Inmates at the Sekondi Central Prison in the Western Region can now explore their fullest potential via formal education along some vocational and technical training offered them as part of their reformation process. For over a decade, the Non-Formal Education Division of the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolis have been equipping inmates with some skills in stringing bead bags and slippers, necklaces, liquid soap, bar soap, dressmaking, hairdressing among others. But finance and logistical constraints have been a major challenge to scaling it up to a larger section of the inmates. Despite these challenges, the initiative has been impactful, with hundreds of these reformed inmates being self-employed after serving their prison terms.
The Western Region Minister, Dr Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah after learning of this initiative, has donated items worth GH46,128.00 to the Sekondi Central Prison. The items include 80 sets of classroom desks, white boards, washing trays, cabinet and stationery.
Dr. Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah in a briefing to the media after the donation stressed that inmates deserve an opportunity to become a positive influence in society, hence the rationale for the gesture.
“The Non formal education sector is doing a good work with the inmates there, and I believe everybody deserve a second chance… but you cannot give a second chance without the skills. Naturally they might fall into the same temptation they fell into so we believe that equipping inmates and reforming them is key in nation building.
“I believe that the devil finds work for the idle hands so we need to build their skills so that when they get back to society and have that second chance they will be able to apply the skills that they have” he said.
Dr Okyere Darko Mensah hinted that the Regional Coordinating Council will do its best to sustain the initiative, most specifically in marketing the products of the inmates for greater value.
“We are looking at sustainability. We want them to appreciate that they also have to go beyond aid. They have interest in Agriculture but they need to have a place to sell their wares. We are going to get them the network. We don’t want them to set up a shop maybe just for prisons, they might have its own petty brand issue but if people know that this is quality product and its sold at the market just like any other product, I think that it’s going to sell” Dr Okyere Darko Mensah added.