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Volunteer OverseasVolunteer Overseas

Professional Volunteering Opportunities in Human Rights, Tanzania

Overview
  • POSITION: Lawyer
  • PLACEMENT LOCATION: Arusha
  • REQUIREMENTS: Degree in Law
  • ACCOMMODATION: Host family
  • LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
  • START DATES: Flexible

A lawyer volunteering in Tanzania discusses a legal case with a local colleague.

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.

This project is a great opportunity to learn more about the juvenile justice system, inheritance law, and family law in a developing country, while helping to defend the rights of the vulnerable.

Here you will find answers to the following questions:

How can volunteer lawyer help in Tanzania?

What will I gain from this project?

What will Projects Abroad PRO provide?

What skills or qualifications do I need?

How can volunteer lawyer help in Tanzania?

As a professional Lawyer, you will be supporting the work of one of two partner organizations we work with in Tanzania: The Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA) or the Health Integrated Multisectoral Services (HIMS).

TAWLA is an NGO that was founded in 1989 by a group of female lawyers. They recognized the need for an organization that would promote equal rights for vulnerable and marginalized groups, especially women and children. We have partnered with them because we are also passionate about helping women and children in Tanzania. TAWLA provides free legal services to a large number of clients, and are therefore in need of assistance from professional lawyers.

HIMS is an organization that works with marginalized groups in the areas of education, health and socio-economic empowerment. They educate communities about issues such as female genital mutilation (FGM), HIV/AIDS, the rights of the disabled, family planning, and traditions and beliefs that are gender discriminatory. We have partnered with HIMS because we share their mission of helping marginalized groups, and are working with them to raise awareness of a number of human rights issues, especially FGM.

On arrival, if you express in a certain field, we will help you choose the better project partner to work with for you. If you stay at the project for a longer period of time, you could be able to spend time working at both placements. Your enthusiasm and dedication in supporting the rights of marginalized groups in society, alongside your legal experience and expertise, will help TAWLA and/or HIMS in reaching out to more individuals in need of support.

As a professional lawyer, you will also get the opportunity to work closely with the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office (PAHRO) in Tanzania. By working with the PAHRO, you will be able to provide support to those who have faced human rights violations and educate communities about equality and human rights.

You will work 6-7 hours a day, from Monday to Friday.

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):

  • Assist with regular visits to women's groups and a juvenile centre.
  • Draft legal documents related to family, property, criminal, and general matters.
  • Prepare legal training for the women's groups.
  • Prepare for and attend court sessions for criminal proceedings.
  • Draft a range of legal documents.
  • Provide legal advice to members of the local community.
  • Raise awareness through facilitating workshops at a juvenile detention centre and women’s meetings.
  • Use expertise to train staff and other 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.

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