WHAT IS PSP?
The Paralegal Support Programme (PSP), which encompasses the Women Shelter Project, is a programme established to answer to problems of a legal nature and is one of four (4) programmes that make up the Department of Development, Justice and Peace. The other three are: Justice and Peace, Zambia Extractive Industries Project; and Women Development. PSP offers legal advice, mediation, counselling and shelter. It takes on all cases of a civil nature from all victims, especially women and children.
The Strategic Goal of the Development, Justice and Peace department of the Catholic Diocese of Ndola is to promote human dignity and integrity of creation through awareness and advocacy of Human Rights and responsibilities for all.
The Programme opened its doors on 1st February 2000, but only became actively operational on the ground in October 2000.
Women and children are some of the people in our society who are most vulnerable therefore the Programme’s goal is to reduce the number of violations of the human rights of these people in the Diocese.
The Church has observed the injustices at play in our society and in institutions and has therefore taken an option to work for the poor. As the Church is passionately committed to serve all people through Proclaiming, Catechizing and Evangelization, she has opted to help vulnerable women and children so that their dignity is restored and able to live life to the full. In this way, the Programme has contributed to bringing about the Kingdom of God among the people.
Many legal institutions in existence in the country do not serve the poor and vulnerable people adequately because the poor do not have money to pay for the services that these institutions provide which lead to a situation where the human rights of people and their dignity are not respected.
WHERE ARE WE FOUND?
The Programme operates in five deaneries, namely: Chingola/Chililabombwe, Kitwe, Luanshya, Mufulira and Ndola. Each of these deaneries has a legal advice centre. In Chingola/Chililabombwe there are three centres: Chiwempala, Chililabombwe and Kapisha with a total of 33 trained paralegal advisors out of whom 5 are active.
In Kitwe there are nine centres: Buchi Workers Pastoral Centre, Mindolo, Race Course, Luangwa, Kalulushi, Chibuluma, Chambeshi, Lufwanyama and Ipusukilo with a total of 50 trained paralegal advisors out of whom 12 are active.
In Luanshya there are six centres: Sacred Heart Parish (Roan), St Anthony Parish (Mikomfwa), Mpatamatu, Masaiti and Mpongwe with a total of 38 trained paralegal advisors out of whom 5 are active.
In Mufulira there are three centres: Town Centre, Kantanshi and Butondo with a total of 18 trained paralegal advisors out of whom 5 are active.
In Ndola there are four centres: Town Centre, Chipulukusu, Kabushi and Mishikishi with a total of 72 trained paralegal advisors out of whom 9 are active.
- To promote social justice by upholding human dignity and responsibility for all
- To build the capacity of the Paralegal Programme
- To raise awareness on Human Rights
- To identify and create a working relationship with stakeholders in legal service provision
- To produce/publish information, education and communication (IEC) materials
- To increase accessibility of legal services to vulnerable women and children
- To offer emergence safe shelter to abused Women and Children waiting legal redress
- To advocate for just policies to ensure social justice
- To provide checks and balances on governance issues especially those related to the plight of women and children
The Programme was designed to answer to legal problems of a civil nature of vulnerable women and children thus contributing to the reduction in the violations of human rights especially of Women and Children. The Programme’s activities are:
- Provision of legal advice
- Promotion of Human Rights
- Support of Human Rights Empowerment Clubs for Women and Girls
- · Awareness raising/sensitization activities
- Mobile legal clinics
- Training of paralegal advisors
- Focus group discussions
- Legal representation through the National Legal Aid Clinic for Women (NLACW)
- Radio programmes
- Drama/Legal leaflets
- Quarterly Newsletter
- Monthly/quarterly meetings
- Networking: refer clients to like-minded legal service providers for further action and follow-ups
- The Judiciary (Local, Magistrate and High Courts)
- Zambia Police Victim Support Unit (VSU)
- Legal Aid Board (LAB)
- Legal Resource Foundation (LRF)
- Prison Service (PS)
- National Prosecutions Authority (NPA)
- National Legal Aid Clinic for Women (NLACW)
- Young Women Christian Association (YWCA)
- Human Rights Commission of Zambia
- Department of Social Welfare
- Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC)
- A Safer Zambia (ASAZA)
- Zambia Civic Education Association (ZCEA)
- Labour Office
- Administrator General’s Office
The Programme is an active member of Government’s Access to Justice Programme in the Ndola Chapter of Communication, Cooperation and Coordination Initiative (CCCI). As a civil society organization through the Diocese, the Programme networks and collaborates with criminal justice institutions in the provision of legal services of a civil nature.
• Director of Social Programmes and Projects.
• Paralegal, Justice and Peace Coordinator.