionate about provision of legal aid in their respective areas. We intend to create this application which should be accessible to large number of people countrywide. And the idea here is just to link the members of the community in need of legal aid with lawyers who are willing to provid legal aid within their respective areas. Our organization will act as a coordinating organ between the lawyer and the client. The reason why we want to do this, is to support the work of paralegals which have been established under the Legal Aid Act in Tanzania. Still paralegals cannot represent clients before the district courts to the court of appeal. The intervention of having these lawyers connected to the network will enable the paralegals within the country to also get their clients access for legal aid to these pro bono lawyers.
What assistance we want: the assistance that we want from this idea is to help in sharpening it and even to receive some constructive criticism. And also to get someone who can help us build the application or portal-a friendly one which will connect the rural communities. Rough estimate in Tanzania is that about 70% of the population own mobile phones. This is one of the powerful tool that will help the community members access their services through mobile phones.
We are open to receive any advice about this idea.
Bernard Otieno Executive Director Himiza Social Justice