Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
In 2011, there was approximately 2000 prisoners in Lomé’s civil prison. Among these, the detection test identified 17 prisoners with TB. Their ages ranged between 20 and 61 years old and their weight between 31kg and 67 kg, and all of them suffered severe weight loss.
They have daily received 1 liter of enriched porridge. Of the 13, two died during the year. One of them was admitted in February with 48 kg and died in May, with 67kg. All the rest survived with a weight regain of 3kg - 9kg. A housekeeper was engaged in preparing and serving the enriched porridge for each patient. The porridge formula was developed by a nutritionist, Dr Bassoka. At fisrt, we would buy very expensive ingredients in the market. Meanwhile, the farmer groups that we support were looking for a market to sell their product. Thus, the idea of an agricultural project integrated to the prison was born.
We would provide seeds to those groups of farmers and support them in the field maintenance work. At harvest, we would buy the surplus after the farmers took the portion they needed for consumption. Two released prisoners recovered from TB while five other young ones managed to support themselves through selling braided bags, jewelry and many other art objects, such as bracelets, rings, necklaces etc..
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
The direct impact of our actions was the improvement in the health situation of almost all of the prisoners, with weight and energy regain. The reduction of the death rate in prisons is also an outcome of our activities. We see joy and smiles back on the faces that still twitch due to the former state of dehydration. The renewed strength and vitality nourishes the hope of a better future for these prisoners.
The young prisoners were benefited from our initiative through the handicraft work. In fact, in 2011, five of the released people were interested in the crafts they learned during their stay in the prison, and they are now able to support themselves through this activity. This work released them from their vices, so they are no longer subjects to recidivism.
As to the farmer groups, they have a market for their products. In fact, thanks to the ATPOAD partnership, their crops are purchased locally, which saves them the cost of transporting the product to another market.
Altogether, six bags of 100kg of corn, two bags of 100kg of beans and 2 bags of 100kg of peanuts were paid to the farmer groups during the year of 2011; 1898 prisoners have also benefited from soaps prepared by Kolo women's groups with support from ATPOAD.
As to the results, we propose to extend our activities gradually to ten other prisons in the country.
We believe our solution makes a difference in the sense that beforehand, the public had a totally negative perspective of the prisoners. They were seen as untrustworthy people, considered worthless and hopeless. Not getting near them would avoid dishonor.
It is for this reason that they are abandoned by their families. Our project, then, shows that the prisoner is a human being that has the right to health and food just as everyone else does. A change in mentality can always be useful to a nation.