“Presumption iures de iure” (Everyone is considered to know the law) is an old and noble adage. However, the fact is that not everyone understands the law, therefore making them vulnerable victims of it. The problem with not knowing and the lack of access to legal aid is prevalent in Sumba Timur, attacking the people and more specifically, its students. Legal issues include gambling, human trafficking, family conflicts, and the economic downturn caused by debts or gambling.
To show their care for the people of Sumba Timur, Universitas Pelita Harapan Law Faculty (FH UPH) devoted their time to the students of Sekolah Tinggi Teologi Gereja Kristen Sumba (STT GKS) through service to the people (PkM) at Lewa, Sumba Timur from 26 August to 29 August 2019.
The team of FH UPH professors includes Dr. Agust Budianto, Dr. Dian Parluhutan, Dwi Putra Nugraha, S.H., M.H., and Rizky Karo Karo, S.H., M.H., who have provided counseling and legal aid in three different aspects. First is the preventative aspect which includes the steps to avoid crimes against the individual, to report to the authorities if the individual is the victim of human trafficking or rape, or to report of any suspicious behavior relating to human trafficking and sexual crimes. Second is the family and economic downturn aspect seen from a legal perspective. The third is the socialization aspect toward the eradication of gambling through culture or national laws.
In this PkM, FH UPH empowers STT GKS Lewa students and professors by motivating them to provide counseling and legal aid to the students and by equipping the professors with career development tools to fulfill the Tri Dharma of universities.
The activity has over 200 students from the Theology Department or Christian Education. There were 13 professors of STT GKS Lewa in attendance, who are also Priests or Vikaris. The participants were enthusiastic to follow the lectures and were interactive with the speakers. There were questions about cases happening in the individual’s daily life. However, one question that was frequently asked was: How to eradicate the gambling culture in their environment? How to avoid being a human trafficking victim?
The PkM program extended from the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Prof. Bintan Saragih, SH, Dean of FH UPH and Ibu Pdt. Fransina Ranggalodu, M.Th, Director of Sekolah Tinggi Teologi Gereja Kristen Sumba (STT GKS) on 1 February 2019. The UPH Chancellor was also in attendance.
Through this PkM, it is expected that students and professors of STT GKS Lewa will be equipped with knowledge about the law so that they can help the people after they graduate and dive into the community, may that be as a Priest of Gereja Kristen Sumba or as a Christian Education instructor who will often become the mediator in legal issues of their congregation.