Article by: Annelie du Plessis
Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in our society and ProBono.Org has created a special project,
the One Child a Year Campaign, aimed at providing legal assistance to children in order for them to realise their
full potential and live the life imagined for them in the Constitution. The aim of the project is not only to secure legal representation for children but to ensure that their cases are finalised in a holistic manner, and that such finalisation is to the advantage of the child. The project has a special focus on children who enter the legal or child protection system but fall through the cracks, experiencing trauma and neglect.
Since its inception in 2014, this project has gained momentum and we receive requests for legal assistance for children on an ongoing basis. These referrals come from various children’s courts in the area, from child protection organisations, teachers, social workers and concerned parents. At the moment we have about 15 committed legal practitioners but we would like to increase this number to at least 100 in order to meet our caseload.
We would be pleased if you would get involved by serving on our panel of pro bono lawyers, social workers, counsellors and/or psychologists and by giving one small person the support he or she needs. We plan to host a number of training workshops throughout the year to deepen our understanding of dealing with these matters, and have a number of experts we can call on to provide guidance and advice. We will also use mentors in this project as an additional resource.