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Giving African prisoners dignity and hope

09 Jul 2015


London Business School (LBS) students bring education and justice to inmates in Africa

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Students from LBS’s Impact Consulting Club (ICC) have helped give prisoners in Uganda and Kenya hope and restore their dignity by working with the African Prisons Project (APP), a non-profit initiative that supports African inmates.  

APP was launched to improve conditions in African prisons, where overcrowding, below standard sanitation and inadequate nutrition are commonplace, by building and refurbishing medical and education facilities. 

Most prisoners have never met a lawyer and have to wait months or even years before going to court, according to APP. It adds that more than two thirds of prisoners in Africa have not been convicted of an offence. 

Elsewhere, statistics from the Institute for War and Peace Reporting show that 60 per cent of prisoners in Uganda are on remand and more than 90 per cent defend themselves in court.

The APP was brought to the attention of an LBS student by the charity’s founder Alexander McLean who needed expert help in devising a strategy to expand APP’s law education activities in Africa.

In just 10 weeks, the LBS students developed a strategy for partnering with UK universities, built a pitch document to support APP in its efforts and prepared a forecasting tool for budgeting. The students worked with APP, which operates under the slogan ‘Teach one, save 100’, to help empower prisoners to become self-sufficient through a facilitated education programme.

Aside from the impact of the project itself, the club has seen tangible employment benefits for the students who work with non-profits such as APP: data tracking by LBS Career Centre suggests that students who work on strategy projects are more likely to be accepted on to a consulting internship. 

Kaitlyn Whitley MBA2016, Co-President of the ICC, says: “Projects like these are the perfect opportunity for companies without access to consulting resources, but who are doing amazing work, to receive help and expertise. At the same time, students with a passion for consulting but who lack sector-specific experience can take real-life consulting and social impact examples, from projects such as this, to their interviews.”

The ICC runs up to six consulting projects per school term with non-profits, charities, and social enterprises, bringing together teams of experienced consultants, as well as students interested in social impact and consulting. This academic year, more than 100 students from a range of programmes volunteered more than 5,000 hours across 14 projects.

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The team of students was lead by Fabrizio Mantegazza MBA2016 and included: Silvia Del Carpio MBA2016, Jay Wilson MBA2016, Kiru Raguraman EMBALJ2015, Oscar Zapata MBA2016, Whitney Mettam White MBA2016, Rania Assaf MiM2015 and Duc Luan Dam MiM2015.

ICC is sponsored by LEK consulting and enjoys support from Bain and Roland Berger.