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Redeemed By Love.

“You live in a world where you feel hopeless but then, you get a second chance where your hope is reignited.” These are the words of one man, James Kang’ethe who has been serving a 20 years sentence and is now free.

As we visit Kang’ethe at his humble home at Murindiko village, in the landscape of Kuresoi South in Nakuru County, we find him skillfully maneuvering the sewing machine, with his eyes reflecting both focus and gratitude. He has found purpose for living and now diligently stitches together garments that speak volumes about his resilience and commitment to a brighter future.” This is my new routine, recreating my purpose and making right what I had done wrong after my reintegration, “ Kang’ethe tells our team. In his shop, there are a few pieces of uniform and a few garments brought by locals for sewing.

Kang’ethe poses with (L) Wellness Officer Ms. Claire Kwamboka and Alvin Kisara (R) after presenting him with the soap-making materials.

The man had been found guilty and convicted way back in 2009, with his hopes of being a free man being dashed. “At that time, what had gone through my mind was a life behind bars with no chance of getting my freedom any soon. This bothered me so much but am glad I gained a number of skills while at the prison that have now come in handy to provide me with an opportunity to earn a living,” he adds  

Kang’ethe is a beneficiary of Crime Si Poa prisons and reintegration programme, which focuses on the holistic reformation and transformation of persons in conflict with the law for seamless reintegration into the community upon release. Targeted inmates go through psychosocial support for their mental wellness and skills development, which helps give alternative means of income. Named after the Phoenix bird because of its rebirth symbolism, the program empowers children and adults in correctional institutions with a growth mindset and pathways to second chances in life.  

Kang’ethe’s brother is excited to be reunited with him. “I am glad that he is back and doing fine and fully equipped with skills that will enable him pick up life and I am so greatful to this programme,” Some of the skills he gained while in prison include metal works, leather works and tailoring  

James Karanja, one of the Nyumba Kumi initiative leaders, a strategy for anchoring community policing confirms that Kang’ethe has indeed transformed and is in agreement that rehabilitation and reintegration programme has helped him pick up his life and focus on a bright future.

Kang’ethe with village mates at Murinduko Shopping Center.

Alvin Kisara, Crime Si Poa, Nakuru Programs Officer, acknowledges that Kang’ethe’s journey is a true reflection of transformation and the urge to rebuild his life.” We have also brought him soap-making chemicals which we hope will supplement his earning here; the village is quite interior and the residents will be happy to buy the commodity from him as he has brough it closes to them, “says Alvin noting that he had acquired the soap making skill while in prison.

Kang’ethe’s story resonates far beyond the borders of Murinduko. Through his challenges, he proves that a person’s past does not define their potential. “I wouldn’t be afloat right now,” if not for the support. “It gives you encouragement and motivation to get up and get out and achieve.”.

To support our reintegration program, kindly see. https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=YAA4FP9QWN7MN  

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From Trauma to Triumph: How CSP Mentorship has become Life-changing.

Jane’s* (not her real name) life had come tumbling down like a pile of blocks following a rape incident. “I was walking home from a friend’s place when a motorbike rider accosted me, pounced on, and raped me. I just wanted to die,” she said during the interview.

Today, Jane has gone through training in both soap making and bead ornaments, which she sells to the community, giving her a tangible income thanks to the Crime Si Poa mentorship program.

Jane suffered depression following the incident, becoming an alcoholic who harbored suicidal thoughts. She had refused to seek medical assistance following the incident that had left her traumatized, which worried her mother. “That is how we got to meet with the mother who shared the concerns with me,” says Rachel Mumbu, a trainer and mentor at Crime Si Poa who was conducting one of the community training courses on soap making. Rachels says Jane’s story was horrifying, and she needed urgent help.

After persistent persuasion, Jane won Rachel’s trust, opened -up, and was taken through counseling sessions. “The uphill task was to make her feel safe around me and allow me to walk the journey with her,” narrated Rachel.

The now-turned-counselor convinced Jane to allow a third party, Halima Guyo, Crime Si Poa Organization Kajiado County Project Officer, to assist her. They eventually took her to the hospital, where she received treatment and further counseling to overcome the trauma and suicidal thoughts.

She was later introduced to detergent and bead ornament-making as part of her healing process and as a source of income. Her transformation journey was remarkable.

