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Empowering Safi's Community: The Mobile Legal Clinic

By Youssef Mazdou, HAF Program Assistant

Student of the legal clinic framing the workshop in Safi - Photo Credit: Youssef Mazdou

● The First Day - July 25, 2023:

We embarked on our journey to the city of Safi with eagerness to provide legal services to the local community. Safi is considered an important commercial center and a vital seaport, which only contributed to the significance of this visit and its potential impact on local residents.

Our team, as part of the "Promoting Civil Society-University Engagement" project, along with four law students from the legal clinic in Marrakech, arrived early in the morning. The High Atlas Foundation (HAF) collaborates with Cadi Ayyad University and the Legal Clinic for Studies and Research, with support from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), to establish a mobile legal clinic in a central and easily accessible location for everyone. We work in collaboration with the Third Millennium Association for Young Entrepreneurs in Safi, who provided space and logistical support, making it easier to set up the mobile clinic and begin receiving people.

The day was extremely busy, with many people from various age groups and social backgrounds attending. Their inquiries ranged from personal and family legal issues, such as divorce and child custody, to questions about contracts and legal procedures.

Our team quickly jumped into what we came to do and began providing legal consultations. Our ultimate goal was to clarify legal rights and responsibilities in a simple and straightforward manner. The talks were highly appreciated by the attendees, who expressed gratitude for the initiative and the team's efforts.

We encountered complex and sensitive legal cases such as family, criminal, administrative, and real estate issues a beneficiary is wondering about how to legally follow up on the application file for availing services from "Rameed". a married woman is looking to adopt a child or a baby girl due to her inability to give birth for 18 years, She wants to know the required legal procedures and how to access legal assistance for the purpose of adopting a child.

The law can be a complex language for many, but they would like accurate legal guidance to understand their rights and defend themselves legally.

The attendees expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to interact with a team of law students. It was a wonderful chance for them to better understand their rights and duties and learn how to achieve justice in their daily lives.

The Second Day - July 27, 2023:

The team directed their efforts toward the hamlet of Ouled Ali Moumen in the region of Safi. The purpose of the visit was to meet with 26 women from the hamlet and provide support and guidance for establishing a cooperative, in addition to offering necessary legal consultations.

Members of the local community in Ouled Ali Moumen warmly received the mobile legal clinic. The team provided information and guidance on how to establish a successful cooperative and utilize it to increase their income and improve their living conditions.

The women had the opportunity to discuss the challenges they face in establishing the cooperative and possible ways to overcome them. Legal consultations were provided regarding the necessary legal procedures to set up the cooperative and ensure its successful operation.

It is clear that we were able to directly impact people's lives and engage with the local community in a positive and fruitful manner, providing much needed legal advice and assistance.

This visit reaffirmed the effectiveness and value of the mobile legal clinic as a tool for providing legal assistance in the Marrakech-Safi region. The initiative's objectives are reflected: increasing access to legal services to bridge the gap between marginalized communities and legal resources and providing direct legal services.

The initiative aims to empower community members to better understand their rights and responsibilities. Additionally, we strive to enhance social justice and equality by ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their social and economic status, have access to legal support and representation. The first clinic was launched as part of the "Promoting Civil Society-University Engagement" project, with the aim of strengthening capacities in civil society.

Thanks to the law students, the initiative achieved its objectives by providing legal support and guidance to a large number of women in Safi. Our visit to the city of Safi as part of the mobile clinic was an unforgettable experience that left a positive impact, and we promised the women in the area to return to continue our role in providing legal assistance and contributing to building a more just and legally aware society.

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