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Bars to Books…

From Bars to Books: My Journey to Transforming Lives in Naivasha Maximum Prison



Naivasha, a town of scenic beauty in Nakuru County, Kenya, is also home to the Naivasha Maximum Prison, where approximately 2,000 inmates are incarcerated. When people hear about a prison, they often think of punishment and isolation, but for Jayne Marquard, Charter Member and past secretary of Rotary Club Bonn International (RCBI), the prison holds personal memories of her childhood. Her late father was once an officer in charge of the Metal section, and her family lived in close proximity to the prison’s grounds.


In 2016, Jayne returned to Naivasha to celebrate her 50th birthday and reminisce about her childhood memories. During her visit, she was welcomed by the then officer in charge, the late Mr. Patrick Mwenda, and the Social Welfare Officer, Mr. Mose Kodek, who gave her a tour of the facility. She saw various activities carried out by the inmates, including a school that catered from lower primary to high school. The officers informed her of the challenges facing the prison school, including a lack of basic educational materials.

To meet the educational needs of the prison school, Jayne sought further support from the Rotary Club of Bonn International, which graciously raised funds during the RCBI New Year’s virtual dinner auction and flea market sale proceeds, which was donated to Naivasha Maximum Prison.

Jayne was moved to address these challenges. She not only made her personal donation but also partnered with eMentoring Africa ( and the School of Education at Mount Kenya University (MKU). The project identified a gap in inmate education in terms of pedagogy and learning/teaching materials and called for more partners, including the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM) (

In March 2023, Jayne visited the prison and presented more educational materials donated by the Rotary Club of Bonn International.

She was accompanied by the president of the Rotaract of Naivasha and some members of the club, who also showed their support for the cause. During her visit, Jayne was also joined by an inspiring individual named Stitches. Stitches is a former inmate who benefited from the education program and has since been released. His presence was impactful and motivating to the current inmates, serving as a testament to the transformative power of education and rehabilitation programs in correctional facilities.

The project in Naivasha is an inspiring example of how education can break down barriers and transform lives. Rotary Club Bonn International’s involvement shows how community organizations can make a difference by collaborating with other groups and individuals who share their values.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my journey to support education in Naivasha Maximum Prison. Together, let us continue to transform lives and make the world a better place, one act of service.

As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Let us all join hands and give back to our communities in any way we can and make the world a better place.