The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) of the Archdiocese of Blantyre has trained over 40 paralegals on covid-19 preventive measures.
Speaking to Malawi24 after the two-day training, Joseph Kampango who is coordinator for CCJP Blantyre Archdiocese said the training was aimed at sharpening the paralegals on how they can successfully perform their duties amidst covid-19 pandemic.
Kampango said at the workshop which started on Thursday and finished on Friday, these paralegals were skilled on how they can keep on representing the marginalized population in rural areas in accessing Justice despite being hit hard by effects of the pandemic.
He said it was noted that there was a bit underperformance as these rural legal representatives were failing to do their roles fearing that they may be infected with the coronavirus in course of their duties.
The coordinator for CCJP Blantyre Archdiocese further added that it is very important to accord rural people, especially the vulnerable groups, like children, women and the elderly with legal representation, in matters they face day by day hence the training.
“Well, we had a two-day workshop for our paralegals who are 40 in number. Overall we thought of this training to assess how we have performed in the past two years and we also looked at how we can do better especially now when we have the covid-19 pandemic amongst us.
“It has been noted that there was fear amongst our paralegals as to how they can perform their duties with this pandemic and when government has imposed some restrictions. So we had to look into these matters so that they should keep on delivering the needed services,” said Kampango.
Kampango further added that the commission will make sure that these paralegals are provided with all the needed personal protective equipment so that they should not be exposed to the pandemic in time of their work.
Patrick Kunyada a paralegal from Mwanza denary and CCJP chairperson for Mwanza Parish described the training as very productive and timely claiming there was really fear amongst the paralegal team.
Kunyada said they were afraid of conducting some important meetings with communities claiming they had no expertise in working in covid-19 situation but said the training has provided them all the needed skills.
In 2019, CCJP with funding from Misereor- Germany introduced a legal representation system where it is using paralegals to represent the marginalized population in rural areas in accessing Justice through a three-year project called “paralegal”.