"Our laws are beautiful, but they are simply not enforced." Rwandan judge
Ravaged by genocide, a land the size of Wales and yet one of the most densely populated country in Africa, it would be easy to overlook this beautiful country. However a small group of committed Christian lawyers saw a better future for their country and founded Lawyers of Hope in late 2006.
LCF support the core costs of Lawyers of Hope in order to empower them to identify and take control over the focus and activities of the work. As a result of a couple of very successful partnerships with other NGOs they are successfully running a range of community education seminars focussed on child rights (including abuse, family matters, schooling and birth registration). As part of these sessions, community child rights representatives are being trained to ensure follow through and support after the seminar for any seeking further advice.
Above: Lawyers of Hope Conference
These projects have had such a great impact that they have now been extended into other areas of rural Rwanda, and are literally saving lives. One young girl, on the brink of suicide following repeated abuse from her stepmother, was rescued by the Child Rights representative and is now safe and the family is receiving ongoing support.
They are also currently involved in 3 juvenile prisons in Kigali. This partnership arose following success in a previous similar project, where Lawyers of Hope were recognised with an award for their integrity and commitment, as well as the successes they secured in working with minors in pre-trial detention. Many of these young people are innocent of the alleged crime; many more have been detained longer in pre-trial detention than the length of sentence they would receive if convicted. Since June 2013, they have been able to assist over 100 young people seeking fairness within their circumstances.