Out of 175 countries, Kenya is ranked 114th in the World Population Review, placing it among the nations with high suicide cases globally. Rape has been described as a cause of traumatic experience that causes long-term outcomes, including psychological and social realms of survivors, which may end in suicidal thoughts.

Crime Si Poa has been creating community awareness to eradicate crime-related activities like rape, SGBV, FGM, and drug and substance abuse. The organization also conducts mental health awareness forums and economic empowerment programs that have enriched survivors such as Jane, giving them a second chance.

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From Mukuru to Oxford.

James Mutugi Wangechi is not a known name, not famous, at least not by the standards of fandom in the country. He is little known now, even in his neighborhood. That notwithstanding, he is on a mission to change the world with his hands, canvas, and some paint.

“I hail from a small slum called Mukuru Kayamba in Nairobi, Kenya. My family was dysfunctional, and it saw me get all the multifaceted person you see today.”

James started schooling at Pumwani high school, a journey he reminisces with nostalgia and some not-so-pleasant memories. He was from a dysfunctional family, not the normal one where one parent is active and the other is not; he was different. All the parents were absent! He had t learn the survival tactics all alone.

His relatives seeing how he was struggling with school and being alone with his mother, who was a drug addict decided. “ I was taken to a children’s home by an aunty who saw the agony and struggles that I was going through; I felt relieved for the moment.” His love for art was birthed here. He started with simple sketches, but it did not last long.

His cheeky behavior made him fall into the children’s home, and he ran away from class seven just before he sat for his primary education. “ I went to stay with my aunty, who had taken me to the children’s home. Although not well off, she managed to take me in,” he said. His love for art made him a name at Pumwani, where he attended his secondary school, and he said that he made money from skills that helped him offset some of his school fees in the first and second forms.

His delinquent side would catch up with him immediately after completing his high school education. He got into crime, and his aunty had to throw him out. “ I was a grown-up now, and I gave her no other option. She did what she could to protect herself and her kids.” He had nowhere to call home, and that’s how he ended up being a street-connected family. He continued his street criminal activities until the law caught up with him. He was sentenced to 10 years. This is where he met his longtime mentor Peter Ouko, the founder of Crime Si Poa, who counseled him against crime.

Like we all do when faced with adversaries, he needed a distraction, and his hope lay in the canvas and papers. It kept him going. “Canvas was like my therapy and the rehabilitation that I needed in my life; it embraced me” His inborn talent embraced him, and he started doing artwork seriously.

Today he paints to talk about police brutality, prevalent in African informal settlements, and social inequalities affecting the community. “I have also painted some of my life experiences and life happenings to those around me. My paintings are exhibited at the Kenya National Museum and Mukuru art club in Makadara constituency in Nairobi,” he noted. At 40 years of age, his paints have received global recognition and will be presented at Oxford University for a death penalty project workshop and conference.

He noted with apprehension that the Kenyan artworks are not yet entirely accepted as people perceive them as a rich man’s affair. “One day, you could be making a killing but then spend the next following months with no sales whatsoever. People who love and appreciate art buy for they know its worth. I would, however, love to see more people come and support the course,” said Mutugi.

In his free time, he mentors young and talks to young people about crime. Mutugi has been a crusader and grand champion of crime-free societies. He thanks Crime Si Poa for all the support he received in referrals and psychosocial counseling before being reinterrogated in the community.

As we left his museum, he also excused himself to go to another exhibition he was eyeing at Alliance Française; he is a man on a mission.

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From Guns to Law Books; Kiamaiko Rises.

Renowned for its goat market, the formerly crime-prone Kiamaiko area in Huruma, Nairobi county celebrated an exceptional moment as thirty community justice workers graduated from the Sheria Mashinani paralegal training project.

The Access to Justice Program facilitated project supported by the Ford Foundation, empowered and equipped community health workers, girls’ rights advocates, and community leaders with legal knowledge and skills to address legal issues faced daily in their underserved community.

With rising cases of gender-based violence, regular conflicts between residents and law enforcement officers, and ignorance of the law being prevalent in the area, the training and subsequent graduation of the paralegals are expected to serve as a catalyst for positive change in the community.

“We could only train thirty paralegals due to budgetary constraints, but we hope that they will pass the knowledge to others to create a legally empowered community, ” Carol Njambi, the lead consultant noted. Based on the impact of the cohort’s work, Crime Si Poa hopes to get more funding so as to scale the training.

