Nuusita Ashipala Ondangwa Celebrating independence behind bars serves to remind inmates that there is life awaiting all reformed inmates to become successful and law-abiding Namibian citizens. “Being here does not take away my right to being a Namibian, and that is what this day is about. This is not the end of the world. Life awaits us outside this facility,” said Ben Ndakola one of the inmates at Oluno Correctional Facility. Another inmate, Laina Mwatukange, said events of such nature hosted at the correctional facility encourages and motivates the inmates to leave the facility renewed. “This motivates us to embark upon a different life as new people, especially if we take part in the programmes offered at the facility,” said Mwatukange. The celebration was graced with dance plays by the inmates. In line with the independence celebration, the inmates expressesed their content that the correctional service continues to provide effective services and integrates inmates to become better people in future through various programmes. In the quest to reduce the number of youthful offenders at correctional facilities, inmates at Oluno want government to introduce religious and moral education at primary level and for the constitution to be taught as a subject. According to inmates, many youths are not familiar with the constitution and if taught at school level it will aid in informing them about human rights and the consequences of violating such rights. They felt growing up in a Christian environment will impact children’s lives positively from a young age and contribute to the social and personal development of the youth. In the same vein inmates applauded the government for the programmes aimed at enhancing skills which gives opportunities to the inmates to find jobs upon their release. They also want government to partner with vocational colleges to allow them to acquire accredited qualifications. Addressing inmates at the celebration, the Councillor of Ondangwa Urban, Elia Irimari, encouraged the inmates to take part in the educational programmes offered, saying the programmes are designed to prepare them for the future. “Knowledge is like a garden. It will not only prepare you for the future but also during your incarceration,” said Irimari Although there is a library to help inmates to study, the facility needs more books including encyclopaedias and dictionaries and a computer to type their assignments.
2018-04-12 08:55:36 5 months ago