Fighting Aids beyond bars
Soon to be released inmates at the Westville medium C prison in Durban are to leave their cells with the aim of rebuilding their communities.
Medium C holds prisoners who are not considered a high risk in the community.
Yesterday the inmates took part in an event hosted by the Durban University of Technology (DUT) at the prison to raise awareness on crime and HIV-Aids. The inmates participated in various informative activities, including debates, various forms of dance and dramas under the theme Is HIV and Aids Another Guy's Problem?
The inmates expect to be released in time for Christmas and could not contain their excitement.
Edward Mgobhozi was arrested 11 years ago. He said when he gets out of prison he wants to be a "better father and continue with his business career". He also wants to use his awareness about the pandemic to teach those in the community.
DUT day was full of laughter, education and dance. The students said there is so much going on outside prison on HIV-Aids awareness and felt that the prisoners should be made aware of this.
DUT student Nosipho Bhengu said the programme is to interact with inmates and to raise awareness on crime and HIV-Aids.
The programme incorporates drama to give inmates a better understanding of the issues.
"The message we came to deliver here today has best been interpreted through drama so that the inmates were able to visualise what we are talking about," she said.
Head of correctional services at Medium C Ntombizonke Manqele said in order to rehabilitate offenders, the prison requires the assistance from the community.
"Such interaction rehabilitates inmates and help them to pick up the pieces," said Manqele.