Children across the island’s four juvenile correctional facilities were treated