Professional Volunteering Opportunities in Human Rights, Tanzania
Volunteer lawyers are needed in Tanzania. Both customary and Islamic law in Tanzania limit women’s inheritance rights. Customary Law can deny women all their inheritance, leaving it to her children, with the girls receiving the smallest share. Islamic Law limits the inheritance to half that of the men.
This can leave women impoverished and totally reliant on the men. Procedural Law exacerbates this by choosing men to manage the deceased’s estate.
Top this off with widespread property grabbing and female evictions under witchcraft accusations, and women in polygamous relationships having to further split their inheritance with the extended family, and you can understand why there is a real need for reform of inheritance and property right laws in Tanzania.
Professional lawyers can help by volunteering and helping empower women by providing legal assistance for those who have suffered injustice.
Education can also help by educating leaders and pastors about inheritance law and property rights and how to support widows following the death of their husbands, while protecting them from abuse.
Here you will find answers to the following questions:
How can volunteer lawyer help in Tanzania?
As a professional Lawyer, you will be supporting the work of Inherit Your Rights (IYR), a Tanzanian NGO set up in 2011 by two lawyers.
They set up IYR so it would become an effective vehicle to empower individuals to claim their property and inheritance rights. They are approaching this through education, empowerment and legal representation. For too long, widows in Tanzania have been outside the protection of the law, with no hope and no access to justice. IYR seeks to put women at the centre of the law, assisting them to assert, exercise and defend their legal rights.
Your enthusiasm and dedication in supporting the rights of women suffering within an unjust legal system, alongside your legal experience and expertise, will help IYR in reaching out to more individuals in need of support.
You will work from 18-35 hours a week - and sometimes out of hours - depending on the individual project and how you develop your role with your project supervisor.
This project runs all year.
What will I gain from this project?
You will be involved with a friendly and highly dedicated team who are committed to the service they provide. Working with often limited resources and staff lacking technical knowledge and training, you will be able to adapt and develop your existing expertise to a different working environment. You will often face challenges not experienced in your home country. Through this cultural exchange you will learn different methodologies and techniques in your own discipline.
You will also have the opportunity to develop skills and experience in a wide variety of areas. These could be (and are project dependent)
- Assessment of the needs of the project partner.
- Collaborating with the project partner to develop more efficient and effective systems in the workplace.
- Collaborate with the project partner to develop outreach programs in the local community and beyond.
- Use your expertise to train staff and other volunteers.
- Using your initiative and problem solving skills to develop, set up and manage projects/programs.
- Monitor existing or new projects/programs.
- Develop and contribute to project evaluation reports to help with continuity between volunteers.
All of these can provide you with valuable experience and transferable skills useful for your career, and make valuable use of your existing expertise where it is truly needed.
What will Projects Abroad PRO provide?
We have over 20 years’ experience of running volunteer projects. We provide you with the following support to make sure your time in Tanzania is successful and enjoyable:
- Safe accommodation with a Tanzanian family close to your project.
- Friendly and dedicated local staff available to help 24 hours a day.
- A friendly member of staff available to meet you on arrival at the airport.
- Medical and travel insurance.
What skills or qualifications do I need?
If you have at least a degree in Law or a related subject then you will be suited for this project.
Ideally, a qualified Lawyer would also possess at least two years’ experience of practicing professionally.
Experience with Inheritance Law, Human Rights Law, and any other related specialism will be of huge value. Please discuss this with us on application.
If you are interested in this project but don’t have the relevant experience, then please read about our standard Human Rights project in Tanzania.