Mrs Rachel Marape has assisted 19 female detainees and inmates of the Bihute Correctional Service Institution open their passbook accounts with the Women’s Microbank.
Mrs Marape first met the inmates and detainees when she was invited to have lunch with them while on a private visit last month.
She got to talk with them and found that they were interested in acquiring sewing machines and fabric to sew Meri Blouse for marketing.
Mrs Marape then made a commitment to them that she would contribute the fabric to them when she visited this week.
However, seeing the need for training in SME, creating a savings to prepare them financially for reintegration after their rehabilitation and opening market access for them to generate revenue for their savings, Mrs Marape went further by opening savings accounts for them with the Women’s Microbank and partnered with the spouse of the Member for Goroka Open Aiye Tambua, to create the market access to Port Moresby.
“When you sew the meri blouse, we will also help you to bring them to Port Moresby to sell for you,” she said.
“The wife of the Member for Goroka Open will be calling around to see how you are doing with your sewing and collect the completed products to be sold in Port Moresby.”
“We are looking at getting a stall at the Port Moresby City Market to sell your wares there.”
“Again we are doing this to equip you with added skills and knowledge to fall back on when you leave prison.”
She said you will have added skills and a savings with you when they walk out of the prison, showing the people in the community that you are equipped to live a better life and your life in prison was not idle.
Mrs Marape also handed over a cheque of K10,000 on behalf of Livestock Development Corporation to assist the inmates and detainees to go into Poultry project and announced a commitment of K440,000 by the Chief Executive Officer of National Gaming Control Board Ms. Imelda Agon.
The K440,000 will be disbursed equally among the Correctional Services Institutions right across the country to open bank accounts for detainees and inmates. All this funds will be managed for the detainees and inmates by the Correctional Services.
Female inmates and detainees representative Regina Piton said they are mothers and grandmothers or daughter like all women in the community and they have the same concerns like them.
Regina said they know they can help themselves and their families while being rehabilitated but they did not know where to start and how to grow.
She said for them to receive such assistance from Mrs. Marape is like her bringing a key and opening the door for them to continue grow in preparation for when they are released back into their communities.