Offenders feed the needy

2018-04-20 06:00
Delighted offenders and the Department of Correctional Services Kokstad Medium Correctional Centre staff with produced vegetables for the poverty alleviation programme. PHOTO: supplied

Delighted offenders and the Department of Correctional Services Kokstad Medium Correctional Centre staff with produced vegetables for the poverty alleviation programme. PHOTO: supplied

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OFFENDERS who are incarcerated at the Kokstad Medium Correctional Centre have embarked on a poverty alleviation programme by growing vegetables and other produce to supply charity homes.

Last week the offenders donated vegetables to a centre for underprivileged children in Kokstad.

While incarcerated, offenders are growing vegetables within the facilities of Kokstad Medium Correctional Centre as part of their skills development training.

Department of Correctional Services Kokstad Medium Correctional Centre communication’s officer, Bonginkosi Mboshwa said the programme was initiated by one of the department staff members.

According to the Head of Kokstad Medium Correctional Centre, Arnold Mbono, the aim of the programme was initiated to empower offenders with skills as well as to reduce poverty and unemployment in the country.

He further said the programme is part of fighting crime in the country.

“We want ex- offenders to also respond to the ‘Vukuzenzele’ call by producing vegetables in their homes.

The centre has no farm prison where offenders can produce more vegetables, but this will not stop them from using the small land inside the centre,” said Mbono who was delighted about the fruits of this programme.

Offenders who are part of the programme vowed to continue producing more vegetables and feed poor homes.

One of them is Sibusiso Mbele (61) who said he was happy about the programme.

Mbele said his aim is to make change is his community when he is released.

“During my incarceration, I have learnt to make electrical appliance repairs, bricklaying, and planting vegetables is close to my heart.

I am going to use these skills for the benefit of my community and to teach children that crime does not pay”, said Mbele.

Mboshwa asked communities and government departments to give offenders the opportunity to utilise their skills so as to grow the country’s economy.

He also asked families and communities to welcome offenders when they are released from prison.

We want ex- offenders to also respond to the ‘Vukuzenzele’ call by producing vegetables in their homes. The centre has no farm prison where offenders can produce more vegetables, but this will not stop them from using the small land inside the centre

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