Soroptimist International Lira has continued to come up with new projects to support the vulnerable women and children. Besides its Therapeutic feeding project in collaboration with Lira Regional referral hospital, Female Adult Literacy and reproductive health education to the school going girl child projects, the prisons project (inmate project) commenced two months ago.
This new project is supporting the female inmates in Lira Government main prison with life skills, material items and counselling. It all started with a written request by the President of the club to the management of the prisons, to allow the club have access to the female inmates, interact counsel, provide some material items and train on life skills (making of hand bags and purse using beads). This request was honored and the interaction began immediately. The total number of the female inmates in the prison is 112, out of this, the project has started a pilot of imparting life skill with 62 members, while counselling and giving material support (Sugar, soap, clothes etc.) to all the 112 inmates. The objectives of the project are two-fold; to impart life skills to enhance income generation and bring hope and physiological healing to the inmates.
Most inmates were brought into prison due to many reasons; murder of husband, co- wife, step child or a community member. Some were imprisoned for theft and promotion of prostitution among other offenses. While in prison, some are remorseful and regret their actions, while others are not. The new project has counseled the inmates, taught them how to make bags and purses using beads among other support. The 62 members who received materials for bag making have completed the bags and have expressed gratitude to SI-Lira for the support. The next step is to look for market for the items. S-Lira is committed to looking for market for the products. This will help them get money to buy materials to make new products as well as save some money to help them after release. Some with longer term to serve can use the money to support their families.