As a Program Officer at my host organization, I was privileged to participate in one of the trainings on entrepreneurship and life skills. The training which took place at Pearl Afrique Hotel, in Gulu district earlier this month was organized to refresh the mind of Prison Social workers who support us in training prison inmates in the various prison units across northern Uganda and it was attended by 24 Prison Warders and Social workers with the aim of equipping them with knowledge on social work focusing on entrepreneurship and life skills so that in the long run they should also impart that knowledge to prison inmates.
It is a fact that when an inmate is released from prison, employment is a critical factor as to whether he or she becomes a law-abiding citizen or reverts back to their previous life of crime. Upon release, ex-prison inmates are easily tempted to go back into a life of crime, should they find hardship in making a living due to scarcity of employment opportunities. One sure way of solving the problem is through imparting vocational skills which inmates can use to make a livelihood.
During the training, I facilitated some sessions and it was encouraging to note that the social workers warders have already made great strides in their duty. This is evident by the number of former prison inmates who were frequent offenders being transformed and establishing reliable source of income enterprises such as carpentry shops, small shops and farming. Not only will the training uplift lives of inmates, but the social workers and warders as well since they will use the knowledge to start up their own businesses thereby reducing unemployment rate and poverty.
PROGRAM OFFICER_ADVANCE AFRIKA
An ex-prison inmate who is selling second hand clothes at her home with Prison Social workers and Advance Afrika staff