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AHAPPY Training For Prison Catechists and Officers at Nyahururu

The African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN), in partnership with the Catholic Prison Chaplaincy in Kenya, is conducting a 5-day Training of Trainers on the AJAN HIV and AIDS Prevention Program for Youth (AHAPPY). The training which kicked off on July 1, 2024, brings together 28 prison catechists and officers from the Catholic Dioceses of Nakuru, Nyahururu, Kericho, and Ngong. The goal is to empower these catechists with essential knowledge and skills to support young people in correctional facilities. The program also addresses the needs of inmates and the families of prison officers, who often face stigmatization and abandonment by society, aiming to provide them with much-needed support and resources.

Rt. Rev. Wallace Ng’ang’a Gichihi, Auxiliary Bishop for the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi (ADN) and Rt. Rev. Joseph Mbatia, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Nyahururu in Kenya

During the second day of the training, we were honored by the visit of Rt. Rev. Wallace Ng’ang’a Gichihi, Auxiliary Bishop for the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi (ADN), and Rt. Rev. Joseph Mbatia, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Nyahururu in Kenya. They appreciated the role of the AHAPPY training in the formation of catechists and prison officers. While the participants are sensitized on HIV and its prevention, the Bishops emphasized the importance of equipping catechists and prison officers with the skills and knowledge to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates into society. Their roles in accompanying inmates help create a support system that addresses the psychological, social, and emotional aspects of the inmates, thereby fostering a more conducive environment for positive change.

In the two days the facilitators; Ms. Pascalia Sergon, Fernando Nimbu SJ., Mr. Ondigo Johnfisher Ms. Lilian Waweru and Mr. Dennis Owuoche, have engaged Participants on topics and Issues that extend beyond the prison walls and affecting the wider community. Through this formation participants will be able to positively influence community outreach activities, support families of inmates, and contribute to broader social change. We believe that by the participants understanding the root causes of criminal behavior and having the effective rehabilitation techniques, the Catechists and Prison officers can contribute to reducing the tendency for an offender to engage in repeated criminal behavior and also reduce the rate of HIV infection in Prisons. The training is targeted at fostering a deeper understanding of inmates’ needs, accompanying those who are infected and affected by HIV and the promotion of best practices for supporting their reintegration into society.

More to follow..

By, Dennis Owuoche

AJAN Communications Officer

Dennis Owuoche

Dennis Owuoche Shadrack is the AJAN Communications and Research officer, Having joined AJAN in 2022 he has a broad experience in content writing; statements, press releases , website management, brand development, developing communications strategies and managing the social media, disseminating knowledge products, preparing flyers, reports and spreading other materials in order to enhance awareness about HIV and support Holistic development of the young people as a AHAPPY Trainer.

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