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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Inherit Your Rights

Our chapter on civic culture discusses voluntary service. Our chapter on foreign policy and national security explains various ways in which Americans have helped people in other countries.

Here's an example.

In 2010, Stanford Law School student Jana Hardy teamed with British attorney Kate Windridge to found Inherit Your Rights (IYR), a nonprofit dedicated to (1) educating women about their property rights and inheritance laws; (2) supporting widows in their immediate needs through micro-enterprise 
projects; and (3) assisting widows to assert, exercise, and defend their legal rights.

From the group's website:

Inherit Your Rights has initiated its pilot project in northern Tanzania, in a small village in the foothills of Mount Meru. Through a local Pastor, we have met and started working with a group of 35 widows. We have acquired a plot of land here, where we can operate micro-enterprise projects to assist the women with their immediate needs, and where we hope to open a legal-aid clinic, focusing on probate and property law.
In rural Tanzania, widows are extremely vulnerable to abuse: under customary law, when a man dies, his wife inherits nothing, unless she is childless and there are no other living relatives. The man’s children are his rightful heirs. However, if the children are too young to assert their rights, the man’s family often takes advantage of the situation, and expels the widow and her children from the family land. These women, alone and with no means of supporting themselves or their children, need both legal representation and practical assistance.
For more information, visit IYR’s website: