BBC PODCAST FROM PRISON FELLOWSHIP MALAWI
Please listen to a recent podcast that the BBC produced and aired.
UPDATES FROM PFM
I write to update you on progress regarding the skills training at Prison Fellowship Malawi.
Yesterday on 13th February, 2019, we had a graduation of 51 beneficiaries; ex-prisoners from prisons across Malawi who had completed their courses at the Half Way House. There were 17 beneficiaries in carpentry and joinery, 14 in tailoring, 12 in welding and fabrication and 10 in electrical installation. The students were at the Half Way House since 1st October, 2018. During their stay at the Half Way House, they had the opportunity to learn vocational skills, undergo spiritual and psycho-social counselling and most importantly, they acquired entrepreneurship, and environmental management skills. Each beneficiary received some take-home tools which were purchased with support from the European Union, Christ Footprints in Africa (USA) and Hands and Hearts For Africa (Wellington Square Church-Canada).
The 13th February, 2019 graduation will go down in history as a the best event ever since the Half Way House opened its doors. There were many high profile figures in attendance, including the Minister of Homeland Security Honorable Nicholas Dausi M.P. who was guest of honor; the Program Manager for Education at The European Union Delegation to Malawi, Lena Veierskov; the Board Chairman of Prison Fellowship Malawi Reverend Fletcher Kaiya; the Chief Commissioner of prisons Madam Wandika Phiri; the District Commissioner for Balaka Mr Ali Phiri to mention a few. The residents were very excited with the presence of high profile people who graced the occasion symbolizing the love and acceptance of society which are important for the smooth re-integration of released inmates.
It is expected that the project team will conduct community visits to follow up the beneficiaries after 8 weeks of their return into society. The beneficiaries have gone into all the 3 regions of Malawi. Currently, the project is undergoing its first audit for the first 2 years of implementation and thereafter, it will go into the 3rd year of implementation. The current agreement with the European Union was that the EU would fund the initial 2 years and for the 3rd year, PF Malawi would have to use own financing and that the EU would refund the funds used by PF for use in the 4th year. This-notwithstanding, the program expects to continue with the next cohort as soon as the audit and report is accepted by the European Union.
Meanwhile, there is renewed hope with the coming of the Home Affairs minister yesterday, who has assured the gathering at the graduation that he will do everything in his power to fast-track the signing of the Half Way House Declaration. This step is also critical as it will pave way for the government to pump in resources towards the lodging and rehabilitation of prisoners. Join us in praying for this landmark step.
Kindly convey our gratitude to the entire congregation of Wellington Square Church, and several individuals who contributed through different forums towards the cause. Know that your help has made a huge difference in the lives of these residents who went out yesterday. There is no doubt that together we are making significant and lasting change in the lives of vulnerable and marginalized prisoners in Malawi.
I thank you for your patience and kindly do advise if you need further details. I will share with you the audit report when it is out for your encouragement and to share with stakeholders.