18 June 2021, JUBA—The National Prisons Service of South Sudan (NPSSS) officially expanded its in-prison vocational training programme with the launch of the Wau Prison Vocational Training Centre in Western Bahr-el-Ghazal State on Friday 18 June 2021. The occasion marked the graduation of the centre’s first batch of 105 trainees in eight trades.
The launch event was presided over by the Western Bahr-el-Ghazal State Minister of Cabinet Affairs Hon. Arkangelo Anyar Anyar, representing Hon. Governor Sarah Cleto Rial; the Deputy Director-General of NPSSS Lt. Gen. William Andrea Lado; and the Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP South Sudan Christy Ahenkora.
“Today we can observe this well-established VTC with qualified, experienced, competent, and committed South Sudanese instructors imparting vocational trade skills in various fields to all categories of prison inmates,” said Deputy Director-General of NPSSS Lt. Gen. William Andrea Lado.
The first cohort of 105 trainees (85 inmates, 15 prison personnel, 11 of whom are females) have completed courses at the centre, with a second batch of trainees currently undergoing instruction. 65 trainees in the first cohort at the Wau facility are juvenile offenders.
The Wau Vocational Training Centre consists of eight newly constructed classrooms and an administrative block fitted with green energy installation, vocational and administrative equipment, and a generator. The Wau VTC is equipped to offer courses in eight (8) specialties: (1) Carpentry and Joinery, (2) Building and Construction, (3) Electrical Installation, (4) Metal Fabrication and Welding, (5) Auto Mechanics, (6) Agriculture, (7) Hair Dressing and Beauty Therapy, and (8) Tailoring and Fashion Design.
The expansion to Wau follows the success of the in-prison vocational training programme in Juba Central Prison. NPSSS graduated its fifth batch of trainees at the Juba centre, consisting of 178 inmates, from the VTC in Juba Central Prison on 14 June 2021. The newest cohort brings the total number of VTC graduates to 907 people (769 inmates, 49 of which are female; and 138 prisons personnel, 37 of which are female).
The vocational training centres in Wau and Juba are funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The administration of the VTCs is designed to promote indigenous expertise to ensure sustainability and utilize collaboration of the NPSSS under the Ministry of Interior, as well as the Ministry of General Education, Science and Technology; the Ministry of Labour and Human Resource Development; and UNDP.
“UNDP recognizes that depriving a person of their liberty for a period is one of the most significant powers available to the State and must be imposed with respect for the rule of law and with purpose. The establishment of vocational training centers for inmates aims to prevent reoffending by imparting technical skills to the inmates to earn their livelihoods and facilitate their rehabilitation and reintegration back into society when released,” said UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Christy Ahenkora, during the launch event in Wau.
About UNDP South Sudan Access to Justice, Security and Human Rights Strengthening Programme
The UNDP Access to Justice, Security and Human Rights Strengthening Programme is supported by the Kingdom of Netherlands, Government of Japan, the Peacebuilding Fund, the Resilience, Stabilization and Recovery Trust Funds for South Sudan and its core resources. The programme seeks to strengthen the capacity of key justice and security actors including the Ministry of Interior, Police, Prisons, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Law Review Commission, Human Rights Commission and Judiciary by reducing case backlog; addressing prolonged and arbitrary detention; harmonizing traditional and formal justice sector; and increasing access to justice for the people of South Sudan and promoting a culture of human rights respect.