Experiences shared by participants from
Learning Exchange Program
“As legal empowerment practitioners we have no choice but to constantly adapt and study tours like the one Namati organized for us in Bangladesh is exactly what our profession needs to share ideas and question our programming assumptions. At the end of the day it’s about serving our beneficiaries and we owe them the best possible service we can provide and that often requires us stepping out of our established comfort zones and listening to the experience of others.”
BNWLA has hosted a Learning Exchange Program in collaboration with NAMATI from 28th October to 13th November, 2015. Namati is working with the grassroots level legal advocates for protecting community lands, seeking environmental justice, realizing the right to health, securing citizenship rights and empowering woman. Through Global Legal Empowerment Network Namati offers practitioners an opportunity to meet and gain knowledge from each other individually by addressing general challenges and improving legal empowerment methods. Thirteen participants from the countries like Nigeria, Tanzania, Egypt, Myanmar, Lebanon and Jordan participated in the Learning Exchange Program.
The Learning Exchange Program started with an Orientation Program where Towhida Khondker, Director
Legal, BNWLA gave introductory speech. In this session, participants exchanged their sharing on the activities of their respective organizations. They also figured out the challenges they face in their respective organizations like fund raising, case management with evaluation, legal knowledge, monitoring, capacity of CSO’s and sustainability of project activities.
After the Orientation Program, Adv. Fawzia Karim Firoze, President, BNWLA & Honorary Member, National Human Rights Commission and Adv. Salma Ali, Executive Director, BNWLA attended the welcome dinner with all participants.
Participants visited BNWLA office on 1st November, 2015 and an interactive session on “Obstacles and challenges in implementing CEDAW: Country perspective” was organized at the conference room of BNWLA. Adv. Fawzia Karim Firoze, President, BNWLA & Honorary Member, National Human Rights Commission discussed on Personal laws of Bangladesh in the light of CEDAW and Ferdousi Sultana, Gender & Social Development Expert discussed elaborately on Stand of Government & NGOs in respect of reservations to CEDAW . Adv. Salma Ali, Executive Director, BNWLA highlighted her observations on CEDAW Report, Bangladesh. With a short briefing on ‘Laws related to rights of women in Bangladesh’ the interactive session ended.
On 2nd November, 2015 the Learning Exchange Program team visited the two projects – Justice for All and Child Friendly Local Governance (CFLG) at Dhamrai and Manikganj successively. At Nobogram Union Parishad (UP) the team attended UP Coordination Meeting with Children and discussed with UP elected body. They also visited Child friendly ICT Corner of UP. The team then attended a bi-monthly meeting with Union Legal Aid Committee (ULAC).
The team visited Victim Support Center (VSC) and One Stop Crisis Center (OCC) on 3rd November, 2015 to learn about the activities of VSC and OCC. From this visit they obtained learning on the GO-NGO partnership approach.
On 7th November, 2015 the team visited the Safe Home of the organization named PROSHANTI where they experienced the programmatic interventions like schooling (joyful education), vocational class, counseling and cultural class. In the following day the team had an interactive session with BRAC and they also visited the community Para Legal Service at Geneva Camp.
From 9-10th November, 2015 the team went to visit the project areas of Ending Violence through Community Action at Rajshahi. There a street theatre named “Marjaday Gori Samata” was organized to make the situation and status of the women easily understandable. The team shared their experiences of their respective countries and learned about how services are provide at Community Law Centre and visited Model Village Resource Centre where they had meeting with Group members. A debrief session was held on 11th November, 2015 the participants figured out of the ways to come out of the challenges for strengthening our community.
With the certificate giving ceremony on 12th November, 2015 the Learning Exchange Program ended effectively.