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Meet Albert Gasake

Posted by International LCF on 09 04 2010

Meet Albert Gasake, Prison Project Manager.

 

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26 year old Albert is the newest recruit to the growing Lawyers of Hope (LOH) team, our CLEAR partners in Rwanda.  Albert has just been appointed as the Prison Project Manager. 

 

This small project is running to the end of 2010 to provide legal advice and assistance to prisoners in Kigali Central and Remera prisons.  LOH and Albert hope that this will be the beginning of a longer term project providing legal assistance and ultimately representation for prisoners.

 

Albert is a graduate of the National University of Rwanda and came to work with LOH because he wants to be an agent of change, especially in relation to vulnerable groups.  Albert has worked with various voluntary organisations since his secondary school where he helped to set up ARG (Association des Elèves Rescapés du Genocide), an association working with student genocide survivors which created artificial families with elected parents from the student body. 

 

Albert was the father to 25 students, responsible for ensuring that his “children” studied well and raising money to meet their needs.  At university Albert founded DUHANARANIRE-KUBAHO (Fight for Survival), with which he is still actively engaged, empowering young survivors to gain knowledge and skills to look after themselves and aiding them to face the loneliness, poverty and trauma of genocide.

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Albert believes that horrific events can be an engine for change – on a personal and national level.  When we asked him what he hoped for through working with LOH he said “I think a day spent without doing anything kind is a wasted day and I’m looking forward to the day when a prisoner calls me to tell me that he has been released because of our intervention.

LLST CLEAR Walk: 17 May 2010

Posted by International LCF on 09 04 2010

LLST Sponsored Walk 2010 - CLEAR Team!

 CLEAR-LLST.gifWe have teamed up with the London Legal Support Trust to host an LCF CLEAR International team for the annual Sponsored Walk 2010. 

The Walk takes place on May 17 from 5:30pm. Walkers pass along a 10 km route, through the Temple to the Millennium Bridge, along the South bank, up past Buckingham Palace, round Green Park, returning through St James Park and Horseguards Parade, then along to the Law Society... where Allen & Overy will buy all walkers a drink!

Click here, to read more about the invaluable work of that our CLEAR partners have been doing in 2010.

 If you would like to join hundreds of other sponsored London lawyers, raising money for CLEAR, enjoying scenic London, and being rewarded with a free drink from A&O, then email us now.

At a time of acute financial pressure for CLEAR, play your part in the fight for justice internationally.

God bless,

Mathew Price, International Director

‘Seniors’ Mission Trip 2010

Posted by International LCF on 11 03 2010

Every Autumn a team of qualified lawyers, led by the LCF International Director, travel to East Africa to get a taste of what life is like legal-mission style.  This year our new International Director, Matthew Price, will lead a team to visit and assist at various CLEAR offices, encouraging staff and volunteers, and perhaps even getting involved in the local prisons work. 

If you are interested in seeing legal mission first hand, are free from 1 to 16 October 2010, and would like to know more, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  for further details.

Matthew Price meets the Interns…

Posted by International LCF on 05 03 2010

 

Meeting CLEAR Kenya (Christian Legal Education Aid and Research)

Matthew’s trip to Kenya went well. Covering all four offices (Nairobi, Eldoret, Kisumu and Mombasa) in four days was an ambitious schedule and he was exhausted when he returned home, but it was certainly worthwhile. He was able to spend a morning with CLEAR Kenya’s country director, Joy, meet with the leadership of the Kenya Christian Lawyers’ Fraternity and also meet the staff in each of the offices. We trust that the relationships that were begun on this trip will continue and grow in the years to come as LCF UK continues to support the work of the KCLF and CLEAR Kenya. It was particularly encouraging to witness first hand the commitment of the staff to serving the poor and needy in their community. He is now in the process of working with the international committee of the LCF to discern how we best support the work in Kenya going forward.

