From Grass to Grace for Grace, a 67 year old lady

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Grace* is a mother and a grandmother to many. Her family was denied this maternal love after she was sent to prison to serve a sentence spanning several years. When she left, her husband was frail, and in need of care. Despite her best efforts in seeking for reprieve, the law carried the day and she was forced to serve her sentence. This is the usual state of mind for any inmate upon admission to prison. Not only are they new to the prison experience, but they also have to pass through mental agony caused by the constant fear of what will become of the people they have left behind. In some instances, those who were bread winners for their families worry about the sustainability of the family, those with young children worry about their well-being while those with ailing spouses, children or relatives are left in a constant state of worry, not having a clue of what the world and fate holds for them. This was Grace*, who could not bear the thoughts that she was going to miss several holidays, birthdays and special moments that family brings.

Grace* first heard of Faraja Foundation while serving her sentence. While in prison, she got to know about our mandate and soon after her release, she contacted Faraja Foundation. We acknowledge that women are a critical pillar in society. Their roles in uniting their families and their contributions to the socioeconomic status of the families is a story too familiar to Grace exiting from Embu Women Prison.

Through her positive attitude, she has been able to start her life afresh at 67 years after being incarcerated for 5 years. She mentors another long-term ex-offender, Elizabeth, from Naivasha Women Prison. Through psycho social and economic empowerment support from Faraja Foundation and The Leaders Guild from Tangaza University College, she now ventures into commercial agriculture on her 5-acre piece of land. The proceeds support her aged husband’s medical expenses, her children’s welfare, and her grandchildren’s education.

This is our focus, to rebuild the lives of those formerly behind bars in their walks towards crime-free and productive lives through effective reintegration processes.


All women prisons in Kenya receive beds

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Faraja Foundation has donated 2,168 beds to women prisons across the country in a project dubbed Fr. Peter Meienberg, Mfariji wa Wafungwa Kenya Women Prisons Beds Project. The project was initiated in May 2021 to have women offenders lead decent lives at correctional facilities. In a function presided over by the Chief Administrative Secretary of the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Winnie Guchu and the Commissioner General of the Kenya Prisons Service, Wycliffe Ogallo, EBS.

Faraja Foundation’s Chairman CPA David Kimutai Bett took the opportunity to thank the Founder of Faraja Foundation, Fr. Peter Meienberg and his family for the resources channeled through his Foundation to bring to life this legacy project. The Chief Executive Officer, Jane Kuria, HSC who spoke at the Bomet GK Prison during the official closure of the project, said the main objective was to ensure all correctional facilities were equipped with beds to reduce the risk of ailments such as pneumonia.

“Cases where convicts contract diseases just because they lack the basic bedding facilities are now a thing of the past,” she stated.

Chairman CPA David Kimutai Bett said they will soon launch a programme aimed at reintegrating ex-convicts back into the society. He said prisoners, especially women and young girls, were vulnerable and required special support. With this particular intervention, they are now assured of good health conditions for all women in Prison together with the children below 4 years who accompany them to prison.

“We shall continue providing more support to the wrongdoers who have been released and including the prisons facilities because we know when they are not received well in the society they might come,” Bett remarked.

Rift Valley Prisons Regional Commandant Aggrey Onyango said the Kenya Prisons Service will continue welcoming all donors and partners willing to offer support to its correctional facilities. While commending the various Non-Governmental Organizations for the goodwill support it has continued to offer, SAGP Aggrey Onyango pointed out that through such interventions, the service has managed to surmount some of the challenges they have been encountering. He noted that the support being offered was not a private duty but that which should involve all stakeholders hence the need for the close collaboration.

“This is not an individual business but the society’s at large. That is why we encourage all stakeholders and partners to come on board and help us in molding these detainees,” said Onyango.

He disclosed that the service was in the process of forming a committee to guide and determine the kind of support required by particular prisons.


Preventing COVID-19 in Correctional Institutions

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Faraja Foundation in partnership with Bidco Africa Ltd. on 3rd April 2o2o launched a campaign seeking for public support to maintain the high sanitation standards in the prison facilities by donating 350 boxes of bar soaps, diapers and 236 bales of tissue papers to Magereza House. The Commissioner General of Prisons Mr. Wycliffe Ogallo received the donations on behalf of the Service from the Chairman Faraja Foundation, CPA David Bett. Also present was the CEO Faraja Foundation, Ms. Jane Kuria, HSC, DCGP Benjamin Njoga and other senior prison officers. With the government shutting down entry and visitations to the prison facilities by citizens in response to the Corona Virus Pandemic, the inmates, including mothers with children, are faced with difficulties in accessing basic needs that were previously brought by their kin. We are therefore launching this campaign and urging all Kenyans of Goodwill to share their kindness with those behind bars by donating commodities that will improve sanitation and thus help in curbing the risk of infection of the #covid19 virus.


