“The Ignatian principle of cura personalis which implies a genuine love and personal care for the young is what AHAPPY Generation is about,” Fr. Matambura said in an earlier interview with ACI Africa, and explained, “It approaches the integral formation of the young person through the Ignatian paradigm that gives pre-eminence to the constant interplay of Experience, Reflection and Action.”
The Jesuit Priest who hails from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) said during the June interview that the result of the training is “a whole-rounded youth who lives and grows to the best of their ability, and who works for the good of others and improvement of their continent.”
“In the context of youth who are in conflict with the law, the society and with themselves, the effort of seeing all things anew in Christ impels us to see the young person behind bars, not as defined by their current state but as a human person, beloved creature of God, with dreams, talents, hopes and the capacity to realize them,” the Jesuit Priest said, making reference to St. Ignatius of Loyola’s mantra, “to see all things new in Christ.”
In the report shared with ACI Africa December 6, Evans Odhiambo, an officer tasked with the welfare of juveniles at YCTC notes that last month’s training was helpful in his job with the young offenders.
Mr. Odhiambo says, “This training has helped me to change my mind on how to deal with boys. I am more concerned now about the emotional aspect of boys. I now understand that it is good to take time to listen to the boys and understand them thoroughly even before I can make any effort geared towards helping them to register positive change.”
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Alice Gakuo, another officer based at Kamiti Maximum Prison says she developed a critical realization that the young people she was dealing with might have led morally upright lives before they gave in to peer pressure.
“I realize that the young people in correctional facilities might have run into the headwinds of peer pressure. My job is to give them hope, and impart skills in them so that they can become even better people than they were before they came here,” Ms. Gakuo explains.
At the end of the training, the deputy officer in charge at the YCTC, Nelius Muchoya, encouraged the officers to put into practice the skills that had been imparted to them in the AJAN training and to help transform the minds of the youths who he said had undergone “difficult pasts”.
In the report, Fr. Matambura expresses gratitude to various prison managements in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, saying that more opportunities for collaboration were on the way between correctional facilities and Church institutions.