AdvocAid has officially launched the Frances Claudia Wright Scholarship as a way of providing support to the next generation of feminist lawyers.

The scholarship will fund law school fees for women and provide practical experience in legal empowerment.

The launching was organized in a form of a fundraising cocktail at the New Brookfields Hotel in Freetown, and was witnessed by Ministries Department and Agencies (MDA’s), Civil Society Organizations, Gender Activists, Entrepreneurs, Managers, and others.

Giving a background about the institution, Commissioner Simitie Lavaly AdvocAid Board member stated that the organization has been about women and working for women since 2006.

AdvocAid was developed out of the work of the ‘Pademba Road Prison Monitoring Group’. This group comprised four women involved in human rights and justice sector reform work in Sierra Leone. They initiated monitoring activities and literacy programs in the women’s section of the country’s main prison,” she stated.

Lavaly further stated that, “This led the Monitoring Group in 2006 to found AdvocAid, an organization focused on supporting access to justice, education and reintegration for women and children in detention.”

She stated that since its founding, the organization
has achieved significant successes in providing legal advice and representation, legal education and welfare, and re-integration support to detained women and girls and as that, the scholarship is part of the process of ensuring that the next generation of women continues what AdvocAid started.

She added that there was only one paralegal in 2007, but as of now, their paralegal base has been expanded.

She mentioned that AdvocAid started in Freetown and then extended to Makeni, Kenema, at some point in Kono, and also working in Bo.

Giving her keynote address, Yasmin Jusu Sheriff recalls that Frances Claudia Wright was a prominent Sierra Leonean lawyer during the 20th century, who was very easygoing and was born in Freetown to Sierra Leone Creole parents.

She disclosed that Frances Claudia Wright became a lawyer to satisfy her father’s aspirations for a child to succeed him as a lawyer.

A recipient of the scholarship for the 2022/2023 academic year, a student of the Sierra Leone Law School, Umu Kulthum Sesay, thanked AdvocAid for the generous gesture and promised that she will honor the confidence reposed in her.

At the event, a 45 minutes panel discussion centered on Gender in Justice-Building a Feminist Justice System was done. The said discussion was moderated by Edward Kargbo with Yasmin Jusu Sheriff, Fatmata Sorie, and Juliet Mamawa Kaikai as speakers.