Elizabeth Awuour

Paralegal: lang'ata women's prison

I'm 30 years old, serving 17 years with a case of manslaughter.

Some positive things about myself is that I enjoy schooling, singing and writing. When I am out of prison, I want to be supporting people through probono work, being a probono lawyer and preaching gospel. 

How has APP benefited you? 
Providing me with the legal education and empowering me. Beforehand, I did not have the confidence in me, at all. But now I can stand up for myself, without fear or fearing anyone. I can also stand for myself as well when we have the legal awareness sessions, I am able to teach and also speak-out during debates.  

What has happened as a result of learning these skills?
I feel good when I see some inmates going home because of me managing to help them. I also feel good when I see someone’s sentence being reduced and when giving them legal advice through ADR and they negotiate and you see someone going home through that.

A few things about your family and yourself?
My family is of 10 children from one mother. I am an orphan. In our family, we were six girls and four boys, but now four girls have passed away so there are only two of us. They are still young. My big brother is the one who has been standing for our family as our father, and now he is suffering and has been sick for the last three years. You can imagine how serious it was and he is the only breadwinner that we have in our family. He was still the one who was supporting me when I am in prison, even up till now. He can’t walk properly but he is still undertaking medicine. I know one day he will stand and walk again.

About me, when I was outside prison, I was a single parent. Having one kid, she is now eight years old. I was a salonist. I just fought with my friend and I stabbed her with a knife in the process of fighting because she was the one who had that knife. I was trying to defend myself. I was taken to the police and from that day, I became a prisoner. I took three years in remand when I was going through my trial and I was sentenced for 17 years in prison.In prison, I have learned many skills - I know how to pleat beads, create handcrafted goods, sewing, and doing embroidery. I am now in school. I am in form three class hoping to pass the KCSE. I am looking forward to study law when I pass the KCSE, it is my dream.

As of now, my child is staying with my cousins because I don’t have a big sister who can stay with her. I left her when she was two years and seven months, but now, she is approaching eight years and I thank God for that. I am still waiting for my appeal to go through. I am praying that they will reduce my sentence and I will go home.