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Age has Nothing on the Impact of Technology in Accessing Justice

On the bright Thursday morning of 20th June 2019, during our visit to Gulu for an outreach, our team received a rather intriguing call from Radio Rupiny, a popular radio station in the region.

“Good morning, I’m calling to inform you that there is an old man seated at our station. He has been waiting here since 6:30 a.m., to speak to a lawyer from your team,” the person on the other line said.

We rushed to the station.

The 90-year-old Amos Olwa was humbly curled up in a chair in the left corner of the office space, with his tired leather backpack placed beside his feet. He looked exhausted.  Probably because he had travelled a distance equated to two-hours away to seek for our legal guidance. The receptionist led us to him and immediately we were introduced as the “BarefootLawyers”, Olwa’s face lit up.

Amos Olwa (center) poses with the BarefootLaw team at Radio Rupiny premises.

“I have been waiting for you since I listened to your talk show last week,” Olwa narrated in Acholi, as we led him to a more private setting for deliberation. His sole purpose for coming to the station had been to ask for BarefootLaw’s SMS number as he had missed one digit when we read it over the radio. “I wrote 611 and missed the five,” he said.

The moral of the story is that he was able to leverage the technology within his reach, to his benefit – to access justice. This reaffirms our confidence in our model. It motivates us to improve our work and utilise every available resource and technology to make Goal 16 a reality to every corner of Uganda and help people access services with dignity- despite their socio-economic situation.