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Centre Trains Inmates For After Prison

Centre Trains Inmates For After Prison
An inmate perfecting his artwork. Photo: Fiji Corrections Services
April 17
11:00 2017


Two professionals from Australia are teaching inmates the basics of jewellery making

Eight inmates from the Suva Corrections Centre and the Women’s Corrections Centre are undergoing a week of training in the art of making jew­ellery under the rehabilitation programme of the Fiji Corrections Service.

Conducted by two professionals from Australia at the Tagimoucia Art Gallery in Suva, the initiative is aimed at preparing inmates for when they are released from pris­on.

Sydney-based design and visual arts teacher, Natacha Brochard and her Fashion and Jewelry designer mother, Linda Walker-Muchelknautz are sharing their experiences teaching them the basics of jewellery making tech­niques using materials such as beads, wire, glass, metal, and clay.

The centre’s goal is that the knowledge and skills obtained from this training will allow the inmates to start their own busi­ness when they leave prison.

Ms Muchelknautz said she was very humbled by the experience and they were impressed with their (inmates) natural abilities.

“We should always keep them en­couraged because they have enor­mous potential,” she said.

“It is my philosophy that when we plant the seed of inspiration, creativity is birthed; when we are focused, we get good things out from that and it is only when we are unfocused that we lose a lot of things in life.”

She said this programme would allow the inmates to focus on what they wanted to do with their lives after prison.

Commissioner of Corrections, Commander Francis Kean, who visited them on Saturday, thanked the mother and daughter team.

“Hopefully, when they are re­leased from our care they are able to set up small business enterpris­es for themselves,” Commander Kean said.

“This is all part of our rehabilita­tion so that they are able to sustain themselves when they return to our community.”

A volunteer, Jane Ricketts, has been assisting the inmates at the gallery for the past nine years, ini­tiated the programme.

“Linda was born in Fiji and her grandmother is from Tailevu. I was her teacher at Suva Gram­mar School and she came for the reunion three years ago when they toured the gallery,” Ms Rickets said.

“That was when she was inter­ested in coming here to share her experience but due to the busy schedule, it finally eventuated this year when her daughter is now available for a holiday.”

The training was from Monday to Thursday and the final day of training was held on Saturday.

Source: Fiji Corrections Services



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