As we look to 2014 we look forward to a year of continuing to identify, develop and equip leaders in prisons communities. We are in the process of planning with universities which master’s degree scholarships we will offer to senior prison officers from around Africa, how many more law students we can support and which secondments we can offer to experienced African prisons staff to spend time in prisons in the UK.
Through supporting these men and women we have already seen tremendous change take place in prisons communities. In 2013 two more of the students we sponsor to study law with the University of London had their death sentences overturned. We’ve seen a law student we sponsored go from being a prisoner to a practicing advocate. Our first cohort of secondees, who came from Kenya to spend time in prisons in London in October, November and December returned to their country full of ideas they would like to implement. Our existing masters students, from the Kenyan and Nigerian prisons services, are performing well. We look forward to building on the foundation we laid for this work in 2013.
In Uganda we look forward to shortly opening the education centre we have been establishing at Gulu Prisons. This quarter we also look forward to beginning work on construction of bio gas toilets – to provide improved sanitation and cooking gas (reducing the need for wood which is costly and its overuse can contribute to deforestation) in Karamoja. Our work to train prisoners and prisons staff as literacy, human rights and health peer educators continues.
We remember those in prison in South Sudan. In 2013 we conducted significant discussions with the prisons service in that country and hope to work with them to develop leadership in the prison service of the world’s youngest country. In times of conflict prisoners are especially vulnerable and we hope you will join us in remembering them at this time.
St Teresa of Avila wrote:
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
As we begin 2014 my prayer is that this year we will bring dignity and hope to more people in prisons in Africa than ever before, and in turn, see them use their gifts and skills to develop their communities and nations. Thank you for being with us to date, I hope you will continue to journey with us.
Founder and Director General
Education Programme Update
APP Uganda has set out to carry on the Life Skills and library activities at Kasangati prison to test out the ‘remand Functional Adult Literacy (FAL) model’. The inaugural module was about violence and anger management. During the classes the inmates were asked to share their past experiences and act out a short dramas linking to the skills learnt. 18 prisoners in total participated in the drama exercise.
APP are continuing to enable prisoners to build their skills through Library activities that include, article writing and debates. On January 24th 2014, APP handed over yet another Library to Uganda Prisons service and at the same time giving out certificates to 22 prisoners and Prison Officers in Gulu who were trained as library assistants.