Sailesh Mehta has written a diary story detailing his journey to Tanzania in Africa where he carried out research for a future Pro Bono project in the the capital Dar es-Salaam and in Zanzibar.
His journey and conversations with local people and stakeholders, as well as institutions and politicians, showed that there was potential to develop community based projects which can make a difference to local communities.
He reflected from the experience:
“The pro-bono work we do, both here and abroad, is more important now than ever before. As budgets are squeezed and foreign aid decreases, as the economy suffers and austerity measures hit the poor hardest, the importance and need for pro bono projects will increase. And I have no doubt that many lawyers will take up the challenge – we always have.”
Sailesh was one of the founding members to set up the Bar Human Rights Committee in 1992. The BHRC is an independent and non-political body of barristers called to the Bar of England and Wales, dedicated to promoting principles of justice and respect for fundamental human rights through the rule of law. Its work has been widely received and recognised internationally.
Sailesh is due to return to Africa in 2023. He is Director of Operations to a group of plastic surgeons who will perform pro bono cleft palate and burns operations in two major hospitals. The project is to last 5 years and has the backing of local Government and local communities. One key aim is to develop and train local plastic surgeons to carry out such work in the future.
Read diary piece here: [Centrum]