We are a non-profit charitable organization started in 1984 by the late Fr. Arnold Grol. Our main focus is to restore human dignity by improving and transforming prisoners lives for quality life solutions across the country. We intervene through various aspects of human and social needs especially the welfare activities with the objective to train, educate, offer counselling services, support health and sanitation and offer after-care service to enable them easy integration into the society and find gainful employment.
Our 4 main programs are:
The Project has been the only one of its kind in Kenya for over 36 years with its unique reputation for improving prisoners’ welfare, human rights, and livelihood besides ex-prisoners’ integration into the society has been felt all over the country.
We are driven by the commitment that “prisoners are people too” and their rights and welfare deserve our collective attention. A project that started vey humbly is now a national partner in minimizing stigma and exclusion of prisoners in national affairs. We have operated solely as the voice of the voiceless. As a result of our solid support and reputation the project has access to all Kenyan prisons. We have acted and still continue acting as brothers and friends of the inmates by ensuring that they get the best life during and after the sentence.
About the Founder
Father Arnold Grol was born in Groningen, Northern Holland on 6th February 1924. He joined the Society of Missionaries of Africa in 1943 at the age of 19. He studied Philosophy and Theology and was ordained as a Missionary Priest in 1951. He was appointed to Our Lady of Visitation’s Parish in Makadara, Nairobi. Later, he was transferred to St. Theresa Parish Eastleigh, in Nairobi. He initiated several projects to serve the people whom he felt were in great need of assistance, particularly the marginalised poor. Due to his love for and affirmation of hope to the homeless and his admirable rapport with parking boys, he was nicknamed “the oldest parking boy”. He then founded Undugu Society of Kenya for that purpose. The organization is still very active.
In 1984, while Fr. Grol was on leave, one of the rehabilitated street boys – Joseph Maina Mwangi – stole some money from the institution and the administrator took him to police for “theft by servant”. The boy was jailed and taken to Athi River Prison. Fr. Grol’s passion to render support to prisoners was greatly inspired by this street boy as he kept visiting him. Fr. Grol’s conviction that correction supersedes condemnation led him to support the jailed street boy by encouraging and supporting him to build on skills while in prison so that later he earns an honest living. Upon release from prison the boy engaged in shoe making (leather work). This gave birth to “Fr. Grol’s Welfare Project”.
Fr. Grol served at St Theresa’s Parish for 23 years till the time of his death on 18th August 1997 at the age of 73. Henceforth, the same visionary approach towards rehabilitation of inmates has led to many positive experiences. He left the organization under the able leadership of Bro. Linus Schoutsen, HSC from CMM Brothers.