SASANE Paralegal Program
Explain your project in details:
The only ones who can know what a victim suffers from are abuse survivors themselves. For a Nepali woman, filing a complaint against a trafficker or an abuser is too often a traumatic experience that leads to revictimization. Because of genderdiscrimination, patriarchal norms, and maledomination within the legal system, women are frequently blamed or ignored by law enforcement agents. By training survivors to become paralegals, SASANE has set out to stop these injustices. In recent years SASANE has branched out not only in the Kathmandu Valley but also to the city of Pokhara. Today, SASANE has 30 paralegals working at 30 police stations in the Kathmandu Valley and 15 paralegals working at 7 police stations in Pokhara. The goal of these paralegals is to provide justice and compassion to victims and achieve positive change in the legal system and greater society. SASANE's paralegal program started in 2008 and from its start SASANE has provided over 370 women with paralegal training. The women who attend the course are women who have experienced trafficking or are in risk of being trafficked. The selection to the program is based on interest, interview and S.L.C results. The program consists of three stages: i) one and half month of in-class theoretical training; ii) a 6-month practical placement at a local police station; iii) completion of the Paralegal Certification Examination. If successful in the examination, they receive a Paralegal Professional Certificate. SASANE covers the examination and certification fees. The paralegals are then equipped for employment in the legal sector, empowered by increased self-esteem and knowledge of their legal rights, and poised to act as a leader and legal resource for their communities and other victims.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
In total, SASANE paralegals have assisted in filing 4594 First Information Reports and complaints with police regarding women, and 1232 regarding children. SASANE has rescued around 1000 women and children from the Kathmandu Valley, Rupandehi, Morang and Jhapa. SASANE has observed a substantial increase in clients and reporting since the program began, as SASANE has developed a reputation with clientele and the community. Likewise, police are more inclined to refer clients and work cooperatively with the paralegals. The major paralegal activities include psychosocial counselling, legal counselling (filing complaints and F.I.R.s), data collection and legal assistance throughout court proceedings. About 42% of the certified paralegals return to the police stations where they perform a combination of unpaid and paid work. About 25% become employed with SASANE on a fulltime or part time basis, assisting with the paralegal program or delivering awareness training in rural communities. SASANE has received a number of achievements over the years. SASANE's legal advisor and managing director Shyam Pokharel received the Annapurna Award in recognition of his efforts to end the trafficking of Nepali Women & Children from the Nepali Women's Global Network. SASANE aims to end all human trafficking and the sexual and physical exploitation of women in Nepal.
Sustainability and future plans
The budget for SASANEs Paralegal Program is approximately $1000 for each woman. There are costs associated with each of the three phases of the Paralegal Training Program (in Kathmandu and Pokhara). For the first phase (One Month of In-Class Training) the costs include compensation for 1 lawyer and 2 senior SASANEs paralegals to deliver training, as well as costs of transportation, training venue and training materials. The 6 month Practical placement costs include compensation for monitoring and evaluation officers (3 in Kathmandu, 2 in Pokhara). Another aspect of it is a weekly stipend of $50 that includes transportation, meals, incidentals, and compensation. The third part (Paralegal Examination and Certification) involves the fee for each paralegal to take the government-administered Paralegal Certification Examination and a fee for the Paralegal Certificate. Additional costs for the Pokhara program include one-time roundtrip transportation for 3 Kathmandu paralegal trainers to deliver training in Pokhara, and the costs of operating office space for the Paralegal Training Program. The majority of the funding comes from the top financing sources for SASANE which are Global Giving, Go Philanthropic, the Global Fund for Women, and the Planeterra Foundation. Additional funding comes from a number of different personal donations. The goal of future growth for SASANEs Paralegal Program is to spread to all major city areas in Nepal. Another goal for future growth is to have a 100% success rate for SASANE members when taking the certification exam. SASANE would like to see a growth of around 250 new paralegals within the next 5 years. In the end, SASANEs mission is to end the exploitation of women and girls, ensure their legal rights, and empower them to live free and dignified lives.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
My name is Park Summers and I am a 21 year old college student at The University at Buffalo. I am a political science major with a minor in sociology. In the future I plan on attending law school and potentially taking my knowledge of the law abroad to help people around the world who cannot afford proper representation. Throughout my life my parents have always stressed the importance of helping those in need. From a young age I have had the dream of travelling and helping people around the world. Finally the summer in between my junior and senior year of college I am of age to travel and stay in a country for an extended period of time. Through the organization ELI Abroad, I found a program in Nepal working for the human rights organization SASANE. This program was exactly what I had in mind as I assist in the Paralegal Program of SASANE helping victims of human trafficking. During my short time so far at SASANE, I have seen the immense potential and intelligence of the women in the paralegal program. This program helps these women in so many ways and is just another reason why I am very motivated to help these women. More of my motivation stems from my time as a research assistant at college working on different political science projects and studies. My true goal is to not only improve my experience in the field of law but to help as many people as possible along my way.