One of the beneficiaries, Beatrice Ouma, thanked Crime Si Poa for the program and highlighted how it impacted her knowledge of the law and social issues affecting the community, especially gender-based violence.” As a youth advocate, it will help me address the issues affecting us directly or indirectly in the community,” said Ouma.

Catherine Maina, a Community Health Volunteer receiving a certificate from Evans Nyaribo Rioba.

Georgina Kawira, the Program Manager at Shine a Light organization, expressed her gratitude to the community health volunteers who formed the bulk of the trainees. “We found that most of them don’t have legal knowledge, so we partnered with CSP to educate them on the law, and here they are, ready to implement what they have been taught.”

Regina Nyambura, a community health volunteer from the area, noted that many court cases had been dismissed due to non-attendance of witnesses, hence the community needs to be sensitized on the importance of giving evidence in court. “We will inform them how evidence enhances justice,” she said.

Thomas Nyambego Kiyondi receiving a certificate from the founder of Shine A Light CBO Georgina Kawira.

The training syllabus covered topical issues, amongst them; court processes, structure and etiquette, community mobilization, leadership, family law and succession law, and gender-based violence. They were further taken through community access to justice and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

Crime Si Poa plans to create community legal awareness platforms and provide legal services in the area. “Overall, the graduation of the thirty paralegals in Huruma Kiamaiko marks a significant milestone in providing legal knowledge in the community and serves as a model for other communities facing similar issues,” said Sylvia Morwabe, Programs Director at Crime Si Poa.

Sheria Mashinani ( grassroots law) Project has so far trained three hundred and thirty six community and prison based justice workers in the last two years. It is trite that legally empowered communities enhance the rule of law and, in turn, contribute to the reduction and ultimate eradication of crime within the society. To learn more about, and support Sheria Mashinani, kindly visit https://sheria.crimesipoa.org.

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Still, I Rise!

Purity’s journey from a young orphan living in a challenging environment to a successful receptionist in Dubai is a powerful testimony of hope, focus, and resilience. As an organization that encounters many young people from underprivileged backgrounds, Purity’s story stands out as a faith powerhouse that embodies the true spirit of perseverance.

Born and raised in an informal settlement called Gataka in Rongai, Kenya, Purity never got a chance to meet her parents, for she was orphaned when very young. “I may not describe anything pleasing about my early life as my peers do,” said the 23-year-old Purity.

At just seventeen and in high school, she got pregnant, and the baby’s dad could not take care of them. Trouble had hit home. “Hell broke loose for me, and I had to choose my next step. I quit school and started doing menial jobs to support my child as well as my aunt who I was then living with. I started working even before I could regain my health after giving birth,” Purity remembers with sadness.

Life had happened, and before she could rationally think of the next step, fate had mapped out her life like a movie scene and she ended up engaged to another young, orphaned man.

Their similarities had brought them together, but their dream of Romeo and Juliet moments died on the altar of newly added bills. “Life became unbearably difficult, and I had to go back to my guardian’s house as my then-partner could not sustain our primary needs. A 17-year-old would not have withstood marriage,” she chuckled.

Back at home, she learned about Crime Si Poa and the opportunities it offered youth from underprivileged backgrounds. She grabbed the opportunity as was enrolled in the very first cohort of the Digital Livelihoods class. She would attend classes in the morning and work in the afternoon to feed her son.

Purity’s fellow graduands display their certificates.

Even with this training, she still had an unquenchable desire that she wanted actualized; “I dreamt of completing my high school education, but the situation at home was not favorable.” She recalls. Talk of the audacity of hope; Purity approached and explained her desire to the Digital Livelihood Officer Phanice Kimutai as well as County Program Officer Halima Guyo, and together, they managed to get her a sponsor.

Thwarted dreams

“We had planned to take her back to school after the ICT graduation, which she greatly wanted. I could see her resilience when interacting with others even outside of class. She was destined to be more than her present condition,” narrated Phanice Kimutai.

From( L to R)Rongai Ward Administrator, Purity’s son, Purity, and Sylvia Morwabe, CSP Programs Director during the graduation ceremony.

However, there was an issue: “At home, when I expressed my desire to go back to school, it was met with resistance, and I knew that I was all alone,” said Purity. She was offered two options: to either go to school with her kid, (an impossibility) or discard the thought and if she went ahead to actualize it, she would have to look for somewhere else to stay.

