Harnessing Rare Voices: A Writing Programme in Ugandan Prisons

In Uganda, inmates of prisons are usually considered as people without a value – people who should suffer because of the crimes they committed. To tackle this, PEN Uganda will establish writers’ clubs in two Ugandan prisons with the aim of enabling inmates to produce high quality creative work in the form of poetry, short stories and plays in order to aiding their rehabilitation. Participants will be introduced to the power of literature as a means of communication, giving them an opportunity to contribute to society through their own creativity and adding to a sense of self-worth.

Ugandan PEN will organise literary events for inmates to share their creative works and work produced will be published in an anthology of writings. Alongside these workshops, Ugandan PEN will carry out dialogues with Prison Service authorities focusing on the welfare of inmates, especially in the area of recognising inmates’ full humanity despite the crimes they committed.