One of the practical ways in which LCF supports CLEAR in Kenya (and UCLF in Uganda together with their sister organisation in Rwanda) is by sending interns to work alongside the local staff. Usually these interns are recent law graduates who offer around six months to work with one of the projects. Whilst in Kenya, Matthew spent 24 hours with two of the current interns. Stuart (based in Kisumu) and Helen (based in Mombasa) were a real encouragement. Matthew took the opportunity to help them think about how their internship was going and how God was at work in them during this time

Please pray for them both as they continue to serve in this way – they will both be in Kenya until around the end of June.

Riots in Kamapala

Posted by International LCF on 05 03 2010

04/03/2010

Last September rioting took place in and around Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Many people were arrested, with a large percentage of these believed to have been innocent bystanders

Matthew and Anna Price, tell us of the encouraging work at the Ugandan Christian Lawyers’ Fraternity (UCLF), in ensuring that those arrested were given access to fair representation for their trial.  

The riots
Last September’s riots occurred when police and supporters of a traditional king violently clashed.

Demonstrators were protesting against the government's attempts to stop the king of Buganda, King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, from visiting a hostile region of his community, north-east of Kampala.

credit: Wall St Journal

At least two people were killed in the riots, but a witness said that he had counted seven bodies, adding that all the victims appeared to be civilians.

credit: sarahemcc

Rounded up

At the time of the riots, the press was reporting that 500 people were arrested, but some more recent estimations put that figure as high as 1,000.

 

As you can imagine, it seems many people were rounded up by the police simply because they were in the wrong place and the international donor community has expressed some concern that fair trials are afforded to all those arrested.

Ensuring justice

Because of UCLF’s expertise in this area, we have now been approached by a Danish donor – DANIDA, to coordinate the response of a number of legal aid providers to ensure all those charged receive representation as they are brought for trial.

This is an excellent opportunity to stand alongside a marginalised group and ensure that justice is done – and seen to be done – in what is a particularly politically charged context.

Please pray

Please pray for Eunice, Suzanne and Solomon, the UCLF criminal public defence team. Eunice and Suzanne will be taking on much of the representation in the 2009 riot cases, so pray that God’s justice reigns.

Praise God that this team, together with members offering their services for free, are now active in almost all the Chief Magistrate’s courts in Kampala.

MEDIATION TRAINING IN KENYA

Posted by International LCF on 30 10 2009

Because of changes in the law, Kenyan lawyers require training in new techniques of mediation and our Uk lawyers were asked to deliver it. The two days in Kisumu and Nairobi were very well received. Five members of staff from the Anti Corruption Commission also attended the course.web_mediation_training.jpg  

She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain

Posted by International LCF on 30 10 2009

web_mt_longonot_group.jpgAt the beginning of October, Christine John (International Director of CLEAR) and ten brave souls from the UK and Kenya took on Mount Longonot. Their courageous efforts were rewarded by a breathtaking view from the peak as well as a whopping £1500 raised, all of which will help people who currently have little access to justice. Well done team - we're proud of you!

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL VISITS NAIROBI!

Posted by Admin on 08 09 2009

Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General of England and Wales made a surprise visit to the CLEAR project in Nairobi 21st November. The staff and volunteers were very excited to receive such recognition of their work and they hope this will assist in their bid to take part in JLOS (the major donor governance aid programme). Having shared his own experience of pro bono work, Lord Goldsmith told the local press that he was pleased to meet with a project which was actually taking and running cases.

AGgerrytalk_001.jpgThe Attorney General and CLEAR staff share their experience of pro bono work in the fight against injustice from 2 very different continents

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Summer Conferences

Posted by Admin on 08 09 2009

Commonwealth Lawyers' Association

CLEAR was priviledged to appear at the CLA Conference in Nairobi in September, speaking at a fringe meeting

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The CLEAR team

And they ran a workshop for other African lawyers -

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-at the Advocates Africa Conference in Mombasa

Social Enterprise Expands in Mombasa

tuks2.jpgThe first businesses are underway in Mombasa and now Eldoret! The photocopying services at the court have been expanded, providing free copies of charge sheets to remand prisoners (who otherwise would not know what they are charged with) and covering its costs and making a small profit through services to advocates.

