AYIITI, Anchor Heritage Train Kirikiri Inmates in Computer Programming

Akinyele Olubodun, AYIITI, MD/CEO

Two inmates of the Kirikiri Medium Custodial Centre, Lagos State have won a brand new laptop and coding book as Access for Youths to Information Technology Initiative (AYIITI) and Anchor Heritage Initiative have partnered the custodial centre to train 20 of them in computer programming.

The inmates participated in a coding competition during their midweek graduation ceremony at the detention centre, where they won a new laptop and coding book.

Deputy Controller of Corrections (DCC) Michael Anugwa of Kirikiri Medium Custodial Centre, Controller of Corrections, Lagos State Command, CC Ben-Robbi Freedman, and other notable individuals were there. Freedman thanked the partners for the training and expressed his happiness at the event in his speech.

He claimed that the custodial centre has obtained permission from the National Open University of Nigeria to grant diplomas to prisoners in a variety of fields following their training there.

He charged the trainees to put whatever they had learnt into practice.

“I appreciate our partners for a job well done. I will like to tell you all that the custodian centre has secured approval with NOUN to train the inmates in various fields and issue diploma certificates to them after the training.

“I beseech you to put whatever you have learnt into practice,” he said.

The DCC also spoke, advising the prisoners to act appropriately wherever they go.

He encouraged them to make the most of the training in order to acquire useful skills that would help them find employment after they were released from the centre.

Akinyele Olubodun, the Managing Director and Founder of AYIITI, stated that the project began in 2011 as a way for him to give back to the community while giving the winners the laptop and coding book.

The five-month training, according to the UNILAG alum, “grilled the inmates from scratch,” but he was pleased with the program’s outcome.

Speaking about the initiative, he said “it identifies with the vulnerable people from the margins of society, teaching them computer programming for ethical change.

“Programming pulled me out of poverty. It gave me my best memories and opportunities to be who I want to be.

“I believe my journey to freedom can be replicated for other children and adults living in marginalised communities by lowering the barrier to attaining programming knowledge.

“I choose to teach inmates computer programming because it teaches character reformation, resilience, logic, problem solving and patience.

“This is not just programming, it is programming for a better world.”

Bidemi Oladipo, the Chief Operating Officer, Anchor Heritage Initiative, said the initiative is partnering with other tech companies to train the inmates for onward transfer to NOUN to issue diploma certificates.

He said another class of the tech training would resume soon and the training would cover website development, graphics designs, photography and computer literacy among others.