On 2nd November 2019, the graduation for the first Sheria Mashinani training cohort took place. This came as no surprise; given 2019 has been quite a zestful year for the program. The program stemmed from a partnership between Crime Si Poa and Strathmore Law Clinic that aimed at extending legal empowerment to informal settlements of Kenya. The goal was to combat crime within the communities by equipping the youth with necessary knowledge on criminal and business laws. To this end, a manual addressing different areas of the law; like criminal Procedure, basic human rights, labor laws and the law on business associations was created. This was meant to assist in conducting the weekly sessions, where the beneficiaries were to be enlightened on the law.
The first informal settlement that the program reached out to was Kibra. Seeing as it is the biggest urban slum in Africa, a sense of urgency prompted its prioritization. As a result, 40 youth leaders from all the 13 villages were selected as the first cohort. This process was followed by interactive sessions conducted at Strathmore Law Clinic every week, for a span of three months.
By the end of these sessions, the Sheria Mashinani organizing team had identified the most devoted leaders, who proceeded onto the next stage that involved community outreach sessions within Kibra. Here, the beneficiaries spearheaded the discussions with members of community at the SHOFCO halls, and answered crucial questions that were posed regarding the law. This stage was an important measure of success for the program, as the Sheria Mashinani organizing team was able to gauge the beneficiaries’ ability to relay the information they had been taught. Once it was determined that the beneficiaries no longer required supervision during the outreach sessions, a graduation was in order. The 26 finalists who successfully completed the program were then honored with a completion certificate at the Strathmore Grounds on 2nd November.
The next stage will be to actively involve the graduates in paralegal services to the community with the help of Crime Si Poa, the Strathmore Law Clinic and SHOFCO. A revolution is calling, and Kibra just answered. We congratulate our graduates and wish them all the best moving forward.
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