Kevin Ochieng aka Kevin Blackman is a man on a mission. He is on a quest to start his own Reggae and Jazz Band. In the mean time, he spends his time working at Lifesong Kenya as a volunteer. Here’s Kevin’s Story | Second Chances Makes the Difference.
Kevin’s Story | Second Chances Makes the Difference
“Incarcerated males teens that don’t have access to restorative justice often face numerous hurdles towards getting second chances,” says Kevin. “As a result, they spend most of their time feeling helpless, angry and mentally disturbed,” he adds.
This only gets worse when they exit prison and reintegrate back into the community. Once out there, they face stigma, discrimination and risk retribution from the police and the people they wronged and hurt. But when exceptional young men get access to restorative justice, all that changes!
For exceptional young men about to exit prison, this means unlimited opportunities. It is a second chance to explore new possibilities. They can get a job, go back to school or start a business of their choice.
This causes a ripple effect in the community where everyone can thrive. The community becomes much safer while families who could not see eye to eye – as a result of incarceration – can live side by side.
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How Lifesong Kenya Provides Second Chances
“Lifesong Kenya starts providing second chances while the boys are still in juvenile prison,” Kevin adds. “We teach the boys skills while they are in prison and visit their families, the police and the people they’ve wronged.”
“This helps the boys to start taking full responsibility and owning up their mistakes. Most times, the families and the people who have been wronged offer to withdraw cases as a result of our intervention. This helps reduce the time the boys spend in juvenile prison, thereby going back home early. It also helps them start rebuilding their lives as soon as possible.”
“We are also in the process of renting a facility that we plan to turn into a half way house. This will provide shelter and a safe place for the boys who have nowhere else to go as well as those who need more healing. These are a few example of how we plan to continue providing second chances.”
These are achievements that we want to compliment with collaboration from one of our partners: Project: Restore FIBI. Project: Restore FIBI’s goal is to strengthen the family unit. They achieve this through strengthening relationships and mitigating the negative effects of incarceration. This ‘family-focused, family-first’ approach is what we would like to tap into as we continue providing second chances.
As a result, we will provide solutions and services that address both direct and indirect interactions with the criminal justice system. We cannot do this alone. We need you onboard. You can share your skills, time and share our story and work with your spheres of influence.
We welcome you to provide life-transforming second chances to exceptional young men who need it most. 100% of your donation and support will fund project costs in – and outside – juvenile prison. If you’re supporting in Kenya, you can use our MPesa Paybill: 574 329 and use your name as the Account Name.