Incarceration and transformation

Whether during a sentence or upon release, prison is incredibly difficult. Very little offers hope. Fatima* attends an ACT tailoring workshop that will help hope to grow.

Fatima’s future is bleak: at only 26 years old, she is serving time for being part of a gang of thieves. She’s currently serving a medium sentence in a prison in Tunisia.

When ACT met Fatima, she had been entrusted with two more prisoners to clean the common areas. She was responsible for delivering food and maintaining the discipline of her companions.

I watched her when we went to the prison. She was withdrawn. Sad. Angry.

But when she was allowed to enter the sewing workshop, she began to make skirts, blouses or trousers, her face changed.

She was concentrated and asked the trainer how to improve.

She now has all the attendance certificates from the past four years of ACT workshops.

With the prison’s authorisation, we were able to interview her just a few days after her release. The audio was then used in a meeting between the representatives of the Ministry of Women and the prison to raise awareness of the need to develop a follow-up programme for women like her. ACT hopes to see the implementation of follow-up in this location as it has already been established in another.

When many women leave prison, their families and communities do not understand them. In the future, we hope that further follow-up in this location will become a reality.