February 28, 2017

Birth Certificates in Bangladesh: Ruma’s Story

by Namati in

Ruma’s daughter was approaching school age, but there was a problem: Her daughter didn’t have a birth certificate. Ruma couldn’t enroll her in school without one.   The idea of securing a birth certificate was daunting and unclear for Ruma. She is a member of Bangladesh’s Urdu-speaking community, a minority group that has faced discrimination…

December 13, 2016

Privacy for Patients

by Ellie Feinglass in

Our health advocate Lina, who works in a busy district hospital, received a complaint from a group of HIV patients regarding the lack of privacy in the hospital pharmacy.  Large numbers of patients at the were crowding around the windows where prescriptions are disbursed, making it easy for others to see which medicines each patient had been given.  A number of HIV patients reportedly…

December 13, 2016

Delivery Amid Abuse

by Ellie Feinglass in

Alcina has lived her entire life in an isolated coastal village in Mozambique’s southern region, without access to electricity, running water, or transport. She gave birth to her three children at the local health center – a 17km trek from her home. Within moments of each delivery, she was forced to get out of bed…

December 10, 2016

The Exchange of Ideas and Inspiration

by Michael Otto in

Juves Tchiamala works for Lawyers of Hope Rwanda, empowering vulnerable individuals in court or through a network of paralegals he helps to train and coordinate. His organization was struggling with monitoring cases, communicating impact, securing financial sustainability, and recruiting and motivating community paralegals. So when Juves heard about the Global Legal Empowerment learning exchange, he…

December 9, 2016

The Loss and Delay of HIV Patients’ Lab Results

by Ellie Feinglass in

At a bustling health center on the outskirts of Maputo, Mozambique, nearly 8,000 patients living with HIV receive care and treatment. Despite the high volume, the health facility did not have a CD4 machine on-site for measuring the level of immuno-suppression in HIV patients. Blood samples had to be transported to a nearby hospital for…

December 6, 2016

Full Prescriptions Half Filled

by Ellie Feinglass in

When Marizinha, a patient at a bustling peri-urban health facility in Inhambane Province, Mozambique went in June to the pharmacy for a consult, the doctor wrote her a prescription for 60 pills. Just enough for one month. However, the pharmacy tech at the health center dispensed only 30 of the pills. “He acted like he…

December 4, 2016

One Fisherman’s Fight for Environmental Justice

by Namati in

Shakir Ahmad Bloch lives and works on the Jamnagar coast in the Gujarat state of India. Fishing is how he and many thousands of others in the state provide for their families. But what was once a secure livelihood is now one that is regularly in jeopardy. The area has seen a significant influx in the…

October 15, 2016

Learning to Change the World

by Michael Otto in The participants of the South Africa legal empowerment learning

Faith Ochieng lives and works by the words of Nelson Mandela’s famous quote: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” For her, that ‘education’ includes legal education. Faith works with Kituo cha Sheria (KITUO), a human rights NGO committed to helping disadvantaged, poor and marginalized people in Kenya…

October 14, 2016

He Came with Challenges and Left with Solutions

by Michael Otto in Bambang at the legal empowerment learning exchange, May 2015.

Bambang Pradityo works for KBH Bogor in Indonesia. KBH Bogor is a legal aid organization that uses paralegals to help local farming communities and labor unions understand and advocate for their rights. Bambang, however, has faced significant challenges in his work. Efforts to build a strong paralegal network were not going well, and finding sustainable funding…

July 14, 2016

Shamima’s Story: Maternal Care and Citizenship in Bangladesh

by Laura Goodwin in

Shamima cannot afford health care. Not even at the government hospitals. Like most members of the minority Urdu-speaking community in Khulna, in southwest Bangladesh, she and her husband do not have enough to meet their basic needs. With his income as an autorickshaw driver, they can only afford to rent a one-room house. The counselor’s…

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