The African Prisons Project Lent Campaign: You Can Help Transform African Prisons Into Places of Positive Transformation This Lent Period
As a charity organisation founded on Christian values, The African Prisons Project works towards restoring dignity and hope for prisoners in Uganda, Kenya and prisons across Africa. We would like to ask you to join us as we dedicate this lent season to remembering those in prison in Africa We shall be sharing messages from prisoners throughout the 40 day lent period, so please join us to hear their stories and share your messages of support and prayers through our website, facebook and twitter pages. We hope that some of the stories will inspire you to pray for the situations and people you read about.
If you are abstaining from something during lent, how about using the money you save to support APP’s work to transform Prisons in Africa into places of positive transformation?
Did you know that:
• £40 per month allow us to provide nutritional support to inmates living with HIV on death row
• £100 support us to run a football tournament for 150 prisoners or more
• £500 support us to provide a prison with a portable library with adult literacy, health and legal education materials, as well as educators to bring the books to life
• £50 support us to run mother and baby reading groups at two prisons for a month
APPs Leadership Programme Achievement 2013
In 2013 the Leadership Development program began its pilot phase and saw great results! We achieved the following:
- One senior superintendent of prisons has come to the UK to study a MA in Education at Oxford Brookes University.
- One Nigerian officer has undertaken a Masters in Human Resource management at the University of Westminster
- Two senior prison officials from Kenya came to the UK for a six week secondment placement to evidence best practice in Her Majesty’s Prisons.
- Ten University of London students are studying at Kamiti maximum security prison in Kenya
- Successful exam results for our existing University of London Scholars in Uganda.
Our University of London Scholars
Spring 2014 will see our new Kenyan students sit their first round of exams. One current student, has been successful in setting up his own justice centre and is using his studies to help other inmates with their court cases.
This summer in Uganda two of our death row scholars, passed all four exams in the Diploma in Common Law, both obtaining a very respectable 67% and 66% in the International Human Rights element. We are excited to be able to announce that they will be progressing to study for their LLB in the academic year 2013-2014, joining our two other existing LLB students.
The same successful death row student in Uganda had his case reviewed by the court in 2013. At his mitigation hearing, where he used notes from his studies, the Judge looked favourably upon his efforts to study the Law. His sentence was commuted to 18 years, approximately ten of which he has already served. He has been released from death row to serve the remainder of his sentence in the general population of the prison.
This programme could not run without the generous support of the University of London, our donors who have sponsored these students and Professor Norman Baird – we thank you.
Our Professional Fellows
In 2013, APP was successful in their bid to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission to host officers from the Kenyan Prison Service for a period of six weeks. During this time the fellows undertook a course in Human Rights with the University of Nottingham, spent time visiting her majesty’s prison estate and looked at the third sector. The programme was built to encompass learning in areas prevalent to all prisons- namely, Health, Education, Human Rights and engaging the third sector. It was a wonderful six weeks during which we had time to also meet with our Masters students. We will be working with our Kenyan colleagues in 2014 to build new projects as a result of this fellowship.
We would like to extended our thanks to the Kenyan Prison Service, the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, NOMS and all of our supporters who hosted the fellows. If your organisation is interested in hosting future fellowships, please get in touch.
Our Masters students
We are delighted to be able to host two Masters students in the UK this year at the University of Westminster and the University of Oxford Brookes.
Their studies will enable their professional development and we expect to see as a result, good research and developments in their chosen area of study and their prison policy and practice.
We wish them luck as they continue they look towards 2014! We will be recruiting for new scholars in the next academic year. If your institution is interested in working with us, please get in touch.
Thank you to the kind support of our partners at the Oxford Brookes and Westminster who have given generously of their time and resources in support of this project.
Official Launch of African Prisons Project’s (APP) State of the Art Library at Gulu Prison
27th January 2014 APP officially launched the new library at Gulu prison in partnership with Uganda Prisons Service on Friday 24th January 2014. The library was constructed courtesy of funding from Book Aid International and The Besom.
APPs mandate is; to bring dignity and hope to men, women and children in prisons in Africa through Healthcare, Education and Access to Justice.
The idea of facilitating access to education for Ugandan prisoners through libraries was initiated in 2009 with APP launching the first ever library in Ugandan prisons at Kampala Remand Prison; a prison home to over 1,000 prisoners. Since then APPhas installed 3 main libraries in 2 prisons and 1 at a prison community primary school. APP has also facilitated the setting up of 5 mini libraries and intends to launch two more mini libraries before June 2014.
The 3 main libraries and 5 mini libraries receive an average 2000 visits permonth. The libraries are open to prisoners, prisons officers and their families.
The library has an average 10,000 books and can accommodate 50 prisoners at a time. The libraries are open for 6 hours each day and the facility will be manned by prisoners and prisons officers who have been trained as library assistants by APP. They will continue to receive mentorship and technical support from APP staff over the years.
Gulu Prison has also been targeted for a follow on programme, the 1 year Functional Adult Literacy (FAL) pilot project. This was also launched on the same day to run alongside the library. The library provides an ideal resource centre for these critical adult education and lifeskills classes.
Positive feedback and signs of success have already been received from beneficiaries and stakeholders with regards to the library project. Prisoners are actively utilizing the library and participating in library activities such as poem recitals, creative writing and debates. Stakeholders and implementing partners (UPS and Justice Institutions) have said they find the project invaluable for the area. They acknowledge the beginnings of a reading culture amongst prisoners in Gulu, and use of information recourses by the entire prison community.
“APP’s programmes are well thought through and are in line with UPS’ mandate to fulfil its vision of prisoner reform, rehabilitation. This will be achieved through the educational programmes and through enhanced reading and writing skills” Kenneth Mugabirwe, Regional Prisons Commander Northern Uganda.
“Without education, society can be a mess, in Karamoja due to minimal levels of education; members of the community turned a toilet into the LC I’s office. This is why we need more of such programmes that will see prisoners transformed so that when they leave prison they are truly rehabilitated and make prisons a place for any Ugandan to stay in”. Local Council 5 Chairman Gulu District
29th November 2013
The African Prisons Project with support from the Independent Development Fund (IDF) recently trained 22 members of ‘Village Health Teams’ who were drawn from 8 prisons from Oyam and Apac districts in Northern Uganda: the first of its kind in Ugandan Prisons. Read more …..
15th November 2013
Uganda Prisons Service (UPS) and African Prisons Project (APP) recognised the need for prisoners’ Access to Information in 2006.
UPS, the governing body for all prisons in Uganda, has the mandate to ensure that all prisoners have Access to Information. However, given the burden that comes with meeting prisoners’ needs in Uganda and the stringent budget allocations in the State sector, resources enabling prisoner access information are not a priority apportionment. Read more …..
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