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Learning Exchange: Women’s Empowerment in Tanzania

“The learning experience exposed me to different approaches and methodologies, which I was not aware of before this experience. These approaches will definitely help me and my organization to improve how we have been doing our work. All along I had never thought of using volunteers, clients who were once assisted, and community leaders to empower others, but through this exchange I learnt that it’s possible. It also gave me knowledge and information which I will use to lobby for the recognition of paralegals in my country. I can now speak from experience that the paralegal model can work, rather than in the past when I spoke from what I read on the internet and in books.”
Lucia Masuka
Legal Resources Foundation, Zimbabwe 

 

“It was important because it was a very inspiring opportunity to learn from others, to get strategies, methods, tools, success stories, living testimonies for further improvement of my work and of the work of my organization. I have learnt a lot and I feel strong to boost some changes in my home country context.”
Claudine Tsongo Mbalamya
Dynamique des Femmes Juristes, Democratic Republic of Congo

 

“The exchange has offered us critical lessons to enrich the design/planning and implementation of the project – we learnt firsthand from the experience of other exchange participants as well as the various local Tanzanian organizations we visited. We have no doubt that the lessons will help us address the critical challenges we currently face.”
James Forole Jarso
Saku Accountability Forum, Kenya

 

“The learning exchange was very important to me as a person and to my work because I have met people from different regions and shared my experience with the participants in relation to legal empowerment. I learnt from them how they are carrying out legal empowerment programs back in their countries, shared challenges and discussed ways of how to address them, using different approaches from different participants and also shared what has worked. So, I am taking the key learning back to my country/organization and share with other staff members and the community at large to improve on my work at legal empowerment.”
Barbara Bisikwa
Uganda Network on Law, Ethics and HIV/AIDS, Uganda

 

“Before my participation in this exchange, I did not understand how others were making the kind of positive impact in their communities especially as volunteers. I have learnt a lot of the days. I have learnt that coordinating efforts make a very good impact rather than working as an individual – like using what you gather from your work for advocacy. I am going to use what I have learnt to make recommendations to our institution, which in my mind will help to improve on some challenges we have.”
Bindu Ansumana Fofana
The Carter Center, Liberia

 

In July of 2016, Namati partnered with the Women’s Legal Aid Centre (WLAC) to host a two week learning exchange. The exchange focused on women’s empowerment, combatting gender-based violence and the use of paralegals in expanding women’s access to justice in the African context.

Participants came from across the African continent (see list below). There were participants from veteran legal empowerment organizations looking to build advocacy campaigns or refine data collection methods, and others who were community paralegals themselves trying to improve counseling techniques and systems of referral. Our host WLAC did not disappoint in leading us through the many levels of women’s rights legal empowerment in Tanzania.

We met with all levels of legal aid service provision: rural paralegal associations who were registering as independent community-based organizations, the bar association who coordinates the training and certification of paralegals nationwide, and women’s groups who were using theater to teach legal rights, or running economic empowerment programs combined with legal awareness classes in urban markets. We also had the chance to engage directly with the national organization leading on the institutionalization of the paralegal profession and see their nationwide paralegal data. The diversity of site visits and discussions ensured everyone engaged with practitioners and fresh perspectives with which to improve their own legal empowerment work at home.

For more information about our learning exchanges, please contact exchanges@namati.org, or visit the learning exchange page.

 

Participants

The 15-day learning exchange hosted participants from the following organizations:

 

The above learning exchange participants also had the opportunity to be joined by a group of local Tanzanian practitioners from the following organizations: