During the quarter under review, APAP was able to give training to the leaders of community-based organizations (CBOs) in Addis Ababa as well as at Dire Dawa and Hawassa as part of its Legal Empowerment Program. The training was aimed at raising the awareness of the CBO leaders about human rights and at imparting to them basic legal education.

More specifically, APAP’s law professionals imparted to the trainees basic legal education by making reference to the manner in which certain laws are being applied in the Ethiopian context. The law professionals also made it a point to raise the awareness of the CBO leaders about human rights, in the belief that they are best positioned to promote human rights at the grassroots level, given the fact that they are, in general, looked up to by their respective communities.

The awareness-raising training given to the beneficiaries included the rights of the child and women’s rights as well. APAP incorporated these rights into the training because they are the ones that are usually violated with impunity.

APAP is hopeful that the training will have a multiplier effect, in that many of the CBO leaders who benefited from the training will eventually take it upon themselves to give free legal aid to the needy in their respective communities.

The CBO leaders at Hawassa were given the training October 6 to 10, 2008, those of Dire Dawa December 1 to 4, 2008, and those of Addis Ababa December 3 to 6, 2008.

The beneficiaries of the training given at Hawassa numbered 30 women, who were drawn from various women’s organizations and self-help associations in the city. The number of CBO leaders who participated in the training given in Dire Dawa, on the other hand, was 31. Of these, 19 were women. The CBO leaders that benefited from the training given in Addis Ababa, however, numbered 30. What is more, 21 of them were women.

At the end of the training, the trainees were asked to forward to APAP whatever suggestions they might have about both the content and the style of the teaching used. Almost all of them expressed their satisfaction with both. In fact, a few of them said that it would enhance their efficiency and thereby enable them to be of great service to the grassroots communities they serve.

The CBO leaders at Hawassa were, in fact, given a ten-day paralegal training, too, during the last week of December-also as per the request they had lodged to APAP. Having given them the paralegal training, APAP also saw if fit to provide them, free of charge, with the reference materials they would need to serve their communities as paralegals, which included various Ethiopian codes and law-related documents.

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