Charity Is Love Foundation, a group championing the welfare of prisoners in Ghana, has called for support for female prisoners across the country.
Madam Matilda Baffour-Awuah, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, noted that prisoners who were motivated to change could be assisted with vocational and skills training to empower them to function more effectively for the benefit of their families and society as a whole.
Madam Baffour-Awuah made these remarks during a fact-finding visit to the Nsawam Female Medium Security Prison in the Eastern Region.
She was accompanied by Commissioner of Police (Rtd) Reverend Dr David Ampah Benin; Mr Mark Agbosu, Deputy Director of Prisons (Rtd); Mr Myles Ongoh, Deputy Director of Social Welfare and Madam Gifty Tokpor, Head of the Osu Girls Correctional Center.
The visit aimed at identifying the challenges facing prisoners at the Facility and how best the Foundation could assist.
It brought to the fore the thorny problem faced by mothers in prison who have left young dependent children at home, whose growth and development could be negatively affected by the absence.
Madam Baffour- Awuah, who is also a retired Director-General of Ghana Prison Service, said the diversity of experience of its members and their backgrounds would position the Foundation to assist prisoners who were determined to change from their criminal activities and anti-social behaviour.
She reiterated the Foundation’s commitment to support female prison inmates with vocational and skills training, education, counselling, and mentoring programmes.
Madam Baffour-Awuah encouraged the inmates to put their acquired skills to work, create a sustainable income and refrain from further criminal activities.
She said the Foundation would offer start-up capital to inmates, who have demonstrated their capacity to set up and manage their businesses.
“The Organization has the objective to help all categories of prisoners to reform, rehabilitate and return to society as law-abiding and responsible citizens," she said.
However, turning its focus on women prisoners, Charity is Love Foundation recognizes the important role that women play in keeping the family unit functioning as an important unit of society, she said.
Chief Superintendent Janet Asabea, Head of Nsawam Female Prisons, informed the Foundation that Nsawam Female Prison is the largest women’s prisons in Ghana, holding prison inmates of both low and high-risk categories because there was no maximum-security prison for women in the country.
She noted that women prison inmates usually needed a great deal of support to enable them to carry out their sentences due to their physiological make-up and the unique roles they occupied in society as mothers, wives, caregivers, breadwinners and at times heads of families.
She said these factors place a lot of stress on women, noting, she was always ready to help reduce the burden of the women, many of whom were going through emotional disturbances due to their separation from their families and children.
Charity is Love Foundation is a registered private Organization that works with prisoners and other offenders in Prisons and Police cells. Its mission is to offer appropriate assistance towards their reformation and rehabilitation and successful reintegration into society, as law-abiding and productive members of the society.