Highlights from the Kenya Learning Exchange


(Liesl Muller) #1

Here’s a post for everyone to add one lesson that they’ve learnt from the 2018 Learning Exchange on Citizenship and Legal Identity (7-19 October)



(Mohammed Aman) #2

(Ahmed Ismail) #3

My lesson of the day ~ financial sustainability is the main hindrance every Organization is facing all over the World. @namati_citizenship.

(Iryna Aleksieieva) #4

Through community visits I learn that personal commitment to a client is a key to success. Paralegals in Kenya are so passionate about their work and empowering others that a seed of that spirit I want to bring home and grow it there!


(Laura Goodwin) #5

I agree @AhmedMohamed - financial sustainability is certainly a major challenge for many legal empowerment organizations!

I found yesterday’s discussion on financial sustainability fascinating - exchange participants shared some of their experiments and @michaelotto also spoke about approaches and insights that he has seen elsewhere.

@kasida_abdul shared how Haki na Sheria has tried to engage the local business community in Garissa, Kenya. The organization has explored asking for financial contributions from business people in exchange for access to legal support. A “membership scheme” is under consideration for the future. Some in-kind contributions from business people and even community support - such as organizing refreshments for special outreach or registration events - have also been helpful.

@LieslHeila talked about how Lawyers for Human Rights tried a crowdfunding campaign to support the costs of DNA tests for stateless children who lacked birth certificates. The angle of children’s rights helped the campaign gather support - and it helped that the organization already had a wide network through which they could spread the word about the campaign.

Other approaches included client contributions, building on events run by other organizations, and running a social enterprise… but the challenges of running a profitable business can’t be understated!

I also appreciate approaches for expanding reach and impact without further costs - like the “pay it forward” effort at Nubian Rights Forum in which paralegals ask each of their clients to assist two more people in the community after the successful completion of their case. Ripple effects are powerful!

I love learning from these ideas and look forward to continuing the conversation!

(Liesl Muller) #6

We used Global Giving as a platform for crowdfunding. Here is the link to our project so you can get an idea of how it works:

You can have monthly recurring donors as well as once off donors who donate anythign from $10 to the full amount :wink:

Please use the learn library to learn all about effective crowdfunding.

Apply here to become a fundraiser on Global Giving:


(Marlon Manuel) #7

As you discuss the issue of statelessness and citizenship rights there in Nairobi, we discuss the same issues here on the other side of the globe, in Bangkok, at the Regional Research Workshop on Access to Justice in Asia, convened by the Center for Peace and Justice of BRAC University.

Regards to all participants of the Learning Exchange. I will see some of you in Hong Kong next week at the Asia Pro Bono Conference, and related events on Legal Empowerment, Migration and Statelessness.

(Liesl Muller) #13

Nubian Rights Forum taught me to use community forums to grow understading of and support for the work on access to citizenship. I will definitely use this to encourage communities to advocate for citizenship rights.

(Maalini Ramalo) #14

To observe the “Eldest Vetting” process was fascinating ( Effective & Simple). We instantly started sharing the best methods our individual countries been practising - nobody asked but we were quick to jump in. Thats what exchange programs is all about isnt? :heart_eyes:

(Lalita Yawangsan) #15

From a community visit, I have learnt that paralegals can play a significant role in connecting communities leaders to local government staffs. More importantly, paralegals is a key facilitator in empowering communities to shape the law.

(zena) #16

I’ve learned a lot from the exchange, through sessions such as communication I got to learn how to communicate with the community members and finding out what speaks for the entire community, things/ problems they have in common etc. clients follow up so as to get to know the impact outcome after the clients have received their document, how as it changed their life, how have they used it and what they have learned from the entire process.

(Yasah Musa) #17

This means we should work extra hard to make sure there is sustainability in justice defenders since they play I big role in assisting the commmunity to understand the law and use it to access justice

(Fatima Adamu) #18

Congratulations upon the conclusion of your exchange and thank you for sharing your learning with us all. Interesting learning from you and that’s what makes the network different. The opportunity to learn and engage. I see from the thread of comments it’s obvious that the problem of legal Empowerment is cross cutting whether it’s women empowerment, gender, land , citizenship or what ever thematic area one is working in or what ever country

  1. Funding for access to Justice remains a challenge and a bigger challenge for some of us but I’ve also learned from an exchange myself how the poor that we support can be a solution to this problem. This has come out strongly in your feedback.
  2. The strength of having a sustainability plan in place; I love the feedback from the Nubian rights on the " pay it forward" part. Will surely share with our paralegals and we would try it out. For us it was a way of measuring the quality of service rendered when a client who has benefited from our legal aid service refers other people. We’ve had 2-3 of such beneficiaries trained as community paralegals themselves and it’s something that you may want to try.

Thank you exchage 18 citizenship.

(Bal Krishna Mainali) #19

Dear Friends There is no doubt legal identity is a fundamental human rights. Mostly all of the countries are accepts and try to protect legal identity rights through constitutional provisionals. The articles 12 to 18 are explaining about the citizenships Rights and articles 19 to 59 are explaining about human rights in the constitution of Kenya. Based under the constitutional provisions the Haki Center providing various services to people for obtaining their legal identity through paralegal. I got opportunity to visit different community as well as to meet immigration officers to exchange each other own experiences about the legal identity issues. All stakeholders contributions are incredible at this sectors.

(Janemary Ruhundwa) #20

Thank you for sharing this Liesl!

(Janemary Ruhundwa) #21

@exchange_2018kenya I have learnt that no matter how important the issue of citizenship and identity is, it is still very important to raise awareness to the community for them to see the importance of having identity documents since some have no interest in obtaining the documents for various reasons and end up suffering. As an additional strategy, showing the community how their lives have change after obtaining identity documents may encourage others to obtain the necessary identity documents.

(Arinaitwe Isaac) #22

I was part of the team that traveled to Malindi! I really appreciated the huge role that the Paralegals play in ensuring that community members realize their citizenship rights! They act as foot soldiers and reach almost every community member in their awareness raising activities and direct support to community members who need to fill forms, go for vetting to prove whether they are citizens and further support mothers who give birth to ensure their children get the birth certificates!. I appreciated the role they are doing in reaching out to schools to educate pupils and students and further supporting them to secure National Identification cards that make them legally recognized as citizens. This makes them reach out to a wider population and it’s a tactic I will ensure we exploit here in Uganda!

(Gostin Kyubwa) #23

le réseau NAMATI avec les soutien des tels genres des activités en domaine de droits hmains, j’ose croire que le monde entier sera assaini par ces activités, nous encouragions vivement ces activités au besoins même les orienté aussi en l’Est de la RDC nous le serons biens venus.

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