Rehabilitation and Wellness Centre in Rumuruti Ward, Laikipia County, is set to revolutionize Kenya's approach to young offenders, sparing them from prison sentences.
The Deputy President's spouse, Pastor Dorcas Rigathi, made the groundbreaking announcement during the facility's inauguration, unveiling plans for a detention centre to rehabilitate underage petty offenders caught committing minor infractions, such as smoking bhang.
This collaborative effort between the national government, county governments, and the judiciary aims to provide young offenders with a second chance while addressing the pressing issue of prison overcrowding.
Addressing the gathering, Pastor Dorcas highlighted the need for this transformative initiative, expressing concern over the overcrowding and potential hardening of petty offenders in Kenya's prisons.
Her vision for the new detention centre encompasses a comprehensive approach to rehabilitation, steering young offenders away from the pitfalls of incarceration alongside more serious criminals.
The centrepiece of the Rehabilitation and Wellness Centre in Rumuruti will be establishing a detention centre, complemented by a host of amenities designed to foster rehabilitation and personal growth.
The facility will feature a rehabilitation centre, detention centre, prayer centre, cerebral palsy and autism physiotherapy centre, TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) institution, sports academy, health facility, agribusiness program, and boarding facilities.
Pastor Dorcas emphasized the holistic transformation this centre aims to provide its beneficiaries.
"There will be a 360-degree transformation of our children at this centre, so they can become responsible fathers and mothers in the land. Our young men will stop seeking cocaine and other drugs, and instead speak about their families," she asserted.
In line with the vision of the Office of the Spouse of the Deputy President (OSDP), which focuses on "A Dignified Future for Vulnerable Populations," the introduction of this detention centre represents a major step toward offering even petty offenders a chance at rehabilitation and a dignified future, rather than relegating them to a lifetime of condemnation for their minor infractions.
Encouraging the local residents to embrace this transformative initiative, Pastor Dorcas highlighted the physical, social, and economic benefits it would bring to the remote and arid region of Laikipia County, where pastoralists from diverse communities, including the Maasai, Turkana, and Samburu, reside in mud-walled houses.
The centre's establishment draws inspiration from the best practices observed by Pastor Dorcas during her visit to the health villages in Israel.
These strategically located villages offer individuals battling addiction a serene environment for reflection and detoxification from psychoactive substances, providing a blueprint for the Rumuruti facility.
Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu also lent his full support to the project, emphasizing its potential to transform thousands of lives in Laikipia County and the entire nation.
He commended the OSDP's flagship agenda, which focuses on uplifting, restoring, and dignifying boys and men ensnared by various addictions.
"We, the county government welcome this project, which shall be a game changer for this nation. An integrated wellness and rehabilitation centre, and the only one in Kenya," Governor Irungu declared.
Igwamiti ward MCA Irene Wachuka (Mama Yao) echoed the assembly leadership's full support for the project, emphasizing its potential to positively impact the lives of the youth in the region.
The Rehabilitation and Wellness Centre in Rumuruti promises to usher in a new era for Kenya's justice system, offering young offenders a chance at rehabilitation and productive lives while contributing to a more dignified future for all vulnerable populations.