On behalf of everyone at APP, may I thank you for all the support which you have given over the past year to the work of the African Prisons Project. The support which we receive from donors, volunteers, patrons, funders and providers of pro bono assistance is crucial in enabling APP to give practical help and hope to prisoners in Africa.
Throughout 2013, your continued support has helped us to make a real difference to the lives of many inmates and prison officers in Africa.
Thanks to you, APP has been able to make great progress in our access to justice work. Throughout 2013, APP, with the support of the University of London, has continued its scholarship programme and provided 5 inmates, 2 ex-inmates and 2 prison staff with the opportunity to undertake a Diploma in the Common Law or LLB Degree in Uganda and Kenya. Despite the exceedingly challenging context; working in dark, overcrowded, noisy and squalid conditions as well as suffering illness, APP scholars have exceeded themselves in rising to meet those challenges with success. Death sentences have been overturned, as of the last month three of our students have had their death sentences overturned, education has been shared with peers and an in-prison justice centre has been established by one scholar. As we move into 2014, we will be supporting 8 inmates and 1 prison staff in Kenya with legal scholarships.
“Having spent several Christmas days as a hostage in solitary confinement I understand how difficult this time of year can be for many prisoners. Nothing can compensate for the loss of freedom experienced by those who are incarcerated and for their children it can be be very hard. By supporting this project you will at least be helping to bring some joy into the lives of those for whom life can seem very bleak indeed.” – Terry Waite CBE
2013 has also seen the launch of the Leadership Development Programme. We have welcomed the arrival of two international scholars, from Nigeria and Kenya to study a Masters degree in the UK for a year as well as the development and delivery of the professional fellowship programme for two senior Kenyan prison officers in conjunction with the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. We look forward to expanding the programme in 2014 and welcoming more colleagues from across Africa.
With your support, we have conducted:
7 Library Assistant trainings at 6 prisons and one primary school in Uganda,
A total of 53 inmates and 9 prisons staff completed their training as a Library Assistant.
A total of approximately 8,000 inmates and prison staff made use of APP library facilities in 2013.
In partnership with Book Aid International and the Besom, APP has also managed a library construction project at Gulu Central Prison in Northern Uganda. APP looks forward to the official opening of the library, which will have a total of 4,500 books, 20 APP trained Library Assistants and a Functional Adult Literacy (FAL) programme, in January 2014.
Throughout 2013, APP continued to support the HIV positive inmates on Death Row in Luzira with nutritional support. There are currently 45 inmates in the ‘post-test club’ receiving monthly food supplements. In 2014 APP wants to do more. We aim to support the healthcare needs of inmates through training prisons officers as basic healthcare service providers to prisoners and the wider prison community. Come 2014, APP will also be implementing a pilot sanitation project at Namalu prison, in Karamoja district. The project, which is the installation of a bio gas toilet system, will reach over 700 inmates and prison staff. Not only will this mean a safer and more dignified prison environment, it will also mean a more sustainable source of energy in the prison, as inmates can cook using bio gas as opposed to expensive fire wood.
With its very limited resources APP is making a real impact in the areas of health, education and access to justice for African prisoners. In 2014, we want to do more.