AdvocAid’s Supporting Detainees programme provides incarcerated girls and women with welfare support when behind bars. Welfare packages are delivered every three months and include items such as sanitary towels and toiletries.
Correctional Centres and Police Stations are poorly equipped in Sierra Leone, and women can be imprisoned for years on end with no sanitary items. The conditions of prisons abuse their human rights and AdvocAid seeks to provide these women with a touch of dignity.
Our paralegals regularly monitor detention facilities to ensure that detainees’ rights are upheld and seek to promote the UN Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners (Bangkok Rules).
Very young children and babies are frequently locked up behind bars with their mothers. AdvocAid ensures these babies and children are receiving the right foods and nutrients, are healthy and are not negatively affected by incarceration. This kind of support is delivered by our Social Worker; she also provides counselling in prions and facilitates exercise classes and art therapy sessions.
We also arrange medical and dental support when needed. The vast majority of girls and women supported (44%) live in severe multidimensional poverty, living on less than $1.25 a day, often resulting in extremely poor health.
Many women behind bars in Sierra Leone have experienced more challenges than should ever befall a single person – civil war, child loss, violence, poor mental health, dire poverty and few life chances to name just a few. We seek to turn the negative situation of being in prison into positive rehabilitation to develop their opportunities upon release.
Below are some examples of artwork from detainees led by AdvocAid’s Social Worker.
Once released, we support women via our Moving Forward programme.