In late March of 2008 LWOB along with several other African NGO’s was invited to Nairobi Kenya to participate in a week long workshop exploring mechanisms, best practices and unique initiatives targeting the customary and legal obstacles affecting inheritance rights and land ownership rights of women and children throughout Africa.
LWOB has had lawyers working on these issues for the last several years and the workshop provided an ideal opportunity to work with in-country local organizations on concrete ways to tackle the problem.
Representatives from thirty NGO’s from 8 countries in Africa attended the workshop whose goal was to educate the NGOs on small grant programs designed to promote work on the critical topic and to identify and share the several different mechanisms proposed by NGO’s focused on inheritance and land ownership legal issues. During the week long sessions the groups in attendance shared their program models, objectives, goals and aspirations. Flavia Trevisani, LWOB’s representative from Hartford who attended the event, presented Lawyers Without Borders CHIRP and WORTHWHILE models.
As a result of LWOB’s participation in the workshop, a formal partnering was formed between LWOB and a Kigali based NGO to partner on a year long joint program proposal implementing LWOB”s “CHIRP” (Child Inheritance Rights Project) and “WORTHWHILE” (Women’s Rights To Have Worth, Homes and Inherit Land and Estates) in Rwanda.
While in Nairobi our representative was able to meet with other international aid actors whose work dovetails with LWOB Kenya gender based rule of law programming involving migration and refugee women and girls. Talks have taken place with UNHCR relating to cooperation and collaboration to deliver the LWOB Access to Justice Program for Women and Girls focusing primarily on refugees in the region. Ms. Trevisani also met with our partners at FIDA who are involved with planning and launch of LWOB’s second annual STTAT Program (Support Through Trial Advocacy Training) on domestic violence to take place in Nairobi August 9th through the 16th. LWOB will be fielding a team of fourteen lawyers to Kenya this summer, thanks to a broad funding coalition, for the week long domestic violence trial training of fifty (50) Kenyan lawyers using the NITA “learn by doing” trial advocacy training model.