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PS urges Kenyans to support prisons department by buying their products

State Department for Correctional Services Principal Secretary (PS) Salome Muia has urged Kenyans to buy items produced by inmates as a way of improving the department as well as supporting the economic development of the country.

Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony for a workshop at the Meru Women’s Prison that is sponsored by Chandaria Foundation in collaboration with Safal business solutions, the PS said products from the department are high quality and added there is need for individual citizens as well as companies to buy them.

“Products made by the inmates including furniture are the best in the country. I am seeking your support by buying from them so that we can increase revenue generated and eventually build our economy,” said Ms Muia.

“We don’t want to continue begging and what we are only asking you is for your support by buying from us,” the PS added.

She said the workshop which is the second from the Chandaria foundation after the one put up at the Langa’ata women prison, is designed to house a bakery and a clothing section and once completed, it will be equipped with commercial equipment and female inmates will be provided with raw materials and seed capital to kick start production.

“While traversing the country I have seen the passion of the women in this country which is a reflection of the opportunities and struggles women face in pursuit of economic progress.

The artwork in the women’s workshops that I have visited are a clear indication of the incredible power that women wield as wives, mothers, leaders, child bearers as well as decision makers and workers,” said PS Muia.

As part of the reforms package, she added, the department offers inmates various rehabilitation programmes while they are in prison including education and vocational training skills similar to what will go on in the workshops once completed.

She said the primary goal of these programmes is to minimise the number of inmates who reoffend after they are released from prisons.

“The purpose is to equip them with skills so they can participate in the economic development of the country as is the government’s mission and vision,” she said.

She further said that the workshops will run as social enterprises with proceeds aimed at assisting inmates for skill development and to reintegrate them back to society as well as offering an opportunity for them to reconnect with society and to live as economic enablers.

“We look forward to a situation where inmates in these facilities will own businesses and therefore create employment as well as support their families in order to create harmonious, peaceful, and happy families,” said Ms Muia.

She added: “We foresee a situation where they will build startup capital and create jobs for other people and in this way, we will build Kenya because we are Kenyans and Kenya is our business,”

By Dickson Mwiti

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