Dili, June 6, 2011 — The Asia Foundation in partnership with the Centru Formasaun Jurídika (CFJ) launch their scholarships for legal aid lawyers at the CFJ building today. Six scholarships will be given to legal aid laywers, including four female lawyers, which will allow them to complete private lawyer trainings at the CFJ. Funding for the scholarships comes from United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The scholarships have been awarded to lawyers who have demonstrated commitments to legal aid work. As a condition of the scholarships, recipients must return to work for a legal aid organization upon qualifying as private lawyers. The scholarships are made even more important by the fact that completion of CFJ’s training will soon become a mandatory requirement for those wanting to serve as private lawyers in Timor-Leste. Several of this year’s recipients expressed hope that they will be able to successfully complete the course and return to their legal aid work.
Sr. Manuel Gonçalves who is a founder of LBH-Covalima and recently worked as a legal aid lawyer at LBH-Liberta, says, “With this scholarship, I can strengthen my commitment to contribute to my country by leading my profession as a legal aid lawyer.”
Sra. Alexandria de Sousa Soares, a legal aid lawyer from Fundasaun Komunidade Edukasaun Matebian (ECM) in Baucau District, explains, “I chose to be a legal aid lawyer in order to serve the community and help the most vulnerable people. I help people guarantee their rights, particularly vulnerable women.”
The official launch ceremony is on Monday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. at the Centru Formasaun Jurídika (opposite the GNR barracks and TVTL).