In addition, the first 3 tuk tuks have taken to the road, using local drivers and making an estimated profit, after deductions for replacement, mantenance and running costs, of KSH 39,000 (approximately £300) p.m.

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And our swahili house is now fully rented at KSH 20,000p.m. with 3 more being acquired through a donor's generosity

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AND ELSEWHERE

Posted by Admin on 08 09 2009

  • Parties were thrown in different parts of the country -wedding anniversaries, birthdays and just for fun - and guests were asked to donate rather than give presents
  • Marathons and half marathons were run
  • Brochures were circulated in law firms and collections taken
  • Talks were given in churches and law firms
  • Some law firms matched funds raised by employees
  • Andre completed a triathlon!

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A huge thank you to all who took part last year - and if you didn't, start thinking of ideas!

We are hoping to double the activities and funds raised in 2008.

Human Rights for Prison Officers!

Posted by Admin on 08 09 2009

This is not quite what it looks........

Over 100 prison officers from 7 Kenyan Coast Province prisons attended a conference hosted by CLEAR to discuss what human rights meant for the people in their charge. Speakers at the conference included Victor Kamau, CLEAR's senior advocate specialising in human rights and Miss Wanini Kireri, Assistant Commissioner of Prisons.  Miss Kireri strongly supports those who wish to see humane conditions in the prisons and has received the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Award twice for her work in prison reform.  She described the CLEAR conference in the following terms; ‘it is a dream come true that prison officers are able to sit together like this and talk about human rights’.  The conference came about when guards at prisons in which CLEAR staff were working with prisoners asked about training for themselves.

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CLEAR Staff and Pro Bono Lawyers Visit IDP Camps

Posted by Admin on 08 09 2009

Lawyers from the KCLF's CLEAR project visited Internally Displaced People in the camp at Haruma, where they distributed gifts of webIDPvisittohuruma.jpgessential items whilst looking at the issues of injustice that they will shortly be documenting and pursuing for clients just such as these.

Joyce, our CLEAR Advocate in Nairobican be seen getting to grips with one of life's essentials!

In all offices, including Eldoret and Kisumu, work is currently back to normal, except for the increased clientele.

 

INVITATION: Get Out of Jail Fee – The Great UK Lock Up!

Posted by Admin on 08 09 2009

 

In many countries in sub Saharan Africa men, women and children wait for years on remand for trials that may end with no witnesses ever appearing for the prosecution. Often they have no idea of the charges laid against them and, with no legal aid, they are spectators at their hearing; a lack of education compounding their plight, born out of poverty.

CLEAR projects provide pro bono legal aid and education to the poorest in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda – and we would like to expand our support for Nigeria and Ghana.

Once a year we run a CLEAR 100 campaign, looking to supporters to get involved in sponsored activity to raise at least £100 for the work overseas. Every penny raised is used to support the work in Africa.

As part of this year’s campaign we are encouraging local groups of lawyers, students and churches to raise awareness of the injustice meted out to the poor by agreeing to be “locked up” – from 7p.m. to 7 a.m. – and to raise at least £100 from sponsors  for “bail” (£50 for students) to secure their release. Your local coordinator will be notifying you of the date and venue for the great lock up in your area and you are invited to take part in what will be (almost) an African prison experience – see the reverse of the enclosed summons for what you have in store!

  • £100 buys representation for at least 4 young offenders when they are brought before the Magistrates for the first time.
  • £100 pays for a rural legal education seminar teaching on  human rights and developing the mediation role of local leaders
  • £100 pays for a training session for a group of para-legals within a prison so that they are able to educate fellow inmates on how to represent themselves at their upcoming remand hearings.

CAN YOU GET A LOCAL GROUP TOGETHER?
If so, download the instructions and tools for the task, or contact Christine John

CAN YOU RAISE £100?   IT’S JUST ONE NIGHT
Some of our clients spend 5 years or more awaiting trial for relatively minor offences….GO ON! GET INVOLVED.

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