The Zimbabwe Freedom From Hunger Campaign (ZFFHC) has pledged to work with a local non-governmental organisation on a rehabilitation programme that seeks to equip former political prisoners with skills to cope with life on the outside.
ZFFHC Director Lamuel Phiri told the African News Agency (ANA) the capacity building programme would especially target those prisoners who had served lengthy sentences. Also, he said, there would be a focus on mothers, who might need extra help with their children.
He said most of the former prisoners did not have the required skills for survival outside prison.
The ZFFHC, which was relaunched earlier in December after funding challenges had halted operations for eight years, wanted to improve the former prisoners’ capacity to take care of themselves as well as their dependents.
Phiri added that while many prisoners had been learning skills when they were “inside” they often didn’t know how or when to apply these skills once they had been released. Also, he said, they were often hampered by the community’s lack of confidence engaging with people who had a criminal record.
He said the organisation wanted to try to build confidence in their communities so that they could be accepted back.
Phiri said they had engaged a local organisation that was championing the cause of former prisoners to collect information about them.
“We want to know where these people are, what they are doing and how the community received them. Then we are going to look at how best we can meet them at their point of need,” he added.
– African News Agency (ANA)