New Member Introductions (28 February to 13 March 2019)

Hello and welcome again, new members!

You will find we are friendly and open in this community. This a safe space where you can make new friends from around the world and keep in touch for solidarity, learning, sharing and collaboration.

Here in this topic, we bring together new members to celebrate your arrival and make it easy for you to introduce yourself to the community and ask your questions.

Please introduce yourself! How did you find us and what prompted you to join? What are you working on right now that you want to share or that you need help with? Just add a reply.

Also, The 2019 Grassroots Justice Prize: is now open for applications under the theme Celebrating Great Deeds in Legal Empowerment This prize seeks to honor the work of non-profits, social enterprises, and public institutions that have demonstrated remarkable innovation, impact, and/or sustainability in their legal empowerment work. Feel free to apply through the link below.

2019 Grassroots Justice Prize

If you have any concerns or feedback, or want to schedule a skype call to get a tour of our online platform, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me directly by messaging @helpdeskteam or by sending an email to

Tips: for new members :bulb:

Explore: How-to guides for practitioners :books:

Say hello: to the latest arrivals to our community! :wave:

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Hello from the Netherlands!

My name is Farah Marzak and I am the Project Lead for Femmes For Freedom. Our organization works to end marital captivity (being held in a marriage against ones will), forced marriage, child marriages, polygamy and honour violence as well as forced abandonment abroad. We assist women (and men) who become victim of these crimes or situations through our legal helpdesk. In order to ensure sustainable change we also advocate and lobby for changes in legislation, both nationally as well as internationally.

We have campaigned for the freedom to choose one’s partner freely, for awareness of forced marriages and most recently against FGM. We have been successful in raising awareness of the fact that these violations of human rights also occur in the Netherlands and that Dutch women with a migrant background might be at risk as well. Now, we are working on translating this awareness into legislation and tangible solutions.

I am currently working on a 3 year project to encourage the emancipation of women and girls with a migrant or refugee background. The areas of focus for this project are; sexuality and safety, financial empowerment and lastly stereotypes. For this project we have taken a digital approach and will be focussing on the development of websites and apps where women can safely and securely access information and help.


Hello, my name is Aida Ghalouli, from Tunisia, employee, law student, civil society activist. I want to express my admiration for your work and your efforts. I want to be partners in my project for women prisoners … I hope to receive the answer from you … Thank you my email is


Welcome, new members! Thank you @FarahM and @ayda for introducing yourselves here. It’s great to have you here in our community and I hope you decide to hang out with us here regularly and contribute to forum discussions.

As you all have seen, the @helpdeskteam team sends new members a welcome message as well which you can use to ask us questions privately. You can also send us a note directly to introduce yourself, for us to pass on here in this public topic introducing the newest members. Here is a selection from this week - I am so pleased to meet you all!

And from Brazil:

Welcome! You can talk everywhere on the forum using the translate button (looks like a :globe_with_meridians: on the post menu), but I recommend you take a look at these two topics to connect with potential collaborators in Brazil:


Welcome all on board. This is unique forum to share your experience in issue relating to justice I hope we can learn a lot from you

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Welcome @AyukKure in Nigeria! Let us know how you get on with your article and if you have any specific questions for fellow members.

I’m working on an article regarding the challenges confronting provision of Legal Aid in Nigeria. I will be doing a comparison between legal aid I. Nigeria and the US, UK & South Africa.

I need help with articles and links regarding provision of legal aid in the US, UK and South Africa.

Thank you in anticipation of your help.

And welcome @mykizzy in Niger Delta!

I’m currently working on an early stage initiative for Empowerment plus a peace building initiative in the Niger Delta

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Good morning all. Trust you had a good weekend. I am pleased to welcome @sabrinasanchez of Global Brigades in Honduras to the community, who writes:

Hello! I already feel the benefits from joining this network and look forward to continuing to help build and contribute to the growing legal empowerment movement. I’m currently working on developing/spearheading a Legal Empowerment Program in Honduras. One of the overall goals is to establish something similar to your Community Paralegal Program (just on a much smaller scale) Are there any Central American specific resources on the Global Legal Empowerment Network database? I haven’t found much. The current resources have been tremendously practical and because they’re versatile in nature, I still find them applicable. Some colleagues and I will be attending all 3 of the upcoming webinars this month so I look forward to learning more during those sessions as well.

Glad you are finding the resource library useful, and that you will be represented in force at our upcoming webinars! :rocket: :muscle: :comet:

@lucianabercovich and @martaalmela can you jump in with replies to Sabrina’s questions?


Dear All,

I am delighted to be enrolled into this large family of members with diverse backgrounds.

I am engaged as a community paralegal supervisor. and currently working on a health accountability project with funding by OSIWA. The tilte of the Project is ‘Promoting Social Accountability to Empower Citizens for Improved Service Delivery in Bonthe District.’ The overarching aim of the interevention is to institutionalize responsive, accountable,credible , and financially secured system of Community-based justice services that offier legal advice and assistance nationwide,with a strong focus on reaching the poor and marginalized groups.

We are open to share our field experiences with interested members of the forum and can also appreciate suggestions from members in other parts of the globe to make our intervention better with active community participation.

Kind regards and hope to participate in health accountablity discussion sessions.

Francis K. Musa


Hi, I’m fidelis in Zambia, presently coordinating program called. Youtharise enterprises

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Hi @sabrinasanchez, it is a pleasure to welcome you to the Network! :tada: We are looking forward to your participation in the Network activities, webinars and discussions!

Here we share some resources that we believe could be useful, some are specific from Central America, other from Latin America and other are not-region-specific:

  • Experiencias de Empoderamiento Jurídico en América Latina (also available in English): compilation of legal empowerment experiences in the region, which includes different paralegal programs implemented by organizations working in different issues in Latin America.

