2011: THE YEAR OF “SOCIAL JUSTICE INSPIRATION”
Dear Friends and Supporters of Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Community Legal Education Initiative (BABSEACLE),
2011 has come to a close and we’d like to share with you our experiences and achievements, as well as some of our hopes and plans for 2012.
This year has truly been a year of INSPIRATION. It is clearer to us than ever before that a vital part of what we do involves working hand-in-hand with people who inspire us and others: people who strive, and inspire others to strive, to achieve access to justice worldwide.
Here are just a few examples of this year’s “inspirations”.
University deans, educational and government policy-makers inspired to openly support clinical legal education programs in countries like Thailand, Laos, Indonesia and Viet Nam, where only a few years ago such programs did not exist or were not even heard of.
- Law lecturers who inspired young people to join CLE because they themselves were inspired to change their traditional methods of teaching and expose their students to justice education, teaching them the knowledge, skills and values to helps others in need, as Ajaarns Mo and Withoon from Thailand, Prof. Norbani and Asnida from Malaysia, Prof. Chau from Viet Nam, and Ajaarns Xay, Pang and Phetmany from Laos did this year.
- Graduating law students like Thien and Linh Bear from Viet Nam and Souliya from Laos who were inspired by their CLE experience to go on to use their newly acquired legal skills to help poor and marginalized people, as BABSEACLE Fellows.
- Lawyers, law firms and corporations who were inspired to actively support our CLE and pro-bono initiatives – such as Freehills, Blake Dawson and IBM did in 2011.
- University clinics in Indonesia (Pasundan University) and Malaysia (University Malaya) that were inspired to work together to develop a CLE program that “crosses borders” and protects the rights of migrant workers.
- Former BABSEACLE interns who are now leading team members of BABSEACLE staff, like Hien and Phuong in Viet Nam, Dinah, Tze, Don and Pim in Thailand, Thip in Laos and Marie in Singapore.
- All the BABSEACLE team members, volunteers and Vietnamese law students and others who worked so hard on the Comprehensive Applied Research on the Development of CLE in Viet Nam for the United Nations Development Program. This research may inspire universities, policy-makers and donors to use it as a basis for future CLE support in the country.
- Could the research and support mentioned above help create a network of university clinics in Viet Nam inspired to actively work together and support each other to educate students and provide access to justice to the poor? As we go into 2012, that is what is happening!
- Could former BABSEACLE interns, law professors and lawyers get together to form a local, not-for-profit CLE organization in Singapore? You’ll meet BABSEACLE Singapore in this magazine!
- And our final example from a long list: in 2011, more than 200 professional and student volunteers and interns from around the world were inspired to work with BABSEACLE and our partners.
As Co-Directors of BABSEACLE, we invite you to be inspired by the people and events described our magazine. You will read about what we and our partners did in 2011 and the people who inspired us to do that work. We believe you will be moved and inspired in ways similar to those shared here by our authors.
On behalf of the BABSEACLE Team we thank you each of you for your partnership and support.
Bruce A. Lasky