Executive Director of LAB Enjoins NYSC Volunteers to Give Their Best

By Edward Vamboi

Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, has urged newly recruited volunteers of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to take every advantage of the opportunity the scheme is offering them.

She drew attention to the thousands of equally competent graduates who have not had such an opportunity even though they are desperately in need of one.

“Considering the unemployment rate among new graduates in the country, you should grab this opportunity with all the seriousness it deserves,” she maintained in a lecture to 522 NYC volunteers at the Hastings Police Training School on Monday, 25 January 2021.

The volunteers are in the third and final week of their training before assigning them to various institutions.

She said taking advantage of the opportunity offered by the scheme involves turning up for work on time, delivering quality work, being helpful to colleagues, taking care of office property and not engaging in corruption and activities that will undermine the institution.

“Your next permanent job will come from the institutions you will be assigned to, if you espouse these qualities,” she said.

Following a lively interaction on the meaning and essentials of love, Ms. Carlton-Hanciles said imbibing this value will ensure they do not perpetrate domestic violence.

She underlined that the Legal Aid Board has a zero tolerance to domestic violence, giving specific examples of how it has helped victims seek redress through the Police.

The Executive Director explained the mandate and operations of the Legal Aid Board. In addition, it is also among the most visible entities by virtue of the fact that it has offices in 23 towns and cities in the country including the entire 16 district headquarter towns.

She added that the Board has mediated a lot of civil and minor criminal matters as a result it has ensured that the rights of women to own and inherit property are respected as provided by law.

It has also promoted peaceful coexistence by mediating community level disputes, referring matters to the Police and ensuring the Local and Traditional Courts do not exploit and take advantage of people.

During the question and answer session, Ms. Carlton-Hanciles said co-habiting partners have rights which must be respected when such marriages breakdown.

“Men who walk out of these marriages must ensure they divorce their wives otherwise we will compel them to do just that,” she said.  She also stressed that it is an offence to pressure women to stay in violent and abusive relations.

The scheme is a project of the National Youth Commission. This is the third set of volunteers to benefit from the scheme.


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