  • Asistentes jurídicos a nivel de la comunidad, Guía para profesionales (also available in English): extremely useful, for anyone who wants to start a new paralegal program or improve an existing one. Provides information on all aspects of establishing and operating a community-based paralegal program, from assessing a community’s needs to training paralegals and resolving justice problems.

  • Declaración de Villa Inflamable por el Acceso a la Justicia: En el marco del encuentro latinoamericano de experiencias en empoderamiento jurídico, que se realizó en Buenos Aires, Argentina (del 19 al 14 de junio), las 24 organizaciones participantes decidimos crear la Red Latinoamericana de Empoderamiento Jurídico. Durante el encuentro se discutió y firmó la “Declaración de Villa Inflamable por el Acceso a la Justicia para todas/os y el Empoderamiento Jurídico”en la cual se establecen los principios y compromisos que guiarán el grupo, como así también 26 exhortaciones a los poderes públicos, privados, y organismos internacionales para garantizar el acceso a la justicia para todos y todas. Puedes leer la declaración y firmar la petición aquí.

  • Guía metodológica para la formación de paralegales comunitarios, by ECOLEX: guide for the training and development of community based paralegals in Ecuador.

  • Manual de derechos: Para conocerlos, exigirlos y transformar nuestro barrio: El manual pretende acercar las herramientas legales a las comunidades que las requieren y que podrían aprovechar su utilización para exigir el cumplimiento de sus derechos. Entendemos que el trabajo coordinado entre ciudadanos y ciudadanas y organizaciones sociales, que conozcan sus derechos y las formas de hacerlos valer, sumado a la efectiva utilización de los canales institucionales para plantear reclamos tendientes a efectivizar la protección contra vulneraciones a dichos derechos, contribuirán a lograr una democracia más inclusiva, igualitaria y justa.

  • Guía de acceso a derechos: Para conocerlos y exigirlos: esta Guía se propone generar una mayor conexión entre quienes habitan las villas, las organizaciones comunitarias y las instituciones y organizaciones que trabajan por el cumplimiento de los derechos.

  • CEGSS’ work and the Red de Defensores y Defensoras Comunitarios por el Derecho a la Salud (The Network of Community Defenders for the Right to Health): In Guatemala, almost half of the total population is indigenous and the majority live in rural areas. Despite progressive laws that recognize the right to health, rural populations face major barriers and discrimination to access healthcare services. Because of this situation, rural communities have organized themselves as “community defenders for the right to health.” This short documentary tells the story of the network of 160 community defenders who uses the legal framework, state institutions and civic mobilization to monitor healthcare facilities, engage with authorities in the resolution of problems and demand accountability.

  • Lecciones sobre acción ciudadana y rendición de cuentas en los servicios públicos de salud de Guatemala (also available in English): Throughout a decade of work, we learned that methods for gathering evidence that draw in participation from the wider community, that help communities to tell their stories, and that facilitate collective action among service users tend to be the most powerful to influence responsiveness from authorities at local and regional levels of government. In addition, using participatory approaches to generating and interpreting evidence fosters pedagogical processes of civic action that empower service users by activating their roles as citizens and voters. This process has been used to open space for negotiating the allocation of public resources with authorities at different governance levels.

  • Manual para promotoras y promotores juveniles en derechos humanos, by CDHVitoria: Este Manual para Promotoras y Promotores Juveniles en Derechos Humanos es una herramienta para reducir la problemática de la falta de información y fomentar entre las y los jóvenes el empoderamiento de sus derechos humanos, generando así una cultura de paz y de respeto a toda persona, además de promover nuevas formas de organización.

In addition, here we share some opportunities that we think could be of interest to you:

Kind regards,



Thanks for sharing useful information

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Marta, thank you so much for the quick reply and all the extremely amazing resources you just shared with me! This is super helpful and useful. I can’t wait to share and discuss with the team! Appreciate your support and communication. Cheers,


Saludos para todos, Soy Heider Lacera de Colombia, maestro en arte dramático y estudiante de último semestre en Derecho, trabajo como lider afrodescendiente y comunitario. Hace algunos años cree una ONG para poder participar de apoyos financieros para cubrir algunos procesos con nuestras comunidades afro en los diferentes barrios de Bogotá. El proceso de voluntariado y comunitarios cada vez me enamoran y me confirman que ha sido la mejor decisión. Quiero ayudar a construir un mejor entorno para todos, creo que el Derecho es una herramienta muy poderosa para transformar. Espero poder compartir y aprender en esta red y crecer en conjunto con todos.

Trabajo en casa con mi ONG, somos un grupo de jóvenes afrodescendientes que desde el arte buscamos llevar información que genera cambios. Acompañamos la transformación de sueños y pensamiento de los niños, jóvenes, mujeres y comunidad. Utilizamos el arte como medio y herramienta pedagógica. Por otra lado apoyo en algunos momentos diligencias puntuales a una oficina de abogados. Pero mi pasión es el trabajo con la comunidad. Soy líder estudiantil de un programa de beca para comunidades negras, ahi participo voluntariamente en los diferentes procesos administrativos y defensa que se requiere cuando hay atropellos. Es básicamente lo que hago ahora. Sigo en proceso de fortalecer la ONG, mi vida profesional y liderazgo.

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Maravilloso aporte, disculpen tanto tiempo sin responder. Multiples tareas. Este material es como caído del cielo… ahora en julio desarrollaré un proyecto de consultorios jurídicos comunitarios, asesorias moviles. Llegaremos a un barrio inicialmente para hablar de derechos, para hablar de las necesidades en derechos y deberes que la comunidad necesita conocer. GRACIAS°

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