With your support, we can walk with even more people toward justice in 2014


Vests worn by community paralegals of the Nubian Rights Forum in Nairobi, Kenya

Let me tell you about a young man called Hamid Twalib.

Hamid is from a Nubian family in Kibera, Nairobi. The Nubians have been in Kenya for over 100 years, yet still face real difficulty securing citizenship. Without an ID card Hamid couldn’t get a job, open a bank account or do many of the things most of us take for granted. Without an ID card he lived in constant fear of police harassment.

When he tried to get identity documents on his own, Hamid says the government treated him harshly. Officials were rude and dismissive. Then he heard about grassroots advocates – paralegals from his own community – who are guiding Nubians through the complex process of becoming citizens. “With someone next to me, the government treated me with more respect,” says Hamid. His application has been successful. When his ID card arrives Hamid plans to go to college and register for a mobile phone banking service.

This is what Namati does – we walk with people. Supporting them to use the law to protect their rights and improve their lives.

Community paralegals can accomplish amazing things. This year, hundreds of Kenyan Nubians have acquired proof of their citizenship for the first time. In Burma, with support from paralegals, thousands of farmers are registering their lands. Communities in Sierra Leone and Mozambique are resolving problems in healthcare delivery. In India, fisher people on the coasts of Gujarat and Karnataka are learning how to use environmental law to protect their natural resources and their livelihoods. And all this grassroots work is giving us the data with which to advocate for large-scale policy changes that can affect millions.

With your support we can train more community paralegals.

With your support, during 2014 we can walk with even more people.

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In solidarity,
Vivek, Laura, Sonkita, Ellie, Manju, Paul, Abigail, Rachael, Kate, and the whole Namati team

December 23, 2013 | Namati Author