Support PCSN’s work

2018-09-18 06:00
Ursula Schenker and Stephen Brislin

Ursula Schenker and Stephen Brislin

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The Prison Care and Support Network held its annual meeting at Old Mutual, where volunteers were recognised and the need for more support was emphasised, on Saturday 8 September.

At the meeting, Nina Richards, chairperson of the PCSN, said: “We create hope in the individual and restore a sense of humanity in the community. We rely heavily on the work of our volunteers. Today we wish to thank them for their invaluable service to the organisation and the impact they have on those in prison and their families.”

Babychan Arackathara, PCSN pastoral supporter who was also retiring on the day, added that the lack of support for the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders is a serious concern.

“At times the enormity of the task at hand versus our limited capacity questions our effectiveness as an organisation.”

The PCSN is a non-profit organisation that offers spiritual, emotional and targeted material support to prison inmates, ex-convicts and their families. Their programmes include aftercare support, child nutrition, a food parcel programme and a restorative justice programme. All these activities form part of an effort to repair the relationship harmed by crime.

At the meeting the coordinator, Benadette Davids, reported that during the 2017/2018 financial year the organisation reached between 800 and 1000 inmates whereas their restorative justice team reached 125 inmates and 143 family members­.

She said they provided 32 prayer sessions and 15 personal development sessions together with 320 individual consultations across various programmes.

Guest speaker, Archbishop Stephen Brislin, complimented the efforts of the PCSN in continuing to make a difference.

He also called on the public to support the organisation.

“Each of us can support the work of the PCSN whether through prayer, offering time to volunteer, or providing financial assistance to enable the PCSN to continue its mission to bring God’s love, hope and kindness to those living in fear and despair,” said Brislin.

Ursula Schenker, a volunteer, said she is glad to be part of creating hope in the individual and restoring a sense of humanity in the community. “We are trying to adopt a holistic approach to give the community a better understanding of how the rehabilitated lives are negatively impacted by preconceived stigmatism.”

Schenker also emphasised the need for more volunteers. V For more information visit www.pcsn.org.za or call 021 531 1348.

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