Monday, October 1, 2012

Bugembe Prison Vocational Training Projects

As the yellow-clad prisoners prepared for the Sunday service, I met with Geoffrey (the tailoring prisoner-teacher) to introduce a few new product ideas. I emphasized to Carpenter John, the prison chaplain, the need to help the group become self sustaining by making salable products. Certainly some of those students who have participated for some time are capable of making a few of the simple sample items presented. After all, Geoffrey made the girly dresses without a hitch.

I brought six different fabric prints along with the other necessities required for making the sample items. Thank you to Anna for the thread, bias tape and ribbon, and various other goodies that will be used to make these items. Thank you to Heidi for the beautiful African fabrics (and for the fabrics being delivered to Kakira prison too).

The three sample items included a simple eyeglass case, a jewelry pouch with a draw string, and a hair tie – all using the beautiful African prints. I tried to choose items that were easier for those beginner tailors and one that might be a little more challenging. The folks learning to sew these products will be able to take these patterns with them when they leave prison and continue making the products for themselves. Geoffrey also has the liberty to develop his own product ideas that will help generate revenue for the group.

The guys were super excited to sew something more than their own uniforms. I can’t wait to see the results.

On another note, I passed by Mohamed – the man who was in prison and started his own shoeshine business after learning the trade at Bugembe. While business is slow, I was glad to find him there trying his best to make the business succeed.

(Sorry, still no photos allowed.)