AdvocAid is seeking your support to provide 360 girls and women with access to justice and an education in Sierra Leone. Our Paralegals, Duty Lawyers and Legal Officer will provide free legal aid to some of the country's most vulnerable women, at risk of being caught up in an archaic, often corrupt and frequently unjust legal system, whilst our partnership with EducAid will provide literacy classes in Correctional Centres across Freetown, Makeni and Kenema.
In Sierra Leone, over half the people in jail have not been convicted of a crime. Without the concept of 'innocent until proven guilty' people sit behind bars for months awaiting trial. Women in particular are highly vulnerable; poverty means they can rarely afford legal services, and low education leads to many admitting guilt inadvertently. Amidst this weak system AdvocAid is the only provider of free holistic legal support for women. Ebola has further shattered an already very poor country.
With your support AdvocAid will provide access to justice to at least 288 women. Paralegals will provide legal assistance to women in detention including securing bail, whilst our Legal Officer and Duty Counsel Lawyers will ensure free court representation. We will also deliver free literacy classes in Freetown, Kenema and Makeni Correctional Centres to 70 women behind bars, in partnership with EducAid, providing these women with an education, making them stronger upon release.
This project seeks to ensure women in Sierra Leone have critical access to justice, along with access to literacy and numeracy classes. Only 38% of women in Sierra Leone are literate, with just 9% of women accessing secondary education or higher. By running classes in Correctional Centres, this project seeks to ensure women gain something when behind bars, so they can leave the prison system stronger, better equipped, and hopefully less likely to run into conflict with the law once released.