She was shuttered!

Rekindled hope

Amid the desperation, she heard of opportunities to travel for work in Dubai which she applied for. “The certificate I had gotten from Crime Si Poa after graduation came in handy and placed me ahead of other interviewees. I passed the interview, and I could now smile.” Said Purity. Today, she is a successful receptionist at a hospital in Dubai, a testament to the power of perseverance and hard work.

“As someone fortunate enough to witness many young people transform their lives through the power of ICT and employability skills, I am inspired by Purity’s story. Her determination and unwavering faith in herself makes her a true powerhouse. And while there are many more young people like Purity who could benefit from the opportunities that we provide, the reality is that resources are often sparse,” said Phanice.

Purity’s story shows the need for more benefactors to support programs targeting young people from underprivileged backgrounds to acquire the skills they need to succeed and grow for bright futures.

You can support the Digital Livelihoods program on this page: https://crimesipoa.org/donate-to-crime-si-poa/

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Students Empowered with ICT & Employability Skills

Muungano building Ongata Rongai was a hive of activities on 19th April as 28 students graduated with ICT and employability skills under the Crime Si Poa Digital Livelihoods project. The ceremony brought together various stakeholders in the digital industry who came to not only celebrate the students’ achievements but to also support them through advice on successfully navigating the digital era.

During the ceremony, Mr. Anthony Atuko from the Digital Opportunity Trust, urged the trainers to maximize their God-given talents and take advantage of the numerous opportunities available in the digital era. He opined that there are plentiful opportunities in the digital industry, and individuals willing to work hard and acquire the necessary skills can both excel and achieve their dreams. He also promised to absorb five of the graduates to train them in data analysis and mining, which are currently highly sought-after skills. 

Anthony Chege from Ajira Digital under the Ministry of ICT also urged the graduates to embrace the steep learning curve in the digital industry and seek help whenever needed. “The opportunities out there require you to invest your time learning and getting the relevant tools.” He noted.

Students following the graduation proceedings keenly

One of the trainers in the fourth cohort- Kelvin Wavomba, encouraged the graduates to work hard and not give up on their dreams and ambitions. He shared his experience and emphasized that crime doesn’t pay and eventually catches up with an individual. This was a powerful message to the graduates, reminding them that hard work, resilience, and determination are critical ingredients for success in life. “You don’t have to engage in crime and end regrets like me, he said. see his story https://crimesipoa.org/echoes-of-hope/

Jackline Mugure, one of the program’s beneficiaries, was elated to have completed her high school education and acquired digital skills. She expressed her gratitude to Crime Si Poa for the skills they have imparted on her. Her mother, who was also in attendance, urged the young people to stay away from delinquency and criminal activities and focus on building their future.

Crime Si Poa’s Digital Livelihoods officer Ms. Phanice Kimutai, congratulated the graduates urging them to share the skills they have acquired with others who were not as lucky to be in the program, thus extending the program’s reach beyond the 28 graduates.

Our senior Programs Manager Ms. Irene Were presenting a certificate to a graduand.

The digital livelihoods program is a testament to the fact that digital skills are essential in today’s world. The program has equipped young people from underprivileged families with employability skills in the previous three cohorts, making them marketable in the digital industry. The support from stakeholders in the digital industry and partners makes the already-in-demand training viable. To support the noble cause, visit  https://crimesipoa.org/donate-to-crime-si-poa/

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Echoes Of Hope

An endearing, jovial smile hidden in a reserved and shy mien is the first impression that hits you when you meet him. An intern ICT trainer at our digital livelihoods department who has been impacting young people from the underserved areas of Kajiado County with ICT skills, his mastery of, and prowess in software development and computers is mesmerizing. He exudes an aura of serenity and a pinch of nerdiness. Meet Kelvin Wavomba.

His eyes betray a raw determination and willpower, born of adversity in life, to be great in life.  He was not always like this he says.

Fate turned Kelvin into adult life long before he could stop being a child. “Life was not rosy growing up and I was constantly at home due to fees.” he nostalgically recalled. That however did not deter him from getting cluster points to join higher institutions of learning. Through the help of well-wishers and access to limited bursary funds, he was able to finish his high school education “I got a C+ grade, something I had not anticipated with the challenges I had gone through. Even though I was relieved, I knew it was not my ideal grade,” Kelvin says.

