Correctional services poverty alleviation initiative takes off at Baviaanspoort

By Thomo waga Nkgadima

Adopt a school initiative, a helping hand to the needy learners of Leeuwfontein Primary school staying near the vicinity of Baviaanspoort prison farm with potential in Agricultural produce, is bearing fruits.

The initiative was aimed at encouraging correctional services officials to take care of the well being of the needy law abiding citizens.

The poverty alleviation policy of correctional services set its eyes on communities which are located near correctional centres which have been adversely affected by poverty, unemployment and high crime levels aimed at preventing crime and recidivism.

According to the white paper on the policy, a sober analysis of the composition of the offender population drives home the reality that the vast majority of our offenders come from communities and families plagued by poverty, hunger and unemployment. However, dysfunctional families also provided circumstances for ex-offenders to relapse to life of crime.

“In an effort to reject offences committed by offenders, we are trying our best to guide and assist offenders to change their lives for good”, Baviaanspoort Medium Correctional centre of excellence social services section head Zilla Mabaso said.

“Every year we donated countless tons of vegetable produce such as spinach, beetroot, carrots, cabbage, onion, tomatoes, green beans planted by offender to Quintile number one school where all children do not pay school fees and get stationary and food parcels for free.”Mabaso explained.

Mabaso added: “When offenders give back to the communities they wronged it is a noble gesture to say sorry for the offences they committed and a way to reintegrate back to the community they wronged as law abiding citizen”.

The school was build by a local farmer and admits grade R to 7. The department of education to also provided a caravan which will house 220 learners as extra classrooms.

Mabaso says when families are ravaged by poverty rather dysfunctional; they provide fertile ground for acts of criminality among young people growing up with them.

During our visit to the school it was discovered that there was no road sign to indicate to motorists that there is a school ahead. Meanwhile some of the children do not have birth certificates to access social grants.

Mabaso is urging good Samaritans to help the school with play pen, recreation hall, play ground and photocopying machine.

Any one willing to assist can contact Leeuwfontein School Principal Cathrine Mavundlela on: 012 808 5572/ 073 348 3704.