Resilient Woman of Africa

In July 2015 Lucy Karambu attended the Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) international training in Rwanda. She returned home to initiate a trauma healing program in women’s prisons in Kenya where her organization, Resilient Woman of Africa, already was working with female inmates.

There are a little less than 4,000 female prisoners in Kenya versus 213,700 women prisoners in the United States. If the United States had the same rate of women prisoners as Kenya, then the US would have only 26,000 female prisoners. In other words the United States has 8 times the rate of incarceration of women as Kenya. An additional major difference is that children up to four years of female prisoners old live with their mothers in the prison. A last major difference is that in Kenya serious work is given to rehabilitating the women before they are released. This included education, skill training, and other programs of self-betterment. As part of this the prison officials and staff are receptive to trauma healing workshops.

Trust walk at HROC workshop for prison staff at Meru Women’s Prison.

The program, assisted by TCSC, started with workshops for both staff and inmates in Langata Maximum Security Prison in Nairobi (the only maximum security prison for women in Kenya). The program then moved to Kericho Women’s Prison where, in addition to workshops for staff and inmates, others were done for mentors who would be assigned to the women on their release from prison. The most recent activity has been workshops with the staff of Meru Women’s Prison.

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