Partners Inaugurate Malakal Vocational Training Center

By John Agok

The Kingdom of Netherlands in partnership with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on Monday launched a Vocational Training Centre for National Prisons Service South Sudan (NPSSS) at Malakal National Prisons Centre.

Over hundred inmates from both females and Males were set to benefit from four classrooms facility that would carry out eight essential skills of Catering, tailoring, Carpentry, masonry and among others.

The project targeted the South Sudanesein juvenile Centre, Malakal prisons inmates anda pledge for the reform of Prisons Service under theme“Access to Justice, Security and Human Rights, Strengthening Programme through Recidivism Prevention.

Lt. Gen. William Andrea, the Deputy Director General for National Prisons Service South Sudan (NPSSS) admitted that, there were 175 inmates sheltering in National Prisons Centre in Malakal for both males and females convicted for minor crimes including theft.

 Andrea lauded the Dutch government support in renovating the facility meant for VTC.

“We appreciate the Dutch’s government for renovating what war had destroyed”, he said.

He appealed for the renovation of Malakal Prisons Service Centre and installation of solar power as to access electricity within the institution.

‘We are also appealing to our partners to continue support by renovating the Prison facility and establish power system to our offices, so that we can print our documents here inside and not in the market, because their confidential documents should not be exposed and shared with the public,” he added.

Fafsa Aljak Nyawela who was the Acting State Governor appreciated the partners for the facility and cautioned inmates to be very vigilant.

“We are asking you inmates to be very careful of not committing the same crime when you are set free, rather than focusing on your program purpose. You deserve to be trained well and hone skills for job employments,” she stressed.

Nevertheless, Jelte Van, the Kingdom of Netherlands Ambassador demonstrated his happiness to his arrival in Malakal and noted the reforms of Prisons Service in South Sudan as crucial.

Van urged the government of South Sudan to consider the prisons service reforms and upgrade it according to the standard of other countries in the World.

“Prisons service reforms are imperatives to every Country and even in my own Country has to put more efforts in restoration of inmates’ justice. South Government has to pay a high cost in improving and empowering inmates’ livelihoods.” he said.

He promised to see more women graduating from VTC on eight essentials skills. Also Van appreciated the UNDP’s contribution in setting up facility for inmates to enhance skills and knowledge. 

Van cited the commitment of government in changing the name from National Prisons Service to National Correction Service: “there is a philosophy of restoration that is to correct those inmates and put them back on their deviated ‘purpose’.

Government with Partners are investing in prisons service by setting up more VTC for inmates and to enable them get skills. The program would also correct the image of a country on an impact of stories of VTC skills to inmates”.

Samuel Doe, the Country Representative of UNDP applauded the two governments.

“I would like to register our deep gratitude to both government of Netherlands and of South Sudan in this enormous contribution of establishing VTC in Wau, Juba and now Malakal. UNDP cannot alone, but funding from Dutch embassy to South Sudan made it possible today.  The Ministry of Interior took stand with us partners in an effort to rehabilitate the inmates so that, they may not engage in crimes once hone skills of VTC in earning them jobs or employments”, he explained.

Doe underlined that, Dutch government cooperation with UNDP underpinned philosophy of restoration of justice, security and Human Rights Strengthening in the Society.

“In the Society where its social fabric broken down, it is UNDP and Partners’ underpinned philosophy of restoring justice in the Society.  Offence committed by inmates is supposed to be blame on society whose social fabric broke down. It is now state obligation to provide protection rights to inmates by restoration of justice”, he underscored.

Benjamin Philips, a butcher who was convicted for six months and Sabit Obacha, that was convicted for murder case and sentenced for three years in prison. The two beneficiaries revealed to Juba Monitor that they were very pleased to be part and parcel of the VTC in Malakal.

“We are very happy to be part of VTC programe, we are graduates of high school and we need to further our skills in Computer and other technical skills,” they said.

The Malakal VTC project was set up by UNDP since 2018 and finished in 2021. The Access to Justice and Rule of Law Project’s support to Juba Central Prisons Vocational Training Centre was generously funded by Kingdom of Netherlands through coordination of NPSSS- Ministry of Interior as well as Ministry of Education and Ministry of Labour &Human Resource.

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