Letters from Uganda: Joaninne Nanyange

Ed. Note: In 2010 Ms. JD launched the Global Education Fund to enable women in developing countries to pursue legal educations who otherwise would not have access to further education.  Ms. JD International Scholars are being supported by the GEF's grants to Makerere University in Uganda.  Each year, the Ms. JD Global Education Fund has made it possible for two more young Ugandan women to pursue their dreams of becoming lawyers by attending the law program at Makerere University

Ms. JD's Fourth Annual Global Education Fund (GEF) Benefit will be held on August 22, 2016 from 6:30-9 pm at Doc's Lab in San Francisco.  The benefit will raise funds for the GEF and include live entertainment, a silent auction and excellent food and networking.  Please click here to purchase your ticket or donate to GEF.

Joannine Nayange is a 2010  Ms. JD International Scholar in her 4th year at Makerere University in Uganda thanks to the Global Eduction Fund. A message from Joannine: 

I hope this finds you well. Thank you for the continued support. Without it, I would not be where I am today.

Last semester was very interesting. This was so especially because of the Clinical Legal Education course I was studying. It involved a lot of field study and lectures from experts in the field. It was a very practical course that was introduced by the Public Interest Law Clinic (PILAC) at the school of law. Its priority area is human rights and it also coordinates internships for its students.

The course had a teaching module different from the rest of the courses since it involved more practical lessons than classroom theory. It takes on very few students who go through interviews and exams to be chosen. I was therefore very lucky to be among the few that were chosen for the course. It helped me apply my legal knowledge to real life cases and also helped me interact with experts in the field.

As part of the Clinical Legal Education, I worked on two projects. The first one involved working with the Uganda Law Reform Commission to review the Penal Code Act and make amendment proposals to parliament. My review and proposals were supposed to be human rights based. I wrote the paper and it was submitted to the commission which still continues with the exercise. I also worked on a case that was in court challenging the exercise of registering SIM cards that was going on. I was supposed to write legal arguments for the legal team with particular bias on the irregularities in the exercise and their implication on the right to privacy.

The other courses were also very interesting especially The Law of business Associations which introduced me to basic concepts of company law. They were very interesting.

At the end of the semester, I had to do internship as a requirement at the school of law for undergraduates. PILAC coordinated our internships so I was saved the trouble of having to move around looking for a place to do my internship from. We were given a list of organisations to choose from depending on our personal interests and I chose Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum. It is a human rights based organisation that looks at promoting and protecting the rights of minorities like women, girls, the elderly and People Living With HIV/AIDS. The organisation offers legal aid and also carries out awareness sessions with different groups of people to educate them about their rights.

My internship was very eventful. I did a lot of research for the organisation, wrote a number of legal opinions on different human rights issues but most of all, I handled very many cases. It was satisfying to work with these indigent people and see them smile after everything. It was also an important learning experience. I learnt that what is taught in class is different from what is actually out there. But I managed to learn and did my work well.The internship also helped increase my interest in human rights. Being in the field and actually seeing what people go through is an eye opener and it increased my conviction of working with such groups.

The internship ended successfully and because of the good work I had done and my passion for human rights, I was retained by the organisation as a full time legal volunteer. At first I was scared of taking up the opportunity because I have to study but I sat with management and they allowed me to have a flexible schedule that would not affect my studies. So as we speak, am an employee of HRAPF and am doing what I love best, promoting and protecting the rights of the needy. It is such a great opportunity and I am loving it.

This semester I am going to study 
• Insurance law, 
• Civil Procedure, 
• Law of Business Associations
• International trade and business
• Labor law

Am hoping for the best in last semester’s results and also pray that this semester is successful.

Thank you very much and may God continue blessing you.
Joaninne Nanyange

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