The Reintegration Programme officially launched on Monday, 18 September with a group of 10 men freshly out of prison, excited to change their lives and learn how to be urban heroes in their communities. These men, once convicted of crimes, are now convicted with the desire to not only empower themselves, but to help empower young people in their communities to make healthy life choices instead of destructive ones. One by one, they stood in front of us and expressed their desires to make a difference and live a positive, purpose-filled life.
Here in South Africa, it costs the Department of Correctional Services around R10,000 a month to keep one person incarcerated and 7 out of 10 end up returning to prison after their release. By helping young men successfully reintegrate back into society, this programme can not only help the government and society save money, but help them contribute and give back to their families, communities, and nation.
For 3 months, these men will be involved in intensive, holistic training, to help prepare them for a successful life outside of prison. They will be learning life-skills such as budgeting, setting and reaching goals, responsibility and accountability, job readiness, and much more. With weekly evaluations, mentorship, and discipleship, we want to help them build a foundation of stability, as well as empower them with the resources to be able to stay on track and not allow negative influences to pull them back into their past. In partnership with local companies and NGO’s, we hope to provide them with interview experience and job opportunities after graduation. We are excited to follow their journey and see them become a solution to the problem they were once a part of within society.