03 June 2019 - Like many mothers around the world, Paulina was thinking of her children on Mother's Day. Proudly pointing to her books and notes, she described what she planned to do soon with all the knowledge she had gained: "When I come out, I am going to teach my children; we are going to build our house, and we will save the cost of labour."
Paulina is one of the women taking part in the project ' Building Freedom,' supported by the Prisoner Rehabilitation component of UNODC's Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration. The project, implemented in two prisons in La Paz, aims at teaching women prisoners various skills they can apply in the construction industry, including building, metal work, plumbing, pipefitting, electricity and carpentry. Last month, in celebration of Mother's Day, with the support of UNODC, some of these women participated in the Socio-Community Productive Fair, organized by the General Directorate of the Penitentiary System of Bolivia, taking place in these two women's prison facilities.
In the women's Prison of Obrajes, there was an exhibition of the social reintegration programmes implemented by the Ministry of Education. The prison presented training work relating to textile confection, industrial fabric, artisan looms, integral beauty, gastronomy, food, computer systems, civil construction and humanities.
Three of the 50 women prisoners training in UNODC's 'Building Freedom' construction project, including Paulina, presented various aspects of their teaching and training, which includes components on rights, self-esteem, entrepreneurial initiative, decision-making, spare parts, basic facilities and painting. They will perform refurbishments and handiwork in the centres in which they are serving their sentences, practicing the skills and knowledge they have gained, and improving their and their children's living conditions.
In addition to the technical training and the post-penitentiary support mechanism backed by UNODC, a donation of clothing and industrial safety equipment (such as steel toe boots, coveralls, helmets, wide-brimmed hats, gloves, lenses and chinstraps) was given to the centre.
UNODC has also delivered a refrigerator to the Penitentiary Regime Directorate's Miraflores Women's Counselling Centre. This will further improve the pastry and bakery workshop at this centre, following the existing donation of an industrial furnace, a blender and a first refrigerator last December by the State of Qatar, which financially supports the Global Programme. All this equipment will be used by women prisoners to make products which are both consumed inside the penitentiary and sold outside for their benefit.
In coordination with the Directorate General of Penitentiary Regime and the Ministry of Education, UNODC will provide certification for the 50 women who were trained in civil construction under this programme, at a graduation ceremony in July.
Building Freedom project
Helping Bolivian women build their economic freedom