Monrovia – Two civil society organizations have donated medical supplies worth over US$8,000 to the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide medical care for prisoners during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The implementing organizations are Serving Humanity for Empowerment and Development (SHED) and Rural Human Rights Activist Program (RHRAP). They made the donation on Friday, June at the Ministry of Justice in Sinkor, Monrovia.
Presenting the items on behalf of the two European Union’s implementation organizations, Madam Joyce Pajibo, Executive Director of SHED, said the donation is to help the BCR provide medical care for prisoners in Margibi County as the country grapples with the global pandemic.
“We are here again, and we want to say thanks to the Ministry of Justice for the work done in keeping our inmates safe across the country,” said Madam Pajibo.
“When we were here in April of this year, you made some requests to us about health challenges at prisons, and it is from that background we are here today. To source funding has not been easy, and that is why we took long to come back”.
“But thanks to the European Union that we reached out to for assistance and fortunately for us, they’ve accepted and willing to help us through.”
Mrs. Pajibo added that the donation is the first phase of a US$11,900 fund given by the European Union to procure medical supplies for inmates in Liberia.
“For the past three years, we’ve been working with prisons in Liberia, improving the general conditions of prison facilities including the provision of sanitary materials, medical supplies, support to prison documentation, communication and pro bono legal presentation amongst others” she said.
“We also like to state how enjoyable our working relationship has been over the period with Assistant Minister Eddie Trawalay and the entire BCR on this project”.
Madam Pajibo added that although sourcing funds remains a challenge for her organization, they are committed to working with the Bureau of Corrections in helping to change the lives of inmates across the country.
Accepting the items, Edwin McGill, Director of Prisons of the BCR said the donation of the medical supplies was “very timely”.
“We want to say thanks again for listening to us and granting our requests,” said Mr. McGill.
“Over the period, not too many people have come to work with inmates in helping the government, thus forgetting that these people may go back in society. But to you SHED/RHRAP, you have shown a difference in our society and by your consistent work with inmates, which has given them hope to be accepted in society again”.
For his part, Ernest Davis, the Prison Health Coordinator of the Ministry of Health, disclosed that the work of nurses assigned at various prisons across the country have been made easier since SHED/RHRAP began working with inmates.
“The nurses are excited that you’ve been a help to making their daily work at prisons easier,” Davis said.
“Ever since you started, inmates across the country have been taking their medications on time with prescribed drugs by doctors.”
Mr. Davis called on Liberians to emulate the work of the two EU partners by supporting the prison system and inmates.
Meanwhile, SHED and RHRAP are hopeful that protecting the lives of inmates will be prioritized by both the Government of Liberia, partners and all Liberians.