Fifty one ex-prisoners on Wednesday graduated in carpentry, tailoring and electrical installations in Balaka as so to empower them with vocational skills.
The training was conducted under a project called vocational skills, training and empowerment of vulnerable and marginalized young people in conflict with the law and persons with albinism at Prison Fellowship Malawi center in the district.
After months of hard work and determination, the graduates were awarded with their certificates during a graduation ceremony that took place at the Prison premises attended by Minister of Homeland and Security Nicholas Dausi.
Addressing the ex-prisoners during the graduation ceremony, Dausi said the ex-convicts had proved to be dedicated throughout the training.
“I am happy for the graduates because today they have proved that they have taken a step further from their mistakes to achieve this goal,” he said.
Dausi said the government together with the ministry will continue to work with all criminal and justice correction departments for safety of all Malawians.
“Prisons are correction places for one to change and not a punishment. As government we will make sure all prisoners in the country are well treated, taken care of and empowered with different technical skills,” Dausi stressed.
He then urged the public not to shun the ex-prisoners but welcome them with open arms and also encourage and support their work.
John Makanga who spoke on behalf of the graduates said they are very grateful for the initiative from the institution and all stakeholders who supported them.
“This to us is like reformation and transformation of our lives. We are all grateful for this second chance of life offered to us,” said Makanga.
Executive director of Prison Fellowship Malawi, Rodrick Zalimba said the technical skills will help the ex-convicts to start a better life but starting their own vocational work.
Prisoner Fellowship Malawi trains selected prisoners across the country who are due to complete their sentence then helps them in various vocational skills and also gives them take home tools so they can start own work.