By Benjamin Takpiny
JUBA, South Sudan (AA) - Turkey’s state-run aid agency on Tuesday donated welding equipment and materials for a vocational training program for prisoners in South Sudan.
Equipment donated by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) included 100 welding rods, 240 grinding discs, 280 cutting discs, welding goggles, hammers, and sheet metal, officials said at a handover ceremony in the capital Juba.
The materials and equipment will be used for a three-month training course on welding for 30 inmates.
“We believe that it is important to help inmates reintegrate into society and to equip them with necessary skills for the job market,” said Mustafa Kemal Akbulut, Turkey’s deputy chief of mission for political and economic affairs.
“We are sure that this project will have a huge impact on the lives of these people after they complete their time in prison.”
He said Ankara will continue to support all sorts of development projects in South Sudan.
“Turkey, with all of its institutions, has supported the government and the people of South Sudan since the country’s independence in 2011,” said Akbulut.
“We believe that the people of South Sudan deserve the best and Turkey stands ready to help them and the government of South Sudan.”
Lt. Gen. Michael Malou, director of Juba Central Prison, said the donation by TIKA will prove invaluable for the vocational training program.
Stressing that helping inmates reform their lives was a collective responsibility, he urged other local and international organizations to follow Turkey’s example and play their part in such programs.
Turgut Gazigil, deputy coordinator for TIKA in Juba, was also present at the occasion.