He had passed the first hurdle and the next waited- there was no fees for his university education. All he could cling to was hope, hope that help will come. “ I had to think fast on what to do, and without any papers for a formal job, I ended up as herder earning ($30) three thousand shillings monthly,” he said.

Even though Kelvin knew that herding was not his calling and he would eventually transition to something big in the future, he had no idea what that “something” would be.  Call it an audacity of hope driving his desire to move to look for big opportunities. After working for three months, he quit his herding job and with Sh.7,000 saved from his salary, moved to Nairobi.

His destination was Kawangware commonly known as ‘Kakamega ndogo’. “I did not know anyone in Nairobi, leave alone Kawangware, but I wanted to be there. I had been told that would be like my second home,” he narrated. With his little savings going to renting a room, the next nightmare was how to get a job to maintain himself. Lady Luck gave him an immediate smile, because after just a week, his next-door neighbor alerted him of a guards’ job which applied for and got.

The immediate success birthed greed. He wanted to grow fast,  rules notwithstanding. He fell afoul of the law and was soon on the radar of crime busters. The proverbial fortieth day arrived sooner than he expected, and when the sleuths called and asked him to surrender for interrogation, he decided to go on the run. He was a fugitive from justice. “I had bought a few computers to set up a cybercafé back home as my exit plan, hence my decision to run. ” he continued.

It started raining and before he could know it, it was pouring. His cybercafé was wiped clean by thieves just after a month of operation. He could not also hold phone conversations for more than thirty seconds and lived in perpetual fear of being traced and arrested. “After the burglary in my cybercafé, I knew that I could not fight or run anymore. I just did not have the energy. My time was up.” Kelvin notes while in deep thought.  He however, for two years, managed to evade the dragnet laid for him. “When the investigations officer called next, I surrendered and made my location known to them. I was duly arrested the day after this phone call.”

At his trial in court, he pleaded with the Magistrate to allow him to go back to school as he was a first-time offender. After a two-month stay in remand, the Probation officer tendered a favorable report to the court, and he was given a conditional release. The Probation officer then linked Kelvin with Crime Si Poa who financed his entry to a Technical College where he is pursuing a Diploma in IT.  

Jovial Kelvin at main office perusing files during digitization of finance department.

“Kelvin’s story was different. There was something unique about him and I knew that he had reformed. He stood out as determined and we could not deny him the chance to reboot his life,” stated Ms. Flavier Mwika, the Prisons and aftercare Program Manager at Crime Si Poa. “We support returning citizens (ex-inmates) willing to go back to school like in the case of Wavomba,” she added.

Kevin has not only proved to be an innovative and stellar student leader in his college, but has been , during his long holidays, interning with us at the digital livelihood project in Kajiado County where his teaching skills stand out. He is deploying his passion to help and mentor young Kenyans on the adverse effects of crime while equipping them with employability skills.

“My past does not define me, and I am way better than I was back then.  On the flip side I would not have known Crime Si Poa who have been pivotal on my growth journey,” he said. “ I urge them to devolve all these services they are providing to the villages where many people are ignorant about the law,” Kelvin confidently says.

With our interview ended, Kelvin, the now tech guru, excuses himself to go back to the Finance office where he is helping digitize records. I can’t wait to record his next journey in life.

About our Prisons and Reintegration Program (Phoenix) – Phoenix deals with the well-being of inmates through well curated psychosocial, spiritual and life skills mentorship sessions within in prisons and aids in their reintegration back into the community upon release.

To support the Phoenix Program and ex inmates in their re-intergration journey, kindly visit: https://crimesipoa.org/donate-to-crime-si-poa/

Read Joseph Kangethe’s powerful story here : https://crimesipoa.org/hope-restored-in-a-second-chance/

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The Epic Dawn.

When the Crime Si Poa community outreach program team met street families at Ngara Nairobi, something stood out on this day; a young 15-year-old shabby-looking but focused boy, AK.

His looks and demeanor betrayed the fact that he had not stayed in the streets for long, his indifference notwithstanding. It is however his introduction that caught our rapt attention. The boy from Central Kenya had only one desire: “I would like to go back to school and become somebody someday. This is not my life, and if I have an alternative trust, I will leave it,” he said amidst teary eyes.

