Mogadishu prisoners trained to work for a living

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Maxaabiista oo xirfadda la baray uga dhex shaqeysanaya Xabsiga Dhexe/Munasar Maxamed Cabdi/Ergo Photo | Carpentry training for Mogadishu prisoners/Munasar Mohamed Abdi/Ergo

Radio Ergo 29 December, 2016 MUQDISHO


(ERGO) - Inmates in Mogadishu central prison are benefiting from a vocational training scheme offering courses in carpentry, welding, tailoring and electrical work.

Colonel Mohamed Sheikh Mohamud, the prison superintendent, told Radio Ergo it was the first time inmates were getting such opportunities in the prison’s 200 year history. So far more than 200 prisoners, including 50 women, have been trained since the programme began in September 2015.

The scheme, funded by diaspora well-wishers and local businesses, enables prisoners who have learned a skill to earn money from certain jobs in and outside the prison.

The money they earn is held in an account by the prison administration for prisoners to send to their families or use to buy necessities for themselves.

Muhyadin Mohamud Abdikarim, who has been in prison for five years for murder, told Radio Ergo he had benefited greatly from learning the skill of welding.

“In November I was able to send $200 to my six children and their mother in Barawe in Lower Shabelle. It was money I earned for some work. I get various job opportunities outside the prison like welding gates and other metal items used for security purposes,” he added.

Muhyadin said he would have to remain in prison until his family compensated the family of the man he killed.

Abdulkadir Mohamed Yusuf told Radio Ergo he was determined to use the skills in tailoring and carpentry to earn an honest living after finishing his three-year sentence for robbery.

The central prison currently holds 1,500 prisoners, including 250 women. Among them are convicted criminals, prisoners on remand pending court cases, and others who have been brought to prison by their parents for rehabilitation.

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