53 ex-prisoners hone vocational skills

53 ex-prisoners hone vocational skills

Malawi Prisons Service commissioner responsible for administration and finance Clement Kainja says education and skills development are key in producing the human resource needed to achieve the country’s long-term development strategy, Malawi 2063.

He said this on Saturday in Balaka District when 53 former prisoners graduated in electrical installation, welding, tailoring and carpentry and joinery courtesy of Prison Fellowship Malawi in collaboration with Malawi Prisons Service.

Kainja said equipping the prisoners in vocational skills under the Halfway House Programme was one way of achieving the reformation  process they are supposed to undergo.

Kainja (L) admires the pavilions

He said: “We ensure that people going through prison department should acquire skills that will help them earn a living once they get out of prison.

“As government, we thank Prison Fellowship Malawi for the training because it is complementing government’s efforts in reducing vulnerability rates among former convicts.”

Prison Fellowship executive director Rodrick Zalimba said financial constraints were a setback for the implementation of the programme.

“There are at least 15 000 inmates in the country’s prisons, but only less than 60 are benefitting from the initiative,” he said.

Zalimba said many former convicts commit crimes again because they have nothing to do to generate income.

Louis Mwape, a former prisoner, said the initiative reformed him.

“I lost hope when I was in prison but after attending the training, my hope has been restored,” he said.

Prison Fellowship Malawi trains selected prisoners, who are due to complete their sentences, in various vocational skills.

The prisoners also take home tools as their starter pack.

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