Help Alexander Educate African Prisoners

alexander maclean
Alexander McLean is quite a special guy.

At 23, he is Director General of the Africans Prisons Project and right now he needs a bit of help from us.

Back when he 18, he was doing a gap year before university in Africa, volunteering at a hospital in Kampala.

While there he met a handful of prisoners who were in a pretty bad way. Coming from the UK, he was shocked at the human rights abuse so he became involved and decided to go visit their prison.

Of course, that was even worse so he took it upon himself to buy some construction materials himself and renovate the infirmary, supervising the prisoners with the physical work.

They named the infirmary after his grandma.

After it was built, almost as an afterthought, Alex asked the prisoners if there was anything else they needed.

They replied "Education."

So simple, so obvious eh?

prison libraryAlex went back to the UK, collected books and money from his family, friends and fellow university students, went back to Uganda and started working on building and filling up the library.

In 2007, the African Prisons Project got its official status as a British charity with the objective of building more libraries and infirmaries and they'll need a bit of your help to do this.

From their website: African Prisons Project

Education & Rehabilitation

In all the countries we have visited, rehabilitation of prisoners, though mentioned by the authorities, falls by the wayside because of more pressing issues such as security and feeding prisoners. Many lose their houses, families and job prospects. This can be in part due to the shame of being in prison, but also because some inmates cannot contact their families who assume they have died in prison or been executed.

Access to books or any form of schooling is severely limited. Many detainees cannot read or write, but are keen to learn so that they have some chance of employment when they are released. APP is one of the few organisations building libraries in prisons. In Uganda, prisoners have used APP-provided facilities to take O levels, A levels, and are soon to start university programmes. In Kenya, the prisons service has improved the APP-created library by appointing a full-time librarian and establishing links with the Kenyan library services to receive new books.

Needs raised by prisoners:
  • Library
  • Basic literacy and numeracy
  • O levels and A levels
  • An environment conducive to study
  • Computers
  • Vocational and skills training

Will you check them out?

Do you have any teaching/ ex-Uni books kicking around at home, in your school's library, in your office that instead of throwing out you could stick in the mail instead?

donated books arriving

Would you like to buy a beautiful CD of the prisoners singing?

Can you help spread this message via twitter or on your edu-blog?

Useful links related to this posting:
Previous Projects
Future projects
Alexander McLean (real world award interview)


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