By Amin Kef (Ranger)
In a collaborative effort to empower some incarcerated female inmates serving various sentences, Fritzwa International, led by Naana Djan from Ghana, in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Correctional Services (SLCS) and with sponsorship provided by Taninihun Incorporated, on the 11th August, 2023 completed a vocational skills training exercise in bead-making and fabric craft, which benefitted fifty of them. Earnest training for these fifty female inmates, currently incarcerated at the Female Correctional Centre in Freetown commenced on the 7th August, 2022 and it was intensive.
The partnership between the two organizations, among other things, was geared towards equipping these young female inmates with marketable skills and knowledge that will empower and put them at vantage positions to become self-reliant and financially independent after regaining their freedom.
The initiative came in the wake of a meeting that was held between representatives of Taninihun Incorporated, Fritzwa International, and the Correctional Centre authorities overseeing or in charge of the Female Correctional Centre at the former Special Court for Sierra Leone at Brookfields in Freetown on Friday, July 28, 2023.
During the meeting, representatives of the various organizations expressed their plan and commitment to empower or train Fifty (50) inmates behind bars. After following due diligence, the Prison authorities presented a list of the 50 female inmates which they stated should benefit from the skills training.
Training commenced in earnest and the targeted beneficiaries were so excited and interested to the point that they were able to quickly imbibe most of what they were taught and impressively demonstrated admirable craftsmanship in the sample production of beautiful ladies handbags made using beads , otherwise known as beaded bags , as the training exercise was drawing to a close.
The CEO of Taninihun Incorporated, Madam Hawa Kobi-Walker expressed her delight to be part of the training exercise or programme , which according to her, sought to empower these female inmates to become self-reliant and financially independent by marketing their newly acquired skills or trade. According to her what they have gained could have cascading effects as there are possibilities of trickling down knowledge within communities.
She further pointed out that they decided to train the female inmates in bead-making and fabric craft ,from which different products or crafts could be produced, with the main objective that handcrafted materials are highly needed in the tourism and hospitality industry making reference to Events Management Entities like the one she as well now manages, T-Events.
On the part of the Head of Fritzwa International, Naana Djan, the mission or purpose of the two organizations partnering together, to implement the project, was to give marketable vocations to female prisoners who were willing to learn trades so they can be financially independent upon their release.
She pointed out that during the training sessions they incorporated certain elements which were aimed at building the self-esteem and confidence of the trainees.
Naana Djan noted that providing a supportive and nurturing environment where women can develop their skills and express their creativity can help them regain confidence in their abilities and foster personal growth.
She said Fritzwa International’s dedication to empowering women across Africa is evident in their ongoing efforts to support vulnerable women in various countries and foster their economic empowerment. Madam Naana Djan made mention of how prior to the training of the fifty female inmates, her organization, with support from Orange telecommunications company, rolled out a skills training programme that benefitted 150 young people in Sierra Leone adding that the organization initially started the capacity building exercise of young people in Ghana.
She intimated that teaming up with an organization like Taninihun Incorporated was quite a pleasurable experience which made it easier for the training exercise to be conducted without facing much challenges. She commended the CEO of Taninihun Incorporated, Madam Hawa Kobi-Walker, for her insightful and meaningful contributions saying she was highly instrumental in motivating the inmates and went on to express gratitude for the immense support they provided.
“By Taninihun Incorporated providing the much needed support, Fritzwa International successfully implemented the vocational skills training as well as counseling, mentorship, and coaching and it is hoped that such will create opportunities for these young women to build better lives for themselves and their families,” Naana Djan underscored.
The successful training program by provided through collaboration and support exemplifies the passion and remarkable work that the parties involved are committed to be making with the aim of positively transforming individual lives and communities. These organizations have demonstrated that they are really dedicated to creating a better world for the underprivileged and marginalized, one where the beneficiaries can thrive and be empowered to reach their full potentials.