The National Prisons Service of South Sudan (NPSSS) with support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has expanded its in-prison vocational training programme with the launch of Wau Prison Vocational Training Centre in Western Bahr-el-Ghazal State on Friday.
The occasion also marked the graduation of the centre’s first batch of 105 trainees.
The Wau Vocational Training Centre consists of eight newly constructed classrooms and an administrative block with green energy installation, vocational, administrative equipment, and a generator. The Wau VTC is equipped to offer courses in eight (8) specialties: (1) Carpentry and Joinery, (2) Building and Construction, (3) Electrical Installation, (4) Metal Fabrication and Welding, (5) Auto Mechanics, (6) Agriculture, (7) Hair Dressing and Beauty Therapy, and (8) Tailoring and Fashion Design.
Speaking in Wau on Friday, the Deputy Director General at the National Prison Services, Lt.Gen William Andrea Lado said that the developmental partners have filled in the gap the prison service had been lacking by constructing the vocational training center in the prison to help both inmates and prison officers to aquire new skills.
“Today we can observe this well-established VTC with qualified, experienced, competent, and committed South Sudanese instructors imparting vocational trade skills in various fields to all categories of prison inmates,” said Deputy Director-General of NPSSS Lt. Gen.Lado.
The minister of cabinet Affairs in Western Bhar El Ghazal state, Arkangelo Anyar Anyar appreciated and thanked the donors for their support on developmental projects in South Sudan.
“This is a very good contribution from our partners UNDP and the kingdom of the Netherlands, instead of giving us food or something ready, they now gave prison officers and inmates knowledge on how to make food and money, what you gave is more durable than giving us what we can consume in one day” he said.
UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Christy Ahenkora, said UNDP is committed to supporting all projects that are related to promoting rule of laws and bring lasting peace in the country.
“UNDP recognizes that depriving a person of their liberty for a period is one of the most significant powers available to the State and must be imposed with respect for the rule of law and with purpose. The establishment of vocational training centers for inmates aims to prevent reoffending by imparting technical skills to the inmates to earn their livelihoods and facilitate their rehabilitation and reintegration back into society when released,” she said .
The first cohort of 105 trainees (85 inmates, 15 prison personnel, 11 of whom are female) have completed courses at the centre, with a second batch of trainees currently undergoing instruction. 65 trainees in the first cohort at the Wau facility are juvenile offenders.
The vocational training centres in Wau and Juba are funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The administration of the VTCs is designed to promote indigenous expertise to ensure sustainability and utilize collaboration of the NPSSS under the Ministry of Interior, as well as the Ministry of General Education, Science and Technology; the Ministry of Labour and Human Resource Development; and UNDP.