Samantha N. Ngcolomba, Lady Liberty

Samantha N. Ngcolomba is an Attorney who has a deep-seated desire to secure justice for South Africa’s most vulnerable women. Over the past few decades, rates of domestic violence in South Africa have increased, disproportionately impacting impoverished women who are typically financially dependent on their abusers and have little to no recourse.

Under the umbrella of CSI Boutique (Pty) Ltd., Samantha launched her project, Lady Liberty, to provide free legal counseling to women who are trapped in these situations without a basic understanding of what remedies the law affords them. Over the past year Samantha has visited 3 separate townships, providing legal counsel and assistance on marriage, divorce, and domestic abuse to over 250 impoverished women. Now she is expanding the operations by tapping into the reserve of labor and skill created by South Africa’s annual 24-hour Pro-Bono legal service requirement. Samantha is creating a mobile legal office staffed with lawyers from prestigious law firms who need to fulfill their annual service quota as well as have the desire to use the law to make a difference.

Gauteng will be the pilot area and the project will gradually scale to other areas traveling between different townships offering legal services to poor women. Eventually, Samantha hopes to develop an easy-to-use mobile app that allows access to basic legal information, interaction on pending cases, Attorney information, and the upcoming locations of the mobile office. Ultimately, Samantha’s vision is to promote justice for these women, to inspire hope where there may be none, and give women trapped in cycles of abuse, the practical and legal tools to escape.

For more information, please visit the Lady Liberty Website.

GRANT AWARD DATE:  July 23, 2015