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The Youth Safety Awareness Initiative (Crime Si Poa) under its Phoenix and After Care Program in Partnership with Alliance High School on Thursday donated 150 mattresses to inmates in Nairobi West Prison.

Led by Alliance High School Deputy Principal Mwangi Karimi, some students from the school went to deliver the mattresses to the Prison.

Karimi said the mattresses donated were towards a good cause in helping the prisoners who are serving their sentences.

He said the mattresses were from four students who had finished school and were not needed.

He said that donating the mattresses will encourage other schools that have materials which are not needed to donate rather than destroy them.

"The mattresses are from students who cleared in the previous year's cohorts. We have a policy within the school where every form one comes with a mattress and after the four-year stay, they voluntarily give out," he said. 

He said that through a school program, Social Welfare Club, students are able to participate in charitable organisations to help the needy in society.

Inspector of Nairobi West Prison under the welfare department Enock Ogeto said the welfare department is grateful to have received the donation because they needed them.

"The donation is important because of the scarcity of the mattresses that we have so when Crime Si Poa comes in they support the work of the welfare," he said.

Ogeto added that the work of the welfare department is to source donations and well-wishers to support the prison to make sure the inmates are comfortable.

He said that the capacity of prisoners in the Nairobi West Prison at the moment stands at about 900, citing that it is a challenge to find over 900 mattresses at ago.

The executive director and founder of Crime Si Poa Peter Ouko said that the organisation partnered with Alliance High School through the Social Welfare Club to make the donation.

He said that they chose to donate to Nairobi West Prison because it is over-capacitated and does not have enough mattresses.

"Leadership demands of us at any given time whichever school you went to. Instead of having the academic bonfire where people burn their mattresses at the end of the year, the students of Alliance decided to keep their mattresses and donate to society.

He said that schools, through donations of equipment they do not need,  help to give back to society.

Crime Si Poa was formed in 2007 and focuses on informing, reforming and transforming lives.

He said the organisation creates awareness in societies to tell people not to get into crime.

He said they have partnered with the Judiciary system and other civil societies to ensure everyone has access to justice.

Ouko added that the organisation offers psychosocial support to prepare them for eventual release. - PERPETUA ETYANG, The Star

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