Thursday, June 24, 2021

Ex-convicts host character building bootcamp

As part of their ‘pay back’ to the society, the Botswana Institute for Reintegration and Rehabilitation of Offenders (BIRRO) members have been facilitating character building bootcamps at various districts in the country for some years.

 The organization is currently engaged in yet another boot camp in Gabane with participants from Kanye, Serowe, Mogoditshane and Gabane village itself.

The bootcamp is scheduled to end on the 30th November, with the Minister of Defence Justice and Security and Legislator of Gabane/Mankgodi, Kagiso Mmusi officiating.

Altogether, 20 participants aged between 15 and 40 are expected to participate including ex-convicts, suspended students, those who have been labeled ‘untrustworthy’ by their families and those who are at risk of being addicted to illicit drugs.

The organization’s Chairperson, Mothei Sejakgomo told The Telegraph that they are starting with fitness exercises as some of the participants are still writing examinations. Exercising, he said is important to the young energetic bodies. His experience with bootcamps has taught him that physically fit young people are able to concentrate during presentations by various experts during the duration of the boot camps.

“The objectives of the boot camp include sensitizing youth on the harms and disadvantages of partaking in a life of crime and encourage them to desist from criminal behavior; to use personal experiences of those who have been involved in a life of crime and incarceration as testimonies to try and advise the youth against crime,” said Sejakgomo.

He added that the boot camps also intend using infotainment as a vehicle to sensitize the youth on the side of the effects of drug and substance abuse so as to deter them from using the substances. They are further aimed at trying to reconcile parents with their children who have fallen prey to issues of crime, drugs and substance abuse so as to help establish a good family unit conducive for their rehabilitation. They are also meant to instill good moral values and encourage deviant behavior.

BIRRO is a non-profit making organization founded by ex-convicts. BIRRO is a non-profit making organization founded by ex-convicts due to the stigma and discrimination towards them. Its mandate is to sensitize communities about life, challenges, expectations and needs of people who have been in prison. To ensure that they achieve these goals they work hand in hand with the Botswana Police Services, Botswana Defense Force, Botswana Prisons Service, Directorate of intelligence Service and Criminal Investigation Department.

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