FEEL GOOD | Prisoners assemble 20 wheelchairs for Eastern Cape special needs school

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DCS has gifted 20 wheelchairs to learners at the Ikhwezi Lokusa Special School in Mthatha on Friday morning.
DCS has gifted 20 wheelchairs to learners at the Ikhwezi Lokusa Special School in Mthatha on Friday morning.
Supplied
  • The correctional services department has donated 20 wheelchairs to a school in Mthatha.
  • They were assembled by inmates as part of an "offender labour programme" aimed at community empowerment initiatives.
  • Most of the skills which offenders use in these projects are obtained via training at correctional centres.

The Department of Correctional Services has gifted 20 wheelchairs made by prisoners, to learners at the Ikhwezi Lokusa Special School in Mthatha on Friday morning.

Assembled by inmates as part of the "offender labour programme" aimed at community empowerment initiatives, the wheelchairs are a much-needed resource for the school.

prisoners
The department said imamates assembled done the assembling of the 20 wheelchairs

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The department initiates various community projects by utilising the skills of offenders, including maintenance and renovation of public infrastructure, cleaning of schools and public infrastructure, refurbishing of school desks, improving sporting infrastructure at schools, and starting vegetable gardens at schools.

Inmates have assembled the wheelchairs
The Department of Correctional Services has gifted 20 wheelchairs to learners at the Ikhwezi Lokusa Special School in Mthatha.

"Most of the skills which offenders use in these projects are obtained via training in our correctional center's workshops," the department added.

Wheelchairs
“Most of the skills which offenders use in these projects are obtained via training in our correctional center's workshops,” the department added.

Adopted by the department in 2019, the school has benefited from various items, including but not limited to, school toiletries, diapers, sanitary towels, wheelchairs and blankets.

Involved

This is in line with the new approach to correctional services which requires the department to be involved in community empowerment initiatives and projects.

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"The forging of closer links and cooperation between the department, the community, and other state departments is crucial in the fight against crime. This is also a good platform for the department to facilitate the successful reintegration of offenders back into society," the department added. 

Deputy Minister Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa said the department remained committed to continuing implementing offender labour programmes and projects that would empower communities.

DCS
Deputy Minister of DCS, Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa.
Photo Supplied

"These wheelchairs will bring much-needed relief and restore the dignity of learners who will be able to move around easily to attend school, and it is our way of responding to the needs of the vulnerable in society," Holomisa said.

He added that the work by inmates to assemble the wheelchairs was a positive contribution to society and a clear demonstration of offenders showing "remorse for their actions".

"We appeal to communities not to discriminate against our parolees, let them be given a second chance so that they can show that they are reformed and can contribute towards building better communities."


The department said it hoped the projects would eventually lead to the successful reintegration of released inmates into society.

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