(MENAFN - Arab News) A local organization here is providing skills training for prisoners to prepare them for work once they are released including restoring old qur'ans recycling paper driving trucks and facilitating loans to start small businesses
Asharqia tarahom already provides financial and other aid for families of prisoners abdullah mohammed al-suleiman chairman of the organization told arab news at a press conference here on monday
The organization holds its seventh annual meeting on april 15 and 16 under the patronage of eastern province gov. prince saud bin naif and minister of social affairs yusuf al-othaimeen
Al-suleiman said that several companies are sponsoring these programs and would hire some of the prisoners once they are released. this is to ensure that they can integrate better into society
He said king fahd university of petroleum and minerals (kfupm) has set up a program to provide psychological counseling for prisoners and their families
Al-suleiman said the organization has also signed contracts with several local banks to provide loans to prisoners' families to start small businesses
He said the organization has an annual budget of sr12 million and receives donations from individuals and companies. he urged the business community to provide more support. 'we plan to expand our offices to other areas in the eastern province" he said.
He said the organization supports 500 families with sr1000 a month for food purchases at al-othaim markets which is deposited into their bank accounts. in addition each family member gets sr400 a month in aid
Khalid al-sabti executive director of the organization said the upcoming meeting would discuss ways to improve programs including those for women with input from prisoners and their families
He said the organization would sign two agreements with kfupm and dar al-youm at the meeting.