By Eldred Thomas |
Prison Fellowship Liberia, a local non governmental organization has extolled the Open Society Initiative of West Africa OSIWA and the United Nations Development Program UNDP for their continuous financial and material support to its advocacy for people beyond bars.
The Fellowship’s Country Rev. Francis Kollie said support from the OSIWA and the UNDP has significantly help its programs and activities across the country to be effective.
Mr. Kollie praised the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), as well as the United Nations Women for their support, while experiencing delight that said support has enabled his Prison Fellowship to make the needed interventions especially in the justice system.
As a result of such support Rev. Kollie narrated a success story by the PFL, the transformation of many inmates who are now serving as monitors at various prison facilities.
The clergyman said those former inmates are now productive citizens and employed with the PFL because they understanding the prison terrain and can better monitor and contribute to the advocacy for the others in detention.
He recounted OSIWA support to Prison Fellowship Liberia major prison project in the Country which seeks to provide basic skills for inmates in ten of Liberia’s fifteen sub political divisions.
” This program is a big boost to our work, because those we advocate for must come out of prison with new and meaningful skills to positively contribute to society, he explained in a joyous mood”.
According to him, with the assistance of volunteers, education and restorative justice programs, mentoring, and legal assistance are available to inmates.
the Prison Fellowship head at the same time observed that the organization remains committed to seeking the release of pre-trial detainees in Liberia through its mediation programme run in partnership with East-West Management Institute.
Speaking in an interview when he appeared on a local Radio Talk Show, Rev. Kollie said the project will teach inmates how to make perfume soap, tailoring amongst others.
Mr. Kollie added that many of those leaving prisons in Liberia have no vocational skills and as such, when they are re-integrated into society, many of them return to their same bad attitudes.
He pointed: “the support from OSIWA and the UNDP is of great help to remold the minds of people who come in conflict with the law”.
The Prison Fellowship Liberia Country Director emphasized that more attention be given to women who come in conflict with the law, on female inmates.
Rev. Kollie noted to help address this, the Fellowship has offered a free legal program where women are given an opportunity to be represented by lawyers from police to the court.
Rev. Kollie disclosed said the Gbarnga Central Prison in Bong county has been selected as one of the beneficiaries of the free legal program for women.
Rev. Kollie also used the occasion to lauded the Ministry of Justice and Judiciary for the level of relationship that exist, although he pointed to some tough time in getting some issues address.