KATOMBORA CELEBRATES 3RD GRADUATION CEREMONY
Katombora Reformatory School’s 3rd Graduation Ceremony took place on Saturday 6th with Chad Kanda* being pronounced the best graduating student out of 24 juveniles who graduated with skills in Block Laying and Rough Carpentry.
“Today I feel like I will be going back home as a changed person because this training has given me skills which I can use to better my life and contribute to society. I have received a lot of help from UP Zambia and Build IT International during my stay here. I am so grateful,” a breathless Chad Kanda said clutching a certificate in one hand.
Chad Kanda is one of over 90 juveniles, previously in conflict with the law, whose life has been transformed by the RISE AGAIN Project being implemented by UP Zambia and Build IT International at Katombora Reformatory School to address challenges that came with old-fashioned methods of juvenile rehabilitation.
For a long time, most rehabilitation programmes for juveniles in Zambia focused on punishment and long periods of detention in reformatory institutions. These methods failed to reduce the high rates of re-offending because soon after leaving reformatory school many vulnerable young Zambian offenders would turn back to a life of crime as they lacked skills that would help them seek better employment prospects.
Chad Kanda is a beneficiary of UP Zambia and Build IT International’s rehabilitation programme that is changing how rehabilitation of juveniles is conducted by providing quality skills training and counselling within correctional facilities, going further to provide work placements directly with contractors and training correctional staff to bring about far reaching change.
“The RISE AGAIN Project is a good initiative to help address challenges of juveniles in conflict with the law. Through this training Juveniles have been given an opportunity and a chance to reform and develop into respectable and responsible people of the society,” said Kazungula District Commissioner through his representative Principal Kennedy Sikaona at the graduation ceremony.
This year’s graduation has added to the 70 juveniles who have undergone training in Block Laying and Rough Carpentry in the last two years.
“I want to say congratulations to the graduating students. You will soon be receiving your freedom and entering adulthood . It is not easy to become an adult. There are many responsibilities you now have to take on. It is important that you do not try to do everything on your own. Please do not be afraid to turn to others for support, whether it is your family or UP Zambia. We want to see you have a bright future,” UP Zambia Executive Director Sara Larios said to the graduating students.
Often, graduates on the RISE AGAIN Project have gone on to gainful employment after receiving training in Block Laying and Rough Carpentry. The Rise Again Project is made possible with financial support from the European Union.
*names changed to protect the identities of subjects