Kenya: From Prison Inmates to Ambassadors of Change

Nafisika Trust aims to help young people in Kenyan prisons to become ambassadors of change, not of crime.

Vickie Wambura Wamonje founded Nafisika Trust after discovering that Kenyan prisoners were often young repeat offenders who continued to commit crimes following their release from prison. She wanted to provide transformational experiences to help inmates become agents of positive change rather than perpetrators of crime in their communities. Vickie founded Nafisika Trust with that goal in mind.

The Trust offers volunteer-run education and entrepreneurship training programs. Through Nafisika, inmates and volunteers alike gain hard skills from a practical curriculum while practicing soft skills such as empathy and leadership, which help them create better livelihoods for themselves and for others.

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Nafisika graduates have gone on to start their own businesses, become valued employees, and even lead initiatives that tackle social problems in their communities. Vickie’s collaboration with the Kenyan government helps young inmates break out of a cycle of crime and unemployment. On a broader scale, Nafisika Trust helps improve a broken penal system by incorporating transformative experiences for all participants.

Vickie is an Ashoka Fellow, elected through the Future Forward Initiative in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, which aims to find, support and accelerate innovative approaches to youth employment in Africa.

*[In partnership with Ashoka’s Future Forward initiative, which is finding Innovations for Youth Employment in Africa, Fair Observer explores the theme: Who is responsible for addressing youth employment in Africa? From June to September 2014, we will be developing online events and a series of articles that will gather multiple perspectives and provide a 360° analysis on the topic. Join the conversation by following and contributing to #AfricaYouthFwd through social media channels.]

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