PRISONERS at a high security Irish prison have made a 'real difference' in producing 60 braille books for blind children in south east Africa.
Prisoners at Maghaberry Prison have produced a consignment of books, including Walt Disney’s Peter Pan, Jungle Book and Bambi, and presented them to three church charities for distribution in schools in Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya.
At the only Braille workshop in Northern Ireland, a team of a dozen prisoners, mostly life-sentenced, have been working on the books for over a six month period to produce the books.
Pages of braille were created on special washable material and book covers manufactured by the prisoners before each was individually bound.
Head of the Northern Ireland Prison Service, Ronnie Armour, said: “This is an excellent example of how prisoners are making a real difference to the lives of people through rehabilitative activities.
“These are some of the poorest countries in the world and poverty is an everyday reality.
"These books will prove invaluable to schools which have very limited resources and I know the efforts of prisoners who have produced them will be appreciated by the children and teachers who will use them.”
Braille Instructor at Maghaberry Prison, Mark Mooney, added: “This is the only braille unit in Northern Ireland and the guys work extremely hard.
"It’s very intricate work but all undertaken with great enthusiasm and dedication. It’s an opportunity for the guys to give something back to society.”
The books in braille were presented to Gary Moore from Labour in Faith and Trust (LIFT), for use in a school in Tanzania, Heather Clements from Limavady Presbyterian Church who will share the books with missionaries in Kenya, and Roberta Moore from Finvoy Presbyterian Church which has long-established links with Ekwendeni Primary School in the northern part of Malawi.
Watch the video on the Braille Unit at Maghaberry Prison below...