Hand washing Bays Nairobi Region Prisons

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As part of the ongoing mass testing, 59 samples were collected from remandees and prisoners on May 28, 2020, from the Nairobi Industrial Area Remand Prison. From the results received on May 30, 31 samples had tested positive for coronavirus after which the Nairobi County emergency response team promptly moved in and evacuated the patients to various treatment centres for case management. Various stakeholders have come into play to assist the government to prevent the entry of the Coronavirus in these closed settings. The main focus has been on the provision of sanitation and hygiene donations following a government directive barring all visitors, including family members and other stakeholders from gaining access to the prison institutions. Prior to this ban, family members used to supply to their kin in prison basic commodities such as soap, toothpaste, toiletries and other hygiene equipment to maintain their level of cleanliness.

With personal hygiene being treated as a fundamental component in the fight against Covid19, the Rotary Club of Magharibi in partnership with CFC Stanbic Bank Industrial Area Branch and Faraja Foundation donated 10 handwashing bays/stations to the Kenya Prisons Service Nairobi Regional Commander’s Office at the Nairobi Industrial Area Remand Prison on Friday 29 May 2020. Faraja Foundation, owing to its long-existing Memorandum of Understanding of 19 years with the Kenya Prisons Service and being the only stakeholder with the most projects running in the Prison Institutions, assisted the two stakeholders to gain access to the Kenya Prisons Service. The 10 handwashing bays were distributed as follows: Nairobi Industrial Area Maximum Prison received 3 tanks, Nairobi Medium Prison received 2, Nairobi West Prison received 2, Kamiti Maximum Security Prison received 2 and Kamiti Medium Prison received 1 tank.

Inmates at Nairobi Medium Prison Receive their handwashing bays from the Kenya Prisons Service Nairobi Regional Commanders Office
Inmates at Nairobi Medium Prison Receive their handwashing bays from the Kenya Prisons Service Nairobi Regional Commanders Office

There are 129 prison institutions in Kenya, 30 of which are for women. There are varying needs relating to hygiene necessities to help cushion those in these closed settings against the adverse effects of covid19. Partners and stakeholders are encouraged to also donate essential hygiene commodities and equipment to other marginalized prison institutions away from Nairobi Region that are in need. Of emphasis would also be the women prison institutions which not only have women in custody but also the children who accompany their mothers to prison. This would be an interesting group to focus on as we all join hands in the fight against Covid19

peer Counselling

Counseling Services to the Kenya Prisons

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The CoronaVirus pandemic has influenced our model of service delivery in the correctional facilities and the juvenile justice institutions. Psycho-social support, which relied on a group or one to one mode of administration, is one key intervention which we have felt still needs to be administered.

Thus, we have availed our qualified team of five professional counsellors to administer counselling through electronic means, #ecounseling, to inmates in the Kenya Prisons to help them cope with different situations while they serve their sentences. #Debriefing services will also be offered to prison officers who are the primary caregivers of the inmates as well through this model.


Donations to Probation and Aftercare Services

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Today, Faraja Foundation donated toiletries to the Department of Probation and Aftercare Services which are to be used in probation hostels due to the lockdown. The donations were received by the assistant director, Mr. Isaiah Munyua. The department of probation and aftercare services are partners in reintegration and aftercare support. We also work especially on counselling and mentorship of the probationers. Moreover, most of the youth beneficiaries in our Form Ni Kukaa Poa Education Scholarship program are from borstal institutions and are supervised by this department.



Faraja Foundation COVID-19 Statement

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Due to the restrictive measures introduced by the GoK, we have slightly redesigned and adjusted some activities. We are also engaged in remote work coordination which has been ongoing for  3 weeks now. Other working means are through phone coordination and we are constant communication with the Kenya Prisons Service to see what is do-able and what’s not doable via remote implementation and collaboration with the prison officers who are fully on duty even if not actively involved in day to day routine of work. We are to introduce activity implementation directly within the prisons through Social and Welfare officers under Faraja’s guidance.

