The Drive for Lawyers
Malawi is in desperate need of lawyers and the Soko Fund can provide access to higher education for women to train as lawyers. Through this professional qualification, these women's social and economic situation will improve dramatically but also they will contribute to Malawi's development
The Soko Fund
In 2006, more than fifty percent of prisoners in Malawi were on remand awaiting trial and some had stayed for more than seven years in prison without having their cases heard in court (source: Anderson 2006). There are 300 lawyers for 11 million people in Malawi (Nyirenda 2004), representing a ratio of 1:40,000. Malawi is in desperate need of more qualified lawyers to ensure that trials are conducted and human rights abuses avoided.
Studentships will be made available within the two main universities in Malawi and offered to women to enable them to complete a law degree within Malawi. This will provide a new generation of qualified personnel entering the law profession. These lawyers will be both Malawi trained and work within the Malawian legal system, thus, allowing Malawi to resolve its own difficulties.
To support 40 women to access a higher education qualification in Law
Activities» Through our existing studentship systems within the University of Malawi, the Soko Fund will offer studentships in the Law faculty.
Success will be that 40 women are practising law within Malawi
The women trained through the Fund's support will serve within the Malawian justice system and enable everyone to gain an equal access to legal representation. This will lead to a re-balance of Malawi's legal system, which claims to offer support to all equally, regardless of financial circumstances.
There is a risk that some of the students may drop out from the programme. However, the Soko Fund has been working since 2004 and our drop out rate has been 4%. We believe that the high drop out rate of women in education, in Malawi, is primarily financial. Consequently, once these students have financial security the drop out rate is very low. Also, the Fund has good relationships with the university and this will ensure another candidate is found to fill the vacancy.
Donors will allocated an individual student to follow their progress through the degree. As such, they will be given a yearly report on the students' progress and results. Also, donors will receive a biannual newsletter and will be able interact with students and the Fund through our Facebook page.
Budget - Project Cost: £65,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £60,000 studentships These will provide for the students' fees, accommodation and a small book fund £5,000 administration This will enable the fund to administer the studentships
Malawi is one of the world's poorest countries, with a low life expectancy (56) and a high infant mortality. Per capita income in Malawi is $322 in comparison to the UK which is $36,120 (2010 UN). However, since 2007, Malawi has been progressing economically and with the education and health systems. This is the time to support Malawi to develop from within.
The main beneficiaries from the project will be the women themselves who become lawyers. There is considerable evidence to suggest that educating women not only improves their economic status but also improve the health and education of their children. Thus giving Malawi a stronger and better educated future generation. In this project, these women will also contribute to reducing human rights abuses, and the development of Malawi itself through an increase in qualified lawyers
The Soko Fund has successfully supported women to gain access to university in Malawi to study education, medicine, nutrition, and agriculture for the past 7 years. In that time, we have established good networks within the higher education system in Malawi.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Prof Lenard Kamwanja
Prof Kamwanja has been working within the Malawian higher education system for the past 30 years. He was Pro Vice Chancellor of Malawi until Apr 2011.
Prof Gordon Graham
Prof Graham has over 35 years of working within higher education within the UK and USA. His knowledge will be key in delivering our aims.
Ms Graham has worked as a teacher in Malawi and is currently the Secretary to the Fund. She administers and liaises with the universities.
Mr Kerr was the head of social work department in the UK and is now a consultant assessing the effectiveness of training.