Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation

Juvenile rehabilitation centers should address treatment needs, skill development and successful re-integration of juveniles into the society

Juvenile Crime

Juvenile Crime

All juveniles have individual strengths that can be identified, built on, and employed to prevent future delinquency

Youth Activities

Youth Activities

Engaging a community and neighborhood that promote and foster healthy activities for juveniles

Life-Skills

Life-Skills

Availability of economic and other resources exposes juveniles in attaining multiple experiences that supports their life-skills

Family Support

Family Support

Participation in shared activities between youth and family (including siblings and parents) is key to positive re-integration of juveniles

 

A call to serve and rehabilitate prisoners

For more than fifty years, Fr. Peter Meienberg, has dedicated his life to serving needy people in East Africa. The Catholic priest is the founder of Faraja, an organization that is committed to helping both juveniles and adult offenders seek positive re-integration upon release from prison.
Serving as the prison chaplain for Kamiti prison, his first and foremost mission is to bring the inmates a message of hope and courage, of human dignity and adherence to social transformation. This mission enhances harmonious relationship among the inmates, prison staff and the community at large.
“Slowly I worked myself into the ‘system’ by concentrating on the remand section. Because religious services could only be conducted if it did not rain, my first request to the officer in charge was to get permission to build a roof to serve as a chapel”, he says.
Fr_MeienbergUpon receiving permission, Faraja Trust continued to construct three sports grounds, one in the remand section and two in the main prison, complete with showers, toilets and sports kits. Such facilities were also extended at Langata Women Prison.
At the womens’ prison, the organization built a classroom, bought knitting and sewing machines and added counseling facilities and basic computer courses for the inmates.
These facilities brought a new facelift and enthusiasm among the inmates. Thus the inmates were eager to explore their creative potential, embrace their classes with dedication. Fr. Meienberg explains that the aim of imprisonment is, of course, to restore, not to discourage or destroy; to reform and not to punish.
“At the Kamiti prison, friends and volunteers helped us to construct a new building which now accommodates a computer school headed by our own teacher that is intended not only for the prisoners but for the staff as well”, he adds.
Other services that Faraja Trust has offered include finding advocates who volunteers out of generosity and take up deserving cases for inmates unable to afford legal fees. This kind of service has seen a number of inmates successfully freed and released.
The organization also runs re-integration programs for juveniles and adult offenders. Fr. Meienberg affirms that juvenile re-entry program has strengthened community bonding with the released juveniles.
“This program also addresses other needs of our prisoners such as communication with their loved ones at home”, he said.
For the juveniles who lack accommodation upon release, Faraja Trust provide facilitates such as rehabilitation and also support poor families by paying for education of their children. He says that through this, most youth from informal settlements are better engaged in positive activities, curbing juvenile crime.
He explains that their programs have provided opportunities for juveniles to change their attitudes, acquire life-support skills, thus projecting a positive impact on their rehabilitation and re-integration.
Supported by the Commissioner of Prisons, Faraja Trust has organized workshops in a number of prisons covering areas such as motivation, teamwork, customer care, Christian principles and human rights.
Efforts of Faraja Trust has been greatly appreciated by the Commissioner of Prisons, who on a number of occasions has graced graduation ceremony and handed out certificates to staff members committed to changing the lives of prisoners.
Fr. Meienberg asserts that his organization seeks to expand its services to other prisons and juvenile institutions within the country.
“Up to this point, Faraja Trust has been perceived as a simple donor or benefactor; but our vision is to enter into a true partnership with the prison authorities”, he said.
“Concerning our initiatives, we would like to play a more subsidiary role and act as a source of inspiration and of new ideas enhancing rehabilitation and re-integration of prisoners”, he concludes.

—Ends—

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