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Brussels, 11 February 2016 – On Valentine’s Day, Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) will be toasting to a newlywed couple of lawyers in Belgium. On the occasion of their wedding, the couple requested that their guests make a donation to ASF. Weddings, births, birthdays or getting promoted: important milestones in one’s life that present an opportunity to support human rights issues.

Louise Galot and Pierre-Yves Thoumsin (picture) were married last year on 17 October 2015, in Jodoigne. This event also provided the opportunity to support a cause close to their hearts.

Aware of the importance of access to justice for all, the couple, both lawyers from Brussels, proposed in their gift registry that guests make a donation to ASF. “We wanted to support a cause linked with our area of work. We chose ASF so that we could bring to people’s attention an organisation that is little known in some circles, but that nevertheless carries out essential work,” explains Louise Galot.

The couple believes that access to justice, legal advice and support, and the possibility of making one’s voice heard, are fundamental rights. “This is an integral part of a person’s life, as much as the essential needs of health, food and clothing. Having access to justice also gives people confidence in themselves,” adds Pierre-Yves Thoumsin.

The initiative received positive feedback from the couple’s circle of friends and family. “We received a lot of messages congratulating us on this gesture. As far as we were concerned, we were pleased to be able to share our happiness to help others,” said the lawyer from the Brussels Bar Association. In the end, 17 people made donations totalling €915.

This is encouraging for our teams. The donations collected will help us  respond to requests for urgent aid from lawyers who are under threat. We will use it to prepare for the launch of our new project in Zambia, and finance staff training,” explains Séverine Degée, Communication Officer at ASF. “There are so many expenses which cannot be covered by our institutional donors. We are very grateful to the newlyweds and their generous friends!

Would you also like to support ASF on the occasion of a special event? Invite your friends and family to donate some of the money that would have otherwise gone towards flowers and presents to ASF. Nothing could be more simple than making an online donation via our secure platform, or by donating via a bank transfer. All gifts over €40 benefit from a tax deduction of 45%. Ask your friends and family to specify that their gift is made in your honour so we can be sure to let you know that they did! From our side, we will thank them personally. Please do not hesitate to contact us for details.

Picture: Louise Galot and Pierre-Yves Thoumsin at their wedding in Jodoigne.