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Volunteer Overseas

Professional Volunteering Opportunities in Human Rights, Tanzania

  • Placement location: Arusha
  • Requirements: Degree in Law
  • Accommodation: Host family
  • Length of placement: From 2 weeks
  • Start Dates: Flexible

Volunteer lawyers are needed in Tanzania. Both customary and Islamic law in Tanzania limit women’s inheritance rights. Customary Law can deny women all their inheritance, leaving it to her children, with the girls receiving the smallest share. Islamic Law limits the inheritance to half that of the men.

This can leave women impoverished and totally reliant on the men. Procedural Law exacerbates this by choosing men to manage the deceased’s estate.

Top this off with widespread property grabbing and female evictions under witchcraft accusations, and women in polygamous relationships having to further split their inheritance with the extended family, and you can understand why there is a real need for reform of inheritance and property right laws in Tanzania.

Professional lawyers can help by volunteering and helping empower women by providing legal assistance for those who have suffered injustice.

Education can also help by educating leaders and pastors about inheritance law and property rights and how to support widows following the death of their husbands, while protecting them from abuse.

Here you will find answers to the following questions:

How can volunteer lawyer help in Tanzania?

What will I gain from this project?

What will Projects Abroad PRO provide?

What skills or qualifications do I need?

How can volunteer lawyer help in Tanzania?

As a professional Lawyer, you will be supporting the work of the Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA) and Health Integrated Multisectoral Services (HIMS). All the while working closely with the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office (PAHRO) in Tanzania - where volunteers provide support to those who have faced human rights violations, and educate communities about equality and human rights.

TAWLA is an NGO that was founded in 1989 by a group of female lawyers. They recognised the need for an organisation that would promote equal rights for vulnerable and marginalised groups - especially women and children in Tanzania. Today, they provide free legal services and have a large number of clients, so they desperately need assistance from professional lawyers.

Voluntary work as a lawyer in Tanzania

HIMS, on the other hand, is an organisation that works with marginalised groups in the areas of education, health and socioeconomic empowerment. They educate communities about issues such as female genital mutilation (FGM), HIV/AIDS, the rights of the disabled, family planning, and traditions and beliefs that are gender discriminatory. Projects Abroad has partnered with them because we share their mission of helping marginalised groups and we are working with them to raise awareness on a number of human rights issues.

This project is a great opportunity to learn more about the juvenile justice system, inheritance law, and family law in a developing country, while helping to defend the rights of the vulnerable.

Your enthusiasm and dedication in supporting the rights of women suffering within an unjust legal system, alongside your legal experience and expertise, will help individuals in dire need of support.

You will work 6-7 hours a day from Monday to Friday, depending on the individual project and how you develop your role with your project supervisor.

This project runs all year.

What will I gain from this project?

You will be involved with a friendly and highly dedicated team who are committed to the service they provide. Working with often limited resources and staff lacking technical knowledge and training, you will be able to adapt and develop your existing expertise to a different working environment. You will often face challenges not experienced in your home country. Through this cultural exchange you will learn different methodologies and techniques in your own discipline.

You will also have the opportunity to develop skills and experience in a wide variety of areas. These could be:

  • Assist with regular visits to women's groups and a juvenile centre.
  • Draft legal documents related to family, property, criminal, and general matters. 
  • Prepare legal training for the women's groups.
  • Use your expertise to train staff and other volunteers.
  • Prepare for and attend court sessions for criminal proceedings.
  • Draft a range of legal documents.
  • Provide legal advice to members of the local community.
  • Raise awareness through facilitating workshops at a juvenile detention centre and women's meetings.
  • Use expertise to train staff and other volunteers.

All of these can provide you with valuable experience and transferable skills useful for your career, and make valuable use of your existing expertise where it is truly needed.

What will Projects Abroad PRO provide?

We have over 20 years’ experience of running volunteer projects. We provide you with the following support to make sure your time in Tanzania is successful and enjoyable:

  • Safe accommodation with a Tanzanian family close to your project.
  • Friendly and dedicated local staff available to help 24 hours a day.
  • A friendly member of staff available to meet you on arrival at the airport.
  • Medical and travel insurance.

What skills or qualifications do I need?

If you have at least a Bachelors Degree in Law or a related subject then you will be suited for this project.

Ideally, a qualified Lawyer would also possess at least two years’ experience of practicing professionally.

Experience with Inheritance Law, Human Rights Law, and any other related specialism will be of huge value. Please discuss this with us on application.

If you are interested in this project but don’t have the relevant experience, then please read about our regular Human Rights project in Tanzania.

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