Project Coordinator and Treasurer of Legal Access through Women Yearning for Equality Rights and Social Justice (L.A.W.Y.E.R.S), Christiana Davies- Cole has said that 2012 was a successful year for the organization in relation to the work they are doing.
Explaining about the 2012 programmes Davies- Cole said the organization received funding from different organization to implement projects relating to Gender Based Violence (GBV) and all of the programmes were successful.
In January 2012, she said UNFPA entered into an agreement with LAWYERS as implementing partners for a period of one year starting from 1stJuly 2012 to 31st December 2012.
The activities undertaken for this project the project Coordinator said included sensitizations in Kono District on the gender act, training of 10 paralegals on legal education and procedures, support the 10 trained paralegals in reaching out to the communities and providing support to the identified GBV victims, andadvocate for the enforcement of the registration of customary marriages by targeting 3 councils and 30 marriage couples at the community levels.
She disclosed further that on 27th June 2012, UNWOMEN entered into a Project Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with LAWYERS for a period of six months, which started from 2nd July 2012 and was completed by 10th December 2012.
The stated objectives for the project were to raise awareness of the populations in Eastern and Western region of Sierra Leone on legislation on VAW and existing protection services, upgrade the Kenema and Freetown legal aid clinics into one stop centres to be able to provide immediate legal interventions and protection services to survivors of VAW on notification, collaborate with UN Women office in Freetown to support the functional roles of the Family support Unit in Kenema.
Davies-Cole said her organization also received funding from UNIPSIL to open two information court desks at the Pademba Road and Kenema Courts, which she said has been implemented.
About their ratings the LAWYERS project Coordinator disclosed that they had much work done last year (2012) as compared to 2011. And that through the help especially from UNFPA 263 victims of GBV were represented in Court.
By Betty Milton