A building for vocational education workshops: a gift of Sant’Egidio to Mulanje Prison, MalawiMalawi Prison
The new facility was inaugurated on October, 24
A new large and bright building intended for vocational education workshops has been donated by the Community of Sant'Egidio to the Malawian prison of Mulanjie. People will be trained in vocational skills - carpenter, tailor and plumber.
Training and work placement will offer detainees the opportunity to work. They can have a source of income during detention and at the end of their sentence as they need to reintegrate into society and provide for their families.
The structure is part of a more complex prisoners’ rehabilitation project Sant'Egidio has been carrying on in the country's prisons. It aims at defending prisoners’ dignity and having their human rights respected.
Sant'Egidio has been visiting people in Mulanje prison for many years. Friendship with the prisoners has become a profound bond of fraternity. A Community of Sant'Egidio was born inside the prison itself where prisoners and custody officers meet twice a week listening to the Word of God and praying in unity with all the communities in the world.
The Communities of Sant'Egidio of Malawi have been visiting prisoners in 14 of the country's main jails for many years. They have met some 10,000 inmates, distributed food and other basic necessities to alleviate suffering. Intense bonds of friendship have grown with many of them over the years. A Law Clinic has also been set up for some years now. A group of lawyers has offered professional support to have a regular trial so that over the last two years 50 detainees were released.
In addition, Sant'Egidio - with a totally self-financed and free project - has built drinking water tanks, water pumps and wells in the country's main prisons. It aims at guaranteeing the right to health and ensuring that detention does not turn into a death sentence. Diseases and infections may easily spread if water is impure or there is no water at all.
Last March the Covid-19 outbreak worsened prisoners’ living conditions. They had to be isolated for months in overcrowded structures and with scarce food supply. Sant'Egidio has continued to be close to them. As visits were suspended, we have sent them masks, disinfectant, soap, food and lots of letters