My work as volunteer in the Kenyan prison system 2012 has opposed me to the glaring truth and a worldwide trend. This means that most – I am yet to hear the opposite – that prisons across the world lack financial and material support.
What about the situation in Kenya?
Kenyan correctional facilities are overcrowded, lack proper facilities while government funding and provision is strained. While there are thousands of programs and activities in existent, adequate education programs are lacking. Furthermore, they also lack proper funding, curricular and personnel.
It has been proven that education in correctional facilities help reduce recidivism. This being so, funding and material support of educational programs ought to be given priority. However, this is easier said than done.
… is the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after they have either experienced negative consequences of that behavior, or have been trained to extinguish that behavior. It is also used to refer to the percentage of former prisoners who are rearrested for a similar offense.
Why education programs in prison needs your support
Initially, Lifesong Kenya’s juvenile prison program focused on motivational talks and providing the following things:–
- Bar soap
- Toilet paper
- Toothpaste and tooth brush
Developing a dependence and hand-outs mentality
With time, we discovered we were empowering the boys to depend on handouts. We soon realized we had to empower the boys with valuable hands-on skills they could learn and use after they leave prison.
Since we knew how to earn from using computers, teaching ICT skills became our default training. The boys have been learning how to use computers, formatting and installing software as well as graphic design.
We had our first class in November 2017 and two classes have already graduated. During our recent graduation party, one of the participants mentioned something that proved we are on the right track.
“I had never know that I would learn anything valuable in prison,” said Bernardo Silva (not his real name). “I am happy that I will be leaving prison with computer skills I can use to find a job and create my own business, thanks to Lifesong Kenya.”
“Knowing how to create and design logos, business cards, posters and handling customers has shown that I have valuable skills that the community and the world needs,” a second recipient added.
It was evident that our computer classes are opening doors for the boys and look forward to providing a good educational experience. Not only will our new class continue learning computer skills, they will also learn how to write business proposals and develop their ideas further.
How you can help
As mentioned earlier, educational programs are vital for successful rehabilitation, reform and reintegration of offenders back into the community and their families. A skilled ex-offender have better chances of avoiding recidivism when they possess skills that can enable them to find job opportunities and create their own income generating projects.
This being so, Lifesong Kenya appeals for your financial and material support. Click this link to support Lifesong Kenya financially. Your financial support will enable us to provide the best ICT equipment and sustain our computer classes and business development skills. Alternatively, you can also donate a used computer or buy one for us.
Specifications of a desktop computer that will work best
- 4GB RAM
- 250 GB hard disk
- Core 2 Duo Core processor
- 19 inch screen
Sign the form below now to join Lifesong Kenya supporters