Ugandan lawyer Gerald Abila is the founder of the award-winning Barefoot Law
UNICEF U-report and Barefoot Lawyers have announced announce a unique collaboration. Chimp Corps report.
Barefoot Lawyers has agreed to reply to legal concerns from over 288,000 U-reporters from all across Uganda.
If a U-reporter sends a SMS with a question on legal issues to 8500 (free across all networks in Uganda) the SMS is immediately forwarded to a certified and highly qualified lawyer.
The lawyer makes an assessment of the issue and can reply directly to the U-reporter with an appropriate response or ask them to provide more information where necessary.
The partnership provides access to a qualified legal aid to anyone with a mobile phone, instantly and at no cost across all networks in Uganda.
The collaboration was successfully soft launched during the first week of April but details of the development emerged today Monday.
To get access, anyone can simply join, if they haven’t already, U-report by sending the word “JOIN” to 8500 and follow prompts, after joining, you can then start asking BarefootLaw by typing keyword “Law”, followed by your question and send to 8500.
This way of cooperating can be integrated in your organization as well. You can help recruit U-reporters by telling your networks about the programme, asking them to text the word “Join” to 8500.
When they receive the registration question that asks “how did you hear about U-report?”, they should enter your organization’s name.
In the future, the U-report team will be able to help you understand what topics of discussion those you have recruited are interested in. And remember, every SMS is free to the user.
U-report is a free SMS programme that enables individuals to communicate with decision makers and others all across Uganda.
U-reporters share their opinions by replying to weekly SMS polls or by sending unsolicited messages on issues that they feel strongly about.
These messages are then shared with the community through media, partner organizations or individual meetings. All SMS messages are free of charge and the system is 100% anonymous.
Barefoot Law is a Non-Profit, Social enterprise dedicated towards using Information Technology towards improving access to justice and the Law. The objective of this initiative is to provide Free Legal consultations and services, develop information technology and social media solutions to help in breaking current bottlenecks currently faced in the Justice, Law and Order Sector especially Access to Justice.