Programs Officer Ruth Wambui poses for a selfie with AK on his admission day.

“How then did you end up in the streets?” asked Ruth Wambui, Crime Si Poa Programs Officer in charge of Nairobi County. With unease and apprehension, he narrated how an adult had sent him to neighbor’s house to commit a crime. The young man was charged alone and ended up at a Borstal Institution for six months.

Upon his release, his parents, who worked as farmhands, refused to take him back fearing that he had not fully reformed. Stigma ran high! A.K had no one to turn to, and the correctional services could not retain him upon his sentence completion. “My father said that I was not welcome home as I stood to bring him bad luck, and he could lose his job,” said A.K. “The street was my last resolve, and it became my home,” he continued.

Armed with this information, our team through the street family reintegration project contacted his dad, who confirmed the story and flatly refused to take back his own son. “He is now a grown-up and can look for menial jobs like other men and support himself. We cannot have him back,” the dad curtly said, ignoring the fact that his son was still a minor.

“A. K’s story touched me, and I became restless. I knew I had to do something, and with the help of social services officer in Ngara, we found a shelter for rehabilitated boys,” said Ruth. The center, however, was just that, a shelter. “The first step had been done, and we had secured him a roof over his head, but then he needed schooling, which the institution does not provide,” Ruth added.

Despite having stayed in the streets, A.K managed to ace the entrance interview for admission to Muthurwa Primary School and is set to sit for his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (K.C.P.E.) exam later this year. The school headteacher has great hope in A.K and is sure he will perform well. “He is a well-mannered boy who is determined. We will assist him in all the ways that we can to ensure that he performs well in his forthcoming exams,” he said.

Programs Officer Ruth Wambui poses for a photo with AK on his after a successful admission at Muthurwa Primary School.

“A. K’s story inspires us to keep the fire to change communities for the better burning. We strive to change one life at a time. However, due to the big need and limited resources, we are calling on more people and partners to support this noble cause,” said Ruth. She further thanked friends, donors and supporters of Crime Si Poa work in the streets and the communities.

To support Crime Si Poa, kindly visit : https://crimesipoa.org/donate-to-crime-si-poa/

About Borstal Institutions: The Borstal Institutions Act (CAP 92) provides for establishing borstal institutions and the detention of youthful offenders. The Act defines a youthful offender as a person who has been convicted of an offense punishable with imprisonment and has been found by the court, at the time of such conviction, to have attained the age of fifteen (15) years but to be under the age of eighteen (18) years.

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Nairobi West Prison Receives 133 Mattresses from Alliance High School

NAIROBI, KENYA

Crime Si Poa, in partnership with the Alliance high school student welfare group, donated one hundred-thirty-three mattresses to Nairobi west prison to improve the facility’s conditions.

The team was led and accompanied by their deputy headteacher. Mr. Karimi Mwangi and welfare teachers noted that there was a need for students to be exposed to the social dynamics and need to have them see what happens in the prisons. He further urged other schools to take the initiative.” Instead of burning the old mattress after the form fours leave them, it’s noble that we have them donated to the prisons after they have been given voluntarily by the students,” said Mr. Karimi. “You cannot know who will be in prison; when there, you never know what might happen. That’s why we decided to make an impact on those who are suffering,” Mr. Karimi noted.

Mr. Karimi Mwangi, deputy of Alliance High School, addressed the media during the ceremony. Image; CSP comms

The donation was appreciated by the welfare officers and team, who thanked crime Si Poa for the noble work that they are doing through their phoenix program. “The mattress donations that we have received are quite a help since we are experiencing scarcity in the prisons,” said Mr. Enock  Ogeti-Inspector of Nairobi West Prison.  Mr.Ogeto, who is also tasked with looking for partners and outsourcing donations, said, “I call on more partners to come on board and help us improve the situation in the prisons,” he said.

“You may not find or get 900 mattresses the capacity of our facility at a go, but a little help from different stakeholders will eventually meet our need,” he said.

Welfare officer posing with a section of the mattresses. Image; CSP comms

Peter Ouko, Crime Si Poa founder and executive director, thanked the students and the welfare team that made the event a success through their donations, “Leadership demands of us at any given time whichever school you went to. Instead of having the academic bonfire where people burn their mattresses at the end of the four-year course, the students of Alliance decided to keep their mattresses and donate to the society.”

