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UVic Law Students for Human Rights through Legal Education (HRLE) promotes human rights by working with international legal and paralegal aid centers. We believe that access to justice is a global issue and that law is a necessary tool that must be used to achieve equality. Legal and paralegal aid centers are important actors in the struggle for equality because they allow disadvantaged people to learn about their legal rights and have access to legal representation. Currently, we are working with the Mwanza Paralegal Aid Centre (MWAPACE), a paralegal center based in Mwanza, Tanzania. Volunteer paralegals and lawyers from this organization travel from village to village by bicycle, mediating family conflicts, teaching legal rights through lectures, song and dance, and providing pro bono representation in courts to women and children when necessary.

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Updates for 2012-2013

Thank you to everyone who has participated in our events and has contributed to MWAPACE during the 2012-2013 school year. Over the past year, we raised funds within the school through hosting a trivia night, a bake sale, and a singer-songwriter open mic night. Click here to go to our HRLE information page to see photos from these events.

We would also like to thank Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP and Miller Thomson LLP for their support. They joined us this year as sponsors of MWAPACE.

In December 2012, we sponsored a 3-day legal rights training session in Mwanza City hosted by MWAPACE. The session focused on the rights of women to inherit and hold property, the inheritance rights of extramarital children, the rights of people affected by HIV, and family law. Photos and information are available here.

We worked together with the Society for the Advancement of Law and Education in Africa to build a new centre for MWAPACE. We had a successful online crowdsourcing campaign that surpassed its goal of raising $5,500 towards construction! Click here to view the campaign and a video on MWAPACE. Construction on the building began in Feburary and was completed in April. Click here for more information and photos.

Finally, we would like to thank Young Pioneer Tours who arranged for a volunteer tour group to assist with the construction of the new building. On the three-week tour, the members also participated in legal training sessions and taught at local schools in Mwanza and Ukerewe. For more information about future tours, please see the Young Pioneer Tours website.

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HRLE is associated with The Society for the Advancement of Law and Education in Africa.