Malawi government urged to invest in ex-convicts
Malawi government and its partners have been urged to invest in ex-convicts to ward off the possibility of them going back to jail.
The call was made on Saturday by TradeLine Cooperation, implementing partners for United States African Development Foundation (USADF), during the graduation of 10 former inmates who underwent vocational training at Prison Fellowship Malawi (PFM).
TradeLine project development manager, Gideon Mwenefumbo, said if society is to decisively deal with crime by ex-convicts, then ex-prisoners should be equipped with skills to economically empower them.
“We funded PFM to train and provide skills to out-of-school youths and in the last cohort they enrolled ex-prisoners so that they could generate income for themselves,” Mwenefumbo said.
He said skills the ex-prisoners have gained could go a long way in changing society and reducing the crime rate.
Shanil Dzimbiri, Balaka West MP and guest of honour at the function, urged communities to support those graduating in tailoring and carpentry through buying their products.
“When released from prison many people are psychologically and economically affected and it’s society’s responsibility to make sure they are welcomed and supported to prevent them from committing crime again,” Shanil said.
PFM executive director, Roderick Zalimba, said the skills gained through the five months training in tailoring and design and carpentry would enable the ex-convicts to re-integrate smoothly into society and avoid committing more criminal acts.
“It is very expensive to house, feed, rehabilitate and look after inmates and if ex-prisoners are properly reintergrated into society by economically empowering them, then money could be saved,” Zalimba said.
PFM started the Balaka Youth Arise project 3 years ago with K46 million funding from USADF through TradeLine to reach out-of-school youths and recently reached out to 10 ex-prisoners with skills training in tailoring and carpentry.
TradeLine also provided them with toolkits and start-up capital.
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