The Helplaw Vision For the Poor Lives On

The Leitner Center for International Law and Justice in Global Giving, September 25, 2013

Media Source

During the period in review, more than 13 trials are going on in various courts in which the Founder of HelpLaw is representing 17 indigent accused persons. Also during the period, HelpLaw pleaded for mitigation of sentences for more than 15 convicts, whose sentences have been reduced to various levels, and some completely cancelled. HelpLaw has also secured bail for more than 16 suspects. At the High Court, Human Rights Division, HelpLaw got an inmate discharged from prison after being on remand for 4 years on a charge of Abetment of Crime because he had been seen with another person who was carrying a firearm. He was never brought to trial since his arrest on October 17th, 2009. Even when a lower court had struck out the case against him; he remained in prison for another year because no order as to discharge had been made until HelpLaw Ghana intervened to get him freed.

In the last 3 months, HelpLaw Ghana—with the assistance of the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice of Fordham Law School in New York—was able to hire 3 interns and an administrative secretary to assist the Founder in the organization’s activities. Three of the interns are law students at various stages of their education in law  faculties in Ghana. They have been providing tremendous support for the organization. Sadly, the three-month sponsorship of the internship program ends at the end of September and it is unimaginable how the Founder shall carry all the tasks alone all over again due to lack of funding to attract others.

HelpLaw Ghana is trying very hard to maintain an up-to-date good status on the GlobalGiving platform. This resulted in its selection by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to receive donations on behalf of the Foundation’s donors and employees. Silicon Valley Community Foundation is presently vetting the documentation of HelpLaw Ghana to determine our eligibility to receive the desperately needed donations.

HelpLaw Ghana is still struggling to attract the requisite funding to make a major impact. When it was founded, the Founder had only his expertise, a laptop, and a small printer. He worked from home and consulted clients in court, at the police cells, and in the prisons. However, he did not relent; he pressed on with the vision.

The vision remains alive; the idea is clear; the expertise is available; and the determination is intact. What we are lacking are resources to make a major break-through. Once the necessary funding is acquired, there shall be a giant leap to engage all the requisite skilled and non-skilled personnel, both permanent and temporary; there shall be immediate acquisition of necessary equipment and resources; and there shall be a quick and swift expansion of our activities to reach more and more poor people who are suffering and crying for justice in all parts of Ghana.

When adequate funding is secured, we shall work to promote the respect and observance of human rights, good governance, democracy, and respect for the rule of law and due process.  We shall embark on public education for awareness of the fundamental rights of citizens through conferences, workshops, seminars, articles and other publications, as well as through direct interaction with the general public. While we express our sincerest appreciation for your previous support, we wish to appeal to you that you can continuously be part of the vision and assist us to make the major impact that we desire.

We are most grateful.