Sunday, September 16, 2012

Celebrating Women's Month with those behind bars

Before entering the Correctional Center
With August being National Women's Month, WiA set aside the last Tuesday of the month to visit the Pretoria Female Correctional Centre to celebrate the day with women held at the centre, as well as officers working there.
WiA chose to take this celebration to the inmates for them always to remember that, regardless of their current circumstances, their background or the choices they have made in life, they are still women, and therefore have every right to celebrate this month.
It was a day filled with song and dance with enjoyable renditions of popular songs performed by the WiA singes, and other equally entertaining performances from the center's female choir and other song and dance groups formed by the inmates.
Knowing full well that celebrations, although they lift the spirits and improve one's mood, do little to change a person's life, Mrs Marcia Pires, founder of WiA, had a special message for the women: "You are the product of your choices. Your life as it is right now is the result of the choices you have been making in your life - both good and bad.
Hand outs of toiletry hampers
"Even when your every movement is controlled by others, because you are behind bars, the choices you make will always be yours to control. No one can take that away from you. There are many people who are physically free, because they are not in a correctional centre, but their bad choices have cause them to be imprisoned, especially in their minds. When you control your thoughts, you control your mind. When you control your mind, you are the master of your freedom and no prison bars will be able to take that freedom away from you" said Mrs. Pires
She challenged the women to each commit to the resolution that they would make every effort to fill their minds with positivity, and to make good choices for themselves, the women with whom they live and their families. She challenged them, in the spirit of ubuntu, to be each other's steward, and always ask each other, "Have you done good choices today"?
The women feasted on the lunch prepared for them and were given toiletry hampers generously donated by WiA.
The head chaplain at the Pretoria Correction Centre, Reverend Manaka thanked WiA for "remembering the voiceless and giving them a voice" through their selfless offering of love.
Nametso Mofokeng
PR for WiA
Note: Photos from the inmates are not published for respect and individuality.

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