At a Glance

Location: Lima, Perú

Impact Area: Labor Inclusion

People Supported:
Inmates/Former Inmates, Urban

Joined NESsT Portfolio:
2017

projectpieta.com

Overview

Every day, more than 31,000 people in Peru are imprisoned without being convicted of anything – in some cases for up to two years – as they await trial. More than 70% of male inmates and 85% of female inmates have children to support at home and no opportunities to earn income legally while awaiting or serving their sentences.

Project Pietà is a social enterprise and clothing label that helps inmates independently earn income to support their families while in prison. They are also able to build valuable work experience which prepares them to secure jobs upon release. 

Inmates are paid a portion of the sale price for each unit of clothing they produce, resulting in a reliable income they can send home to their families. Upon release, former inmates can continue working with Pietà or seek jobs at other companies with Pietà’s recommendation and support.

Hear Jorge's story about what work in the Pietà workshop at Lurigancho Prison in Lima means to him. Click the image above to watch the video. 


Results & Impact 

40

inmates currently employed by Pietà

20

in training to join the Pietà team by the end of 2017

100+

former and current inmates employed by 2018

If you don’t have something with which to occupy your time, your head fills up and that’s where the stress and sickness comes in. The best thing to do is to work. There are few people that believe in that, but we should promote the opportunity to work.
— Don Carlos, Inmate Manager of the Pietà Workshop at Lurigancho Prison

NESsT Investment

Pietà joined the NESsT portfolio in 2017. NESsT has partnered with Pietà's founder Thomas Jacob and the company's management team to help grow the enterprise and increase the number and quality of training and employment opportunities for inmates and former inmates in Peru.

Jacob was inspired to found Pietà after a visit to a Lima-area prison with a friend who was teaching there. "There were some unused sewing and knitting machines (in the prison). There were also a lot of wonderful, open-minded people who wanted to get by, to learn a skill, to work, to earn money," says Jacob. 

Pietà has accomplished a lot since its start in late 2015. It has launched manufacturing operations in three prisons, opened two physical stores, and shipped orders domestically and internationally. To support its continued growth, NESsT leveraged a loan raised on the Kiva lending platform. Pietà is using this capital to open an additional retail store in Peru and a new distribution center to support increased online and international sales and to improve stock management and delivery efficiency. 

The NESsT team on the ground in Peru is also providing the necessary business development support to help Pietà grow, including offering consulting to define the distribution of roles and responsibilities in the management team and the formation of Pieta´s advisory committee. Additionally, NESsT has provided essential legal and accounting services through a local partnership and advised on new strategies to raise funds from the government.