He said that giving out what they are not using is one way to give back to the community. Mr. Pete also called on the criminal justice system to look for alternative ways of solving conflicts instead of sending them to jail.  “Young people’s lives are rotting within our prison system. If you look at Nairobi West, the majority are hawkers, car wash guys who are being kept here even though the constitution says anybody who is supposed to be jailed for less than six months is not supposed to be in prison,” he said.

An inmate getting the mattresses to the facility. Image; CSP comms

Crime Si Poa, through its constant engagement with the communities, has greatly reduced levels of crime in society by creating awareness. “We do not want young people to come here; we are mentoring and helping them to be better citizens in the community,” he narrated. “if you look at the numbers of people in prisons, almost 75% of the number are youths,” he continued.

https://scholarmedia.africa/community-outreach/sleep-for-inmates-as-alliance-school-crime-si-poa-donate-mattresses/

https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2023-03-16-alliance-boys-donates-150-mattresses-to-nairobi-west-prison/

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Answered Prayers.

When Ms. Flavier Mwika, Crime Si Poa-Phoenix program manager called Mr. Joseph Kang ‘ethe to go and pick a sewing machine that had been donated by Crime Si Poa from the Nakuru Main Prison, he was over the moon. He could not hide his joy as he mumbled words of gratitude. His prayers had been answered! “Tears dropped from my eyes. I finally had the chance to do something that I loved and I’m good at, I could not believe it, “he said.

Joseph, whose story appears in another article https://crimesipoa.org/hope-restored-in-a-second-chance/ requested well-wishers to donate a sewing machine to him upon his release after serving a 20-year jail term.

Kang’ethe receiving the sewing machine alongside welfare officers at Nakuru main prison

When we made a follow-up call a week after his release to know how he was settling down at his rural home, Kang’ethe was elated about the possibility of owning his own business. “I have rented a shop at our home shopping center-Murinduko where I’m going to run my tailoring business, something that is going to give me great satisfaction,” the excited Kang’ethe remarked.

He was also happy that the community had fully embraced him. “The church and community have fully accepted me back in the fold and I can feel and see their love in their actions, they are my clients at the shop, “he remarked.

Joseph looks forward to increased business once he increases his clientele base. “For a start, I’m grateful that I’m getting my livelihood from this. On a good day I can make $1 (KSH 100) from repairs which I’m grateful for since I’m not begging, he postulated.  He further said that he lives by hope since clients do not come by easily. “I live by hope, that farmers who go out in the forests and have clothes torn come back to me to fix them,” he apprehensively noted.

This has made him anticipate the rains as he also hopes to venture into farming to supplement the little, he is getting from the tailoring business. “I’m waiting for rains so that I can plant, I have prepared the farm and I’m just waiting to plant, hopeful Kangethe told CSP.

Kang’ethe has hit the ground running and started training two gentlemen from his village. He promised to dispense the knowledge once out to the youth while educating them on the dangers and impact of crime. “I took in two gentlemen who were just loitering at the shopping center, and I have been training them how to do tailoring, they have greatly benefitted from the two-hour sessions that I give them daily, like today I’m training them on cuttings,” he noted.

Joseph Nd’ungu one of the beneficiaries of his teaching said that he had benefitted from the training that he is getting. “I used to be an alcohol addict but now I look at the future with hope, thanks to the training I’m getting from Kang’ethe. I’m using time productively to gain life skills. This will help me secure my future,” he commented.

This is motivating Kang’ethe as he said that it had received good feedback from the parents. “Their parents are happy that their sons have had something to do and to keep them busy, “he urged.

His last sentiments, however, will remain inscribed in our hearts and made our faces beam with admiration as he reaffirmed his commitment to working hard toward the future.

“I am not afraid of starting again from zero. I am a hard worker and can comfortably say without a doubt that my future is bright.”

welfare officers receiving the machine at our offices.

Phoenix and Aftercare Manager noted that the organization is happy with the progress the tremendous Kang’ethe has made since. “I’m happy to note that Kang ‘the has greatly improved and his zeal towards improving himself, I also want to thank his community for not stigmatizing him,” she said.

Crime Si Poa continues walking with returning citizens in support through aftercare services, psychosocial support, and in some cases financial help to help them set up once they are reintegrated back into the community.