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Crowdfunding campaign launched to provide free legal help

Fathmath Shaahunaz
01 February 2018, MVT 19:46
Promotional image for the Crowdfunding Campaign launched by Family Legal Clinic to provide legal help for people struggling with family-related or domestic violence issues. PHOTO/FLC
Fathmath Shaahunaz
01 February 2018, MVT 19:46

Local NGO Family Legal Clinic on Thursday launched a special fundraising campaign aimed at providing free legal advice to individuals struggling with family-related and domestic violence issues.

In a press release, FLC stated that the Crowdfunding Campaign seeks donations from both the public and corporations in a bid to provide equal opportunities for each and every individual facing family or domestic issues.

“Over the course of our careers, my colleagues and I have heard countless heartbreaking stories of families suffering from lack of legal help," said Hawwa Shafeea Riza, the co-founder of the pro bono legal service.

"At Family Legal Clinic, we strongly believe that access to legal help shouldn’t be a privilege afforded by a few. This crowdfunding effort is to encourage everyone to pass on some of their good fortune to those in dire need of it, ourselves included.”

The NGO highlighted that out of the total population of nearly 400,000, one in three Maldivian women between the ages of 15 and 49 have reported physical or sexual violence. Noting that most Maldivians, especially women, low-income workers, disabled persons and the elderly, cannot afford legal representatives, FLC further stated that two-thirds of the population do not have access to legal help as 99 percent of lawyers reside in capital Male.

Thus FLC encouraged everyone to support its cause to promote equal rights and provide legal help for all in need. Donations can be made at FLC’s page on the GoFundMe website, or by transferring funds to its bank account: 1602005986 under the name Family Legal Clinic at the Commercial Bank of Maldives.

The Crowdfunding Campaign is endorsed by the NGO Hope for Women, gender ministry, environment ministry and telecom giant Ooredoo Maldives. FLC added that the renowned audit firm, Prudent Chartered Accounting, will audit the campaign to ensure full transparency.

FLC was founded in 2014 in collaboration with Hope for Women to provide pro bono legal consultations in the areas of the Family Act and Domestic Violence Prevention Act. It was registered as an independent NGO in 2017 and currently has 17 specially trained lawyers.

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