Kathy calls her lawyers
Local lawyers in Mozambique have taken over an education project started by BMS World Mission workers
Kathy Russell had to email her lawyers recently.
Don’t worry, the BMS worker was not in trouble. Kathy was congratulating four fellow lawyers from the Association of Mozambican Christian Advocates (AMAC) for leading a legal education seminar for the first time.
“Without having the right to feel it, I felt immense pride,” she says. ”They had done amazingly well.”
After months of Damien, Annet, Liz or Kathy leading the seminars, she could sit back and watch the Mozambican lawyers present two sessions at a Baptist Church in Manga.
Child rights and protection was the theme of the first seminar the lawyers presented, for parents of children who attend the PEPE preschool at the church. Pastor Ernesto, who leads the church, had been to Kathy’s seminar on the topic and wanted the parents to hear about it. The legal seminar was just one of many organised that day for the parents.
The following day, the lawyers led a question and answer session about the legal aspects of marriage and family life during the Sunday service. Questions ranged from whether a young widow was permitted to marry through to whether children must go to school rather than work. The congregation was hooked. The session was meant to last 40 minutes but the questions kept coming, so much so that the session was extended to 90 minutes. Improvised drama illustrating some of the answers brought much laughter and provided the community with helpful legal information that will benefit their everyday lives.
Afterwards Pastor Ernesto suggested further opportunities for the AMAC team to return to the church to talk to other groups about legal issues. It had been a big success.
To get to this point, Kathy had done a little bit of training with the lawyers. Some had experience from other legal talks in which they had taken part. One of the four lawyers, Isaque Bonga, who works at the AMAC office, has regularly translated for Kathy and Damien and taken part in the seminars, picking up the format and style of presenting from them. Kathy was really pleased with how they all did.
“I was really impressed by them. The reality is they know how to respond to their own culture. It’s much better that they do it than we do.”
This article first appeared on the website of BMS World Mission and is used with permission