Prisoners are people too!!!
Fr. Grol’s welfare Trust is a non-political, non-sectarian and non-profit organization under the trusteeship of the Brothers of our Lady Mother of Mercy (CMM). It is registered as a charitable trust with the ministry of lands in Kenya. The project focuses on transforming the lives of inmates serving sentences in jail through social welfare support, advocacy and integration.
The Father Growl’s Trust was founded by a Catholic Priest, the late Fr. Arnold Grol, M. A. The establishment of this program occurred during that time that Fr. Grol ministered at St. Teresa’s Parish in the Nairobi Archdiocese. In 1977, due to old age, Fr. Grol handed over the administration of this program to the Brothers of Mercy who have guided and maintained the project under the leadership of Brother Linus Schoutsen. Recently, Brother Linus suffered a stroke and is currently recuperating in Tilburg the CMM residential care facility in the Netherlands … Bro. Cyprian Mbashu is the new co-coordinator.
To restore human dignity by empowering the members of the prison community to improve their capacity for better living and contribute to National development.
To be the preferred organization in providing hope and achieving a transformed and humanized prison community in Kenya.
To promote the dignity of prisoners by enhancing collaborative efforts towards rehabilitation and re- integration to the community by strengthening capacities for quality of life solutions.
The purpose of the trust is to improve and eventually transform the prison community in Kenya through innovative rehabilitation initiatives and re-integration into the community. The project advances the quality of life of prisoners and provides the participants with problem solving tools.
Key focus areas include:
- Promotion of the existing social welfare services to prisoners.
- Promotion of human rights in the Kenyan prisons.
- Re-integrating prisoners back into the community.
The project attempts to respond to various aspects of human and social needs especially the welfare activities. The main objectives include the following:
- to train and educate those within the prison to appreciate the inmates human rights.
- to provide health care to prisoners in Kenya as basic human right.
- to promote recreational activities within the prisons.
- to facilitate after care support and re-integrate prisoners back into the community.
- to initiate effective networks of collaborations in order to promote the rights of prisoners and ensure the sustainability of the project.
Prison rehabilitation programs
The prison project dates back to 1984 when the founder began to help street children (boys and girls who ended up in prison) obtain skills. Guided by the Biblical exhortation in Mathew 25:36 “I was in prison and you visited me”, it was in Athi River G.K Prison where the founder initiated the program with one boy. Thirty years later the project had spread throughout the country and over 20,000 prisoners have benefitted from the various rehabilitation initiatives.
The Trust supplies sports equipment for both indoor and field activities. The Trust also organizes sports festivals and competition between inmates (and provides prizes and trophies). This ensures the inmates are kept busy and active both mentally and physically.
Re-integration of offenders
Inmates who graduate receive tool kits, sewing machines, welding machines etc. in order to facilitate smooth resettlement and re-integration back into the community.
The Trust provides study materials including stationery, text books and library books. At exam time all the participants are given all the materials needed to complete exams. The Trust also provides workshop materials for technical courses and thus supplements state support. In women’s prisons materials for dress making and weaving are also supplied by the Trust. We are part of the aftercare task force and are engaged in the formulation of ex-prisoner policy in the country Kenya.
Education and training
For more information visit the project website www.frgrolstrust.org
Bro. Cyprian Maghamba CMM