Creative skills and learning are ways of involving persons into utilizing their various skills, encouraging sharing of the acquired skills, and creation of different skills/learning with different applications. It is a concept that brings people together socially in participation of diversified skills/activities in order to achieve results. Some creative skills include knitting, sewing, and yoghurt or soap making, among others.
Faraja Foundation has been facilitating creative skills since 2008 in Langata Women’s Prison with the main objective to keep the inmates, especially the remandees, busy in terms of acquired skills. The inmates, in return, participated with great enthusiasm.
As a result of this, idleness, stress levels and indiscipline among inmates have been drastically reduced, including cases of conflicts between inmates and officers. Women, especially at Langata, no longer line up at the dispensary to take pain killers for headache.
These skills go hand in hand with a recovery programme that focuses on the inner transformation, self-awareness and self-actualization of the inmates. We have reported cases of inmates who changed their bad habits/deviant ways to good behaviour and choose to participate voluntarily in the diversified skills that we offer. In these programmes they find hope and are able to focus/reflect more on their future life, mission and vision and plans upon their release from custody.
Recovery Program Activities
- Sharing of personal stories, experiences both good and bad and testimonies
- Listening to others sharing and relation to other stories to gain courage
- Stepping out of denial
- Choosing to take a spiritual walk with Christ
- Choosing to change
- Self evaluation and relationships evaluation with friends and family
- Identifying support group, sponsors, counselor or accountability partner
- Choosing right from evil/bad (waking in sanity)
The same has been extended to Thika and Machakos Women’s Prisons.
Art work has proved to be very therapeutic since people can express their very deepest emotions on paper. Faraja Foundation uses Art Therapy especially in the prisons for the very troubled individuals. Art has also helped people feel better about themselves, build confidence, self-worth, learn team work and cooperation in a group-setting.
The importance of ICT skills for all and sundry cannot be overemphasized. Faraja introduced computer classes in the prisons in 2008 and we continue to provide technical support on the same to six prisons in Nairobi. The aim is to equip both prisoners and prison staff on basic computers skills. Computers trainings are extended to Mathari Security Unit at Mathari Mental Hospital and Shikusa Borstal Institution for the youth offenders.