Exchange students back home

2015-10-08 06:00

Two social workers who have been abroad to acquire skill have brought a lot of experience on how to use theatre as a tool for rehabilitation of inmates and ex-offenders.

Vuyiseka Thelma Mapeyi and Jacqueline Hoorn, social workers from National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (NICRO), arrived back in the city from Oslo, Norway on Tuesday.

They left the country in January to learn about ways of rehabilitating ex-offenders, inmates and parolees using theatre.

They were there as ambassadors for the country, and as part of SK Norway exchange programme called Peace Corps.

Nicro has a project, called Help! I am free Vardeteatret, which they run with Norwegian prisons together with Artscape Theatre and Pollsmoor Correctional Services.

Mapeyi said their stay in Norway was fruitful.

“It was a privilege for us to be there. We learnt a lot of things that we are going to use here.

It was very empowering and we gained a lot of skills and knowledge. It was good,” she said.

She said she had noticed many differences about the living conditions of inmates in Norway as compared to the “overcrowded” prisons in the country.

She said prisoners live in their separate rooms.

Mapeyi said over there, prisoners undergo a rehabilitation programme a year before their release, to prepare them to be able to deal with challenges of the outside world.

“Ex-offenders face a number of challenges when they get released, such as being rejected by their families or residents and they also cannot get jobs, because of their criminal records.

We also helped those who do not have Identity Documents to get them,” she added.

She also said they helped the ex-offenders through a programme called Employment Opportunity Programme.

Hoorn also applauded the programme.

“It was a great opportunity for us,” she said.

Nicro does the rehabilitation in Pollsmoor Correctional Service and they are currently working closely with about 20 inmates.

Mapeyi also said they have already seen a success of their work as one of the ex-offenders that they rehabilitated is now a known musician, but she preferred to keep his identity protected.

The duo also got an opportunity to see Queen Zondo, the South African ambassador to Norway, visited their parliament there, had undergone some trainings at Oslo University, learnt about the Norwegian culture and language, and many other opportunities.

NICRO remains the only national non-government organisation providing comprehensive crime prevention services across South Africa.

It is the main provider of diversion services for children in South Africa, since 1992

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.