lawclubs.jpgTeddy Musiga, a law student at Moi University, Eldoret and CLEAR student intern has developed a legal awareness program for Kisumu students. For the past year, CLEAR has been visiting the law clubs of four local high schools, Kassagam, Kisumu Day, Kisumu Girls and Xaverian to educate  aspiring young lawyers about  Kenyan law and the judiciary.”We talk about our fundamental rights, and the things that affect us every day, like rape cases in the newspapers. When we have advocates we talk about contemporary issues” said a Xaverian student.  The group of 15-18 year-olds meet on a weekly basis to discuss law, and welcome Teddy’s input and instruction.ianm6458_edit_small.jpgAn aspiring lawyer himself, Teddy’s enthusiasm for the law is evident in his lectures. He drops his papers and allows the students to ask questions and relate law to their own experiences. Teddy discusses where law comes from, why we need laws, and topics such as the sexual offenses act, children’s law, and the right to health and a clean environment.”We want them to one, pursue law as a career, and two, to act as para legals,” said Teddy. “People are very ignorant of the law, so we thought we could train a given number of people who can then assist others. And some of the things we are trying to tell them will reach their families as well.”At Kassagam the students are a little younger but they listen intently as Teddy illustrates the law of tort by pointing out the window at the playing field, explaining that if the playing field belonged to the farmer next door and a student was hurt while trespassing on the farmers land, he or she would not be able to sue for damages. However, if a student were hurt while in the school because of negligence by school officials they would be eligible to file a case.Student David Otieno values the legal program, “I wanted to learn law to know how to defend myself and to help other people, so I can argue with people that they must do the right thing.” Wrongly accused at the age of 14, he spent three months in juvenile before securing his release with the help of an advocate. Now he wants to become an advocate to help others in his community.Altruism aside, there is a dire need for advocates in Kenya. “For a population of 38 million, there are only an estimated 7000 registered lawyers in Kenya, and not all are in active practice,” said Peter. “People ask if we really need lawyers, if its a viable profession. Society seriously needs them, I always tell them that.”

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