On December 24th HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati Kromluangrajasarinisiribajra Mahavajrarajadhita presided over the opening of the Kumlangjai Project at the prison in Sukhothai province. An executive of the Ministry of Justice and the head of government agencies in Sukhothai province attended the visit.
HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati Kromluangrajasarinisiribajra Mahavajrarajadhita offered her empathy and help to the inmates, who were mostly underprivileged in the society for a long time. HRH’s Kumlangjai Project has the purpose to help both male and female inmates and the children joining their mothers. At present the project has opened 19 women's correctional centers nationwide. December 24th marked the opening of the 20th correctional center. Currently, there are a total of 1,541 inmates, comprised of 230 female inmates and 1,311 male inmates.
The determination of HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati Kromluangrajasarinisiribajra Mahavajrarajadhita has initiated the project in order to help the inmates with a high concern the careers of prisoners after their release, as companies, departments and stores are currently not accepting many former prisoners. This has caused an issue for the inmates in having a higher chance of returning to a normal life and a high reoccurrence of repeating their former actions and ending up in the system again. Therefore, the Kumlangjai Project in Sukothai has started to educate their inmates in various professions such as fortune telling, the production and screening on fabric, taking care of the elderly, knitting and the production of key chains. Furthermore, inspired by HRH, the inmates learn professions useful in coffee shops, having PTT holding seminars and improving the recipes in order to enhance the flavour.
Additionally, HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati Kromluangrajasarinisiribajra Mahavajrarajadhita has visited the hall of fame, telling the history of the prison and the province of Sukothai. Afterwards, HRH stopped by a car care shop in the prison provided by the inmates, which has customers requesting the service every day.
Furthermore, she visited the female territory of the prison in order to provide encouragement and teaching a basic knowledge of the law to the inmates, so they can use the knowledge in the future.
After that, she observed a vocational demonstration of professions under the Kumlangjai Project. These professions are to create the opportunity for inmates to have an employment for themselves without having to worry about applying to various employers which might not accept former inmates, having HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati Kromluangrajasarinisiribajra Mahavajrarajadhita encouraging a freelance employment under their own supervision by offering education in various and new professions applied to the current society.
Additionally, inmates at the Sukhothai prison have received good opportunities from the Toyota Sukhothai Company that has made a memorandum of understanding about cooperation in correctional activities for vocational training as a project of returning good people to society on January 28, 2014. The coordination with Mr. Wattana Rueang Punyawattana, the Managing Director of Toyota Sukhothai, inlcuded seminars offering knowledge of the production of electric vehicles with 2-seats, 4-seats and 6-seats, local tour busses and shuttle buses within the company, cars in the procession parades and car rentals in the park, providing an average daily income of 300 baht for the inmates. The Toyota Company Sukhothai is also pleased to accept talented and well-behaved inmates as staff after their release. In fact, a former inmate of Sukhothai prison who has successfully opened a battery shop after his release joined HRH in her visit to set an example and encourage the current prisoners.
Actually, the Kumlungjai Project has received help and support for their various education projects from the private sector such as the Bank of Ayuttaya and affiliates and Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd., as well, which will set a good example for other companies in creating opportunities for the inmates.
The Kumlungjai project also doesn’t fail to look after the physical and mental health of the inmates, with their special project “ Healing through Yoga“ and setting up a health corner in the hospital area to look after the inmates who are ill, which provides a strengthening of the physical and mental health.
The Kumlangjai Project aims to build a bridge between the inmates, companies in the private sector and the community to create opportunities to those who made mistakes and for the inmates to use their skills and knowledge and be able to show their intentions of becoming a better person in society, as well as being able to start a new life after their imprisonment and not returning to crimes again.