- The four-day training offered by Jamii Products Limited in collaboration with the prison services was aimed at rehabilitating the inmates.
- Kimani also encouraged the youths to embrace technical courses, where they will use their hands-on skills to improve their livelihoods.
More than 300 inmates from Thika main and women's prisons benefited from a short course in making paper products to help them earn a living once their jail term ends.
The skills involved turning khaki paper into various designs of envelopes, shopping bags and cake boxes on a large scale.
The products can fetch good prices in the markets and also offer networking opportunities.
The four-day training offered by Jamii Products Limited in collaboration with the prison services was aimed at rehabilitating the inmates by equipping them with hands-on skills.
The beneficiaries led by Stella Njoki Kung'u, 19, said due to the cheap nature of production and the returns therein, they might decide to use the skills to make such products in the future once they complete their sentence.
Another beneficiary, David Karanja, who is serving two years jail term, called on other well-wishers to bring more training forums to equip them with a variety of skills.
“Once we complete our jail terms, together with utilising the other skills that we have learned while in prison we will be able to live a fulfilled life with profitable work to do," Karanja said.
They urged the government and corporates to promote their business by offering them tenders and employing them in departments that may require their skill sets.
“Some of us leave prison while fully reformed and having good technical skills and if well embraced can positively drive the economy," Karanja said.
"We call upon employers not to look down upon us but rather support and nurture the skills we have to their advantage."
Jamii Products Limited chief executive Charles Kimani said the training will help the prisoners become job creators and self-reliant.
“Once out of prison, the inmates will have a chance of generating income through these skills. This will make them less dependent on families once they are free,” Kimani said.
Kimani also encouraged the youths to embrace technical courses, where they will use their hands-on skills to improve their livelihoods.
Jeff Mbugua, a representative of the prison’s management lauded the initiative saying it forms part of the rehabilitation programmes offered at the prison to make inmates self-reliant after serving their terms.
He urged the prisoners to take advantage of the courses and use them to economically transform their lives.
He also called on the youth to engage in income-generating activities to avoid lawlessness that often leads them to jail.
(Edited by Tabnacha O)