Unlocking Hope: Empowering Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) Through Livelihood Training

There are many ways to give hope to people; one of these is to provide people with the necessary skills to enable them to make it through life through their own efforts.

The Department of Science and Technology- National Capital Region (DOST-NCR), together with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and experts from the DOST- Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI), conducted a two-day training on September 14-15, 2023 on resin lamination at the BJMP Male Dormitory, San Juan City aimed at imparting practical skills to Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs), giving them knowledge that may be a source of income even while they are still serving time inside the penal institution.

The "Resin Lamination Training" conducted by experts from DOST-FPRDI taught the PDLs how to make marketable products using synthetic resin (epoxy resin) as a raw material to create personal items like keychains and earrings to typical office items like paperweights and pen holders. Raw materials that can be used to accent products appeared limitless as various ideas were shared by the participating PDLs. Some of the accent materials used during the training were dried leaves, saw dust, colored sand, and glitter.

Engaging in this type of training proved to be therapeutic for some of the participants as they were able to focus their attention and energy on a creative process, providing a welcome break from their usual routine inside the institution. The training also aimed to be a part of the participants' rehabilitation process, helping them with their reintegration into society. This way, the PDLs can show their commitment to personal growth and learning, which is a significant factor for their parole or when seeking employment after their release since it shows willingness to develop new skills and interest, thus enhancing their prospects of being employed.

Training PDL's in livelihood skills during their stay in the penal institution is not only a direct approach to rehabilitation but is also a strategic investment towards creating inclusive and safer communities. Such is the main goal of DOST-NCR with its interventions to communities like BJMP-San Juan City. By prioritizing rehabilitation, personal growth, and social development through Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI), the DOST-NCR can help these PDLs to reintegrate into society, breaking the cycle of unlawful behavior, and fostering a more inclusive and supportive society for all.