New Member Introductions (July 3 to July 17)

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.

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 community@namati.org.

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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Welcome our new members. This is the open forum to learn and share different issues about legal empowerment

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Dear Mohammed,

Thank you for getting in contact and requesting that I make an introduction and also other aspects as per your email.

Am Enoch Bigirwa, aged 65 years, professionally a Veterinarian but with post graduate in Development studies. Am retired from active service - but as I say “retired but not tired”. Am from Uganda, East Africa. Currently, I carry out freelance consultancies and ministry activities, and volunteer in community causes.

I came to know about NAMATI on the net and read extensively about what you are involved in - justice for the underprivileged. It caught my eye given that in an organization where I belong as a member and also currently as a Patron, we are grappling with those exact issues - justice for the community members.

Our organization BAGUNGU COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION (BACA) is faced with issues of Oil and Gas developments in our ancestral area - commonly referred to as the ALBERTINE GRABEN. This is at the floor of the western arm of the East African Rift Valley in the districts of Buliisa and Hoima- our area of operation. Our land is customarily owned and communally used. Our people are fisherpeople and farming.

Most of our land, over 80%, was declared conservation area during colonial period to date. Our community has not fairly benefited from the huge revenues that accrue from the National Park - the largest in the country, game reserves, forest and forest reserves. As a result the area is marginalized and impoverished -a complaint we have, formally, tendered to government.

Then in 2006, vast oil and gas (O&G) reserves were discovered in our area and is now going for the production phase by International Oil Companies (IOCs). We have argued that there has been opaqueness in the O&G operations right from prospecting to now in the development phase- Free Prior and Informed Consent is non existent. As a result those who were privy to information of lucrative land sites like oil wells took advantage of the unsuspecting local community and connived with some individuals to secure huge chunks of communally used and customarily owned land on which our people depend for livelihood. Government also came in to compulsorily and permanently take over other pieces of land to give to the IOCs. It, government, has unilaterally, offered to pay less than $ 800 (eight hundred) per acre - an amount not able to secure the same amount of land elsewhere given the O&G “fever”- the length of getting the meager compensation notwithstanding. We have also categorically stated that to us land is not a commodity - has a lot attached to it, actually we call it “Mother”.

As an organization, we petitioned the National Parliament over these and other issues and to date, over one and a half years, nothing tangible had come out - has never been discussed on the floor, but meanwhile O&G development activities are in high gear. The IOCs made an Environmental Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) to which out organization raised grave concerns in regard to compensations, displacements, environmental concerns, sociocultural disruptions, livelihoods issues, etc. Without further consultations as to what became of our grave concerns, ESIA report was approved by the National Environmental Management Authority!

As to the kind of help/assistance, we need others to stand with us and amply our voice, even internationally, and when necessary, help us engage in the legal arena. Our people are also not so conversant with the laws that protect their rights, let alone the fear of long and protracted legal processes that are characteristic of our judicial systems and other concerns. The processes are also damn expensive in terms of legal representation fees and related costs of travel and the like. As a result, a few of our people have registered losses of court cases let alone being subjected to appeals to higher courts that stretch them beyond their limits.

We would also desire that, as an organization, we are assisted to train paralegals who would in turn sensitize and create awareness to the community members and us about the laws, nationally and internationally that protect our rights.

As for confidentiality, let it depend on you, for what is stated here is already in the public domain. BACA and other community leaders have even issued several Press statements in regard to these and other issues.

Looking forward to learning from others’ experiences in the NAMATI family,

With kind regards,

Enoch Bigirwa.

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Good afternoon, My name is Sabrina Soto and I am the legal representative por Centro de Análisis y Defensa de Derechos, AC. (CADD), which is a NGO located in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. CADD was created on September 2018, and the staff working are Cynthia Arco Amarillo Lohr as the Legal Director and Lilian Mancillas as the Research Director. As of today, CADD has been working mainly in legal cases revolving around health. One of our cases was highlighted in the World Justice Project as a finalist, which was centered on health and gender discrimination. We are working on enlarging the scope of the themes and cases we work on, trying to get into transparency, citizen participation, and anti corruption programs.

regards.

Sabrina Soto

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Hello, I am a new member of this network

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Hello Kudrat, welcome to the network!

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Thank you so much for your welcoming message. How are you?

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I am very excited with this post. This is inspiration to me

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Bom dia… sou Fred Pecorelli sócio fundador do Grupo de Estudos e Pesquisas em Direito Educacional e Ação Socioambiental… para nos conhecer mais: Gepede - Grupo de Estudos e Pesquisas - Home | Facebook

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Thanks! Will catch up with discussions and hope to join next Friday’s Forum.

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Thanks for the warm welcome

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J’aimerais vous lire en français.

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Une note sur les langues. Notre forum fonctionne bien en espagnol, en français et d’autres langues en plus de l’anglais. Pour profiter de cette fonctionnalité, modifiez votre profil pour choisir votre langue préférée. Ensuite, vous verrez le forum dans votre langue de choix et un bouton de traduction en dessous des messages vous permettra de lire et de participer dans la langue de votre choix. Le site principal du réseau demeure toutefois disponible uniquement en anglais. N’hésitez pas à nous contacter pour obtenir de l’aide pour vous connecter ou modifier votre profil.

Una nota aclaratoria sobre idiomas. Nuestro foro funciona bien en español, francés y otros idiomas además del inglés. Para hacer uso de la red en tu propio idioma, edita tu perfil para elegir tu idioma principal. Luego podrás ver el foro en tu idioma y un botón de traducción debajo de las publicaciones para que puedas leer y participar en el idioma seleccionado. Por ahora, nuestra página principal sigue estando disponible sólo inglés. Ponte en contacto con nosotros para recibir ayuda con el inicio de sesión y para poder editar tu perfil. Asimismo, contamos con una categoría especial en español, en la cual compartimos noticias y oportunidades relevantes para los miembros de la red que se comunican en este idioma.

A note about languages. Our forum works well in Spanish, French and more languages besides English. To take advantage, edit your profile to choose your preferred language. Then you will see the forum in your language and a translate button below posts so you can read and participate in your language. Our main site is still only English. Contact us for help logging in and editing your profile.

Wow! We had an impressive 141 new members join in the last two weeks. You are all very welcome! I’m curious to hear more about what brought you here and what you are looking for as a member. Please reply to introduce yourself if you have not already done so!

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Hi everyone!

I am a newbie here, from Cameroon, it’s a pleasure!

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Am a new member currently working on a workplace Gender policy and Sexual Harassment policy for my organisation and trying to push for Gender equality in the organisation


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