About Us

Judges gavel and law books stacked behind

WHO WE ARE:

Sheria Mashinani (grassroots law) which is a collaboration between Crime Si Poa and the Strathmore University Law Clinic is a stand out legal awareness project that seeks to empower communities with basic legal knowledge to enable them responsibly exercise and enjoy their constitutional rights and obligations. Equal protection of the law for all gender and demographic groups, especially children is central to the objectives of Sheria Mashinani.

Our goal as Sheria Mashinani is therefore to impact community members with legal awareness in order to contribute to the reduction and ultimate eradication of crime within the society.

WHAT WE DO

Day after day, many indigent and vulnerable Kenyans, especially those resident in many informal settlements, face injustices, lose out on opportunities and suffer detriments due to lack of understanding of their legal rights and obligations and general ignorance of the law. 

To help these access justice, realize their full potential and enjoy equal protection under the law, it is important to help them know how to demand justice, accountability and effective remedies at all levels by empowering them with legal rights knowledge.

​That is what Sheria Mashinani is all about.

Golden scales of justice, gavel and books on brown background
LEGAL-AWARENESS-copy

HOW WE DO IT:

Legal Training Program – Training Community Paralegals

The Sheria Mashinani legal training program is the product of a partnership between Strathmore Law Clinic, Crime Si Poa, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR)Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) and the Nairobi Law Monthly under the vision: Access to Legal Information for all.

The program is divided into two phases: a training program and an outreach program. The first phase entails interactive learning class sessions so as to equip the trainees with legal information and empower them to host legal awareness sessions within their own communities and in most instances, act as a voice for the community in interactions with key players in the justice system for impactful interventions on issues facing society. The second phase on the other hand entails a community outreach program where the trainees plan for and host a community legal awareness session where they address legal issues facing their communities and offer free legal information to their fellow community members.

The first Sheria Mashinani Cohort of 26 successfully completed their training and graduated in November 2019 and are currently using the information gained to help their local communities address their day to day challenges, the partners embarked on the outreach program. Plans to begin the training of the second cohort are currently underway. 

Community Dialogues – Building cohesion between communities and law enforcement agencies

With this initiative, our goal is to convene youth and community leaders in various informal settlements, and teach them the law, their rights and responsibilities. The forums also provide a platform for young people and community stakeholders to engage and explore prospects for reducing conflict and building cohesion between communities and law enforcement agencies, understanding of the criminal justice system, and offer further insight into the legal needs and challenges faced by the community.

WHY WE DO IT:

Putting the law in people’s hands

Lack of access to a lawyer is not the only access to justice issue facing most low-income individuals and families. For those who choose to represent themselves for instance, court costs and filing fees can be a barrier to obtaining justice. It can also be difficult to find information on simple procedural issues, like when and where to file a lawsuit, what rights you have in court, or, when it comes to criminal or traffic offences, your rights before, during and after the arrest.

www.sheriamashinani.com thus seeks to address this by making information on the law and legal procedures available to all at the click of a button. The primary purpose of this web application is therefore to allow as many people as possible, especially those who we may not be able to reach through our training program or community forums, to find legal information, assistance and advice as and when they need it and at no cost to them whatsoever!

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Quote:

“Equal justice under the law is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society… it is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status.” 

Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., U.S. Supreme Court Justice (Ret.)