Guam teams up with community group to provide job training for female inmates

HAGÅTÑA — For inmates, especially those who have spent years or decades of their lives behind bars, regaining freedom comes with a mixture of relief and distress.

Starting over, finding a job and reintegrating into the community can be a big challenge — what with the stigma of being labeled an “ex-convict” and the subsequent burden of insecurities.

The Department of Corrections, in partnership with local organizations, has begun an initiative called “Fu’una Rising” that seeks to help prepare female inmates for re-entry into society after their release.

The program, with first lady Christine Calvo as an advisor, provides job training for female inmates.

“I am very proud and humbled to be a part of this program. It gives these women hope for a better life, and a better future,” Mrs. Calvo said. “I firmly believe that in promoting the well-being and betterment of these and all women, we are building a stronger community.”

Fu’una Rising was formed in July 2017 to provide training programs to equip women in prison with marketable skills. And, if they qualify, a chance at national construction-industry certification. These skills will make these women highly employable, officials said.

Corrections has teamed up with the National Women in Construction Guam Chapter for this initiative.

The program currently consists of 15 members, including correctional officers who work with the women inside the facility.

“We are honored to have first lady Christine Calvo, who is the honorary advisor of Fu’una Rising, join our efforts in improving the lives of women, empowering those who are committed to becoming contributing members of society,” said Kate Baltazar, co-founder of the initiative.

The program consists of three committees, which include: Pizza, Pop, & Power Tools (for experiential projects); the Construction Industry Technician Program and Psychoeducational classes/groups.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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