Faraja Foundation plans to continue its partnership through close collaborations with correctional facilities and will liaise and facilitate Social Welfare Officers to conduct case screening and assessment should the COVID 19 situation continuous with the hope that infection rates will go down and we shall be able to facilitate outside the correctional facilities in collaboration with the Prison staff.

Faraja’s interventions on the COVID 19 prevention campaign launch in Prisons

  1. Faraja Foundation, in compliance with the government of Kenya’s directives, suspended all prison-related trainings, monitoring and evaluation activities in the secondary schools and halted the needs assessment activities.
  2. With focus being on the primary beneficiary, who is the prisoner, Faraja Foundation launched a donation/ funds drive aimed at urging Kenyan’s of goodwill to donate to those behind bards to be able to cater for their basic needs that were otherwise supplied by their relatives who visited the prison institutions and also to maintain high standards of hygiene to curb the spread of the virus. On 3rd April 2020, we donated 350 boxes of bar soaps, diapers and 236 bales of tissue papers to the Kenya Prisons Service. The donations were received by the Commissioner General of Prisons, Mr. Wycliffe Ogallo.
  3. The foundation has bought sanitizers, disinfectants and handwash detergents which have been strategically placed at the entrance to the premises. Moreover, the security guards have also been provided with Facial Masks to curb any contractionsHow this has affected our operations
    1. We are not able to facilitate clients directly
    2. We are not able to hold meetings with stakeholders or attend meetings
    3. Our social workers are not able to do cross country movement in order to implement activities which cuts out regions outside Nairobi.
    4. The shift time for the security guards has been altered to comply with the government’s-imposed curfew
    5. Our 7 staff members are now working remotely from home. This was a decision made to safeguard their health since most use public means of transport to work and back.

    ~ Some of the staff members has been encouraged to take leave if they are not actively involved in specific tasks.

    1. Our focus is now on resource mobilization and the team has been grouped to handle various tasks as assigned with specific timelines given for each task.
    2. Most of the communication is done through email, with phone calls made when clarity needs to be made on various matters.
    3. The senior management meets often when there is a need to actualize an initiative or respond to various administrative and management issues.
    4. Monthly activities have greatly reduced and this will result in less of activity reporting and more of fundraising initiatives reporting

    What is possible

    1. Meetings can be held online through skype or through email to catch up on weekly activities, achievements, challenges
    2. Resource mobilization activities can be done, particularly grant proposal writing
    3. All employees can actively be engaged in various activities


    1. Various other initiatives that do not involve direct access to the correctional institutions can be developed and initiated such as the Launch of the Donations to help prisoners
    2. We shall purpose to work more in collaboration with the prison social welfare Departments to assist in internal Psychosocial analysis, case management and report compilations.
    3. We shall implement on a few activities that can be monitored remotely
    4. We shall engage more in lobbying on behalf of our clients in the correctional facilities.

    What is not possible

    1. Majority of the programmatic activities cannot be conducted especially where one on one client intervention activities applies.
    2. Majority of the activities under different donor projects cannot be conducted, case in point, Economic Empowerment activities in the European Union Project, which involves travelling to remote areas. This may pose a health and security risk for our teams.
    3. Clients cannot visit our offices during this time hence hampering Humanitarian aid that they may be seeking
    4. No fundraising or activity events can be held

Donating to Victims of Floods

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Faraja Foundation this morning donated foodstuffs to the victims of floods that have reigned havoc in the North Rift, South Rift, Nyanza, Lower Eastern and Western Regions of Kenya. These donations were presented to the Kenya Red Cross Society which is going to help in the distribution based on its presence and network in all the 47 counties in Kenya. The Kenya Red Cross Society maps areas whose residents are in need of support. The donation comprised of foodstuffs that can be able to sustain 100 families for one month. Support can be given in the form of cash where families are given the option to choose what to buy for their households while others are given in kind, especially in areas that are very remote and vulnerable. Faraja Foundation finds itself in a unique space, leveraging on its Humanitarian assistance and Emergency Response pillar to help Kenyans have less of a burden even during the wake of the Corona Virus Pandemic. The President of the Republic of Kenya, HE Uhuru Kenyatta launched and applauded the Adopt A Family Initiative and urged Kenyans in the spirit of giving to continue giving to the less fortunate in the society.


We continue to open our donation baskets to all to give and let us all unite and stand with the victims of floods, and the inmates in prison who also need support to maintain high levels of hygiene.