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Warders donate to centre

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Mandela month celebrations helps child and youth centre

REACHING OUT: Correctional services employees in Kimberley yesterday reached out by donating toiletries to the Bophelo Child and Youth Care Centre in Beaconsfield. Picture: Danie van der Lith

CORRECTIONAL Services employees in Kimberley reached out to a children’s centre by donating toiletries to the Bophelo Child and Youth Care Centre in Beaconsfield yesterday.

The initiative formed part of Mandela Month celebrations.

Officials donated soap, disposable nappies, sanitary towels, lotion and creams and other supplies to the centre, which hosts babies and children up to two years old in one facility, as well as older children in the sister facility.

The Head of Kimberley Correctional Centre, Onica Manake, said that the Correctional Services employees covered the costs of the donation from their own pockets.

“The initial plan was to donate to a shelter which accommodates women who are survivors of abusive relationships. We, however, heard the history of Bophelo Centre and that they are caring for babies, who are later transferred to the other youth centre once they get older and become teenagers. That story of the centre really touched us and that was why we decided to not only donate toiletries for the babies but also for the teenagers at the other centre. About 238 employees were involved in the initiative and everyone donated R50 or more. This initiative was also a way for employees to give back to the less fortunate,” said Manake.

She added that the donation was part of the department’s ongoing charity programmes.

“We also want to host a dinner for former correctional officials who are now on pension. Our outreach programmes are not only held during Mandela Month. The department has adopted two schools where we also assist pupils with school uniforms and toiletries. We have also reached out to the school in Platfontein where we donated clothes and food to pupil. These are ongoing programmes and are a way of showing that correctional officials are caring and should not be judged as hardened individuals who just lock up criminals,” she said.

The management and employees at the care centre were elated with the donation.