New Amsterdam Prison inmates awarded Digital Skills Training Certificates

The Ministry of Home Affairs Citizen Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP), in collaboration with Avasant Foundation of the United States of America (USA), conducted a 15-week Digital Skills Training Programme for Correctional Candidates at the New Amsterdam Prison. Thirty inmates participated in the Programme and were awarded certificates on Friday May 21, 2021.

The programme was funded by Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) with the main objective of aiding the rehabilitation and social transformation of the inmates upon their return to society. The inmates received training in Web Design and Development, Entrepreneurship, Office 365, Leadership Skills and Social Behaviour, Customer Service, Communications, Sales and Marketing, Mathematics and English.

Speaking at the ceremony held on Friday last at the New Amsterdam Prison, the Director of Prisons (ag) Mr. Nicklon Elliot, congratulated the inmates on behalf of the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Robeson Benn. Mr. Elliot noted that the Guyana Prison Service is on a trajectory to improve the image of the organisation, through fulfilling the mandate of providing skills training opportunities for inmates, aiding their rehabilitation and better equipping them to make meaningful contributions to society upon re-entry.

The Project Manager of the CSSP Mr. Vishraj Singh, also commended the inmates for their commitment and determination towards achieving a major milestone. He encouraged them to always push themselves to achieve more and reminded them that knowledge is power and education is the key to success. 

Meanwhile, IDB’s country representative Ms. Sophie Makonnen who joined the ceremony virtually, acknowledged the work of the Government of Guyana in the rehabilitation of inmates. She emphasised in her remarks, the importance of the Digital Skills Training Programme, noting that digital skills are no longer an option in the world today but an imperative.

Several inmates during the ceremony expressed their gratitude for the Digital Skills Training Programme, noting that they would have learnt many skills for the first time, such as designing a web page among others.

The Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Home Affairs, Citizen Security Strengthening Programme and funding from IDB, is committed to reducing the likelihood of inmates reoffending by providing them with training and support services for their successful reintegration into society upon their release.