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Advocacy training in Dnipropetrovsk region surpassed all expectations
Participants of advocacy training Photo by Anna Martyniuk and Volodymyr Orlovskiy, IRC “Legal Space”
Participants of advocacy training

Employees of Community Law Centers that provide free legal aid to IDPs studied advocacy. “We were united by a desire to learn about new, more effective ways of the human rights protection and by the readiness to share experience”, - Anna Martyniuk, Coordinator of the Legal Space says.

The event began with the definition of advocacy. Actually there are hundred successful formulations, therefore, the trainer Vitaly Baiev drew participants’ attention to three obligatory components. The first, the advocacy activity leads to positive, sustainable changes. The second, it is state-directed and deals with the relationships between holders of rights and those who undertook to provide them. The third, this is a strategic process, but not a spontaneous surge of activity. This is one of the components of human rights activity.

In order to agree about terminology participants identified values of advocacy activity, talked about the objectives and motivation of authorities. Yuriy Chumak, Coordinator of the Center at Chuhuev human rights group made the following conclusion: “The work of officials is directed on PR, for them the main thing is the status. I worked in government institutions, so I am absolutely aware of it”. What are consequences of increase of the status? What provides advancing a career? How to work with subordinates who are appointed to positions by the management? What to begin the analysis of a situation in society with? How to write programs on providing free legal aid to citizens? How to hold negotiations with authorities? Lawyers, psychologists and coordinators were trying to find relevant answers to these questions within two days on September 11-12.

“As the result, the contents and the atmosphere of training showed that the system of free legal aid is a predictor of new values. It has strategy of their realization both at civil society institutions and in government bodies. The success of this big project is a rotary point on the way of a practical embodiment of ideas of the rule of law and human rights. Due to the trainer Vitaly Baiev and work of all participants the advocacy training has become not isolated exercises for fixing new knowledge, but rather brainstorming that allowed to reveal the creative potential of participants. I am sure that those people who joined the project of free legal aid will become agents of changes in all spheres of life of our society”, - Volodymyr Orlovskiy, the lawyer of the Legal Space says.

The deputy director of the Coordinating Center for Legal Aid Providing Vitaly Baiev shared the impressions of the event also. He posted to his Facebook page: “Wonderful experience with specialists of Community Law Centers. I have feeling that our straight talk during these days has changed all of us for the best. I am grateful to all participants for active work and special thanks to the All-Ukrainian Charity Foundation “Gorenie” for realization of this event”.

Employees of Community Law Centers came back home, having been inspired with new knowledge. Now in their communities they started promoting even more actively regional programs of providing free primary legal aid funded at the local level. To confirm all the above said, the Legal Space prepares the publication about the approval of the new regional target program of providing free primary legal aid for 2015 in the Dolinsky district of Ivano-Frankivsk region.

Reference
The organizers express their gratitude to the Program Initiative “Human Rights and Justice” of the International Renaissance Foundation for the financial support.

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