CHILL OUT SESSION AT GOOGLE
On 23rd January 2019, Google Africa organised a media brief for African Prisons Project (APP) at their offices. This event came after the Google Impact Awards that were held in November last year. Out of 1,135 applicants, 100 organisations were shortlisted. These organisations were to demonstrate community impact, reach, innovation and feasibility of their projects. Google worked with special experts who analysed all the organisations bringing the number down to the last 12 finalists where APP emerged as one of the judges choice winners.
The aim of this session was to shed more light on the Google Impact Challenge 2018 and for the media to familiarise themselves with APP’s work hence getting a close account of APP’s journey towards impacting the Kenyan community. APP was represented by Caroline Njambi, APP Legal Aid Officer, Rahab Nyawira and Morris Kaberia (Both beneficiaries of the project).
This session presented an opportunity for APP to discuss plans for 2019 (and beyond) upon winning the Google Impact award, the challenges faced and the role of technology in our day to day work.
Morris Kaberia, a beneficiary of APP spent 13 years in Kamiti Maximum Prison shared on the impact in which APP has had in his life while in prison and the support he has continued to receive after his release. Morris shared his journey from spending 9 years on remand awaiting justice, sentenced to suffer death until his release in September 2019 following a successful appeal that ruled against both his sentence and his conviction. Morris currently works with APP as an Assistant Legal Aid officer.
“If you've never lost freedom, then you don't know what freedom is,” Morris Kaberia.
Rahab Nyawira equally shared on her transformational journey, from having been a notorious inmate at Lang’ata women’s prison up to the point she purposed to turn a new leaf and is now positively impacting her community through advocating against crime and offering free legal services. Rahab’s life Mantra is, “Don’t fear crime, hate crime.”
Caroline Njambi spoke on both the successes and challenges that the programme has had in Kenya.
In 2018, over 5,000 inmates received free legal services facilitated by APP while over 1,000 inmates were released from prisons in Kenya. However, backlog of cases in court, reintegration of ex inmates into the society and illiteracy are amongst the challenges faced while working in prison communities.
“Many Kenyans do not understand the law and neither do they know what laws are available.” Caroline Njambi.
There is need to sensitise the public on the law as this will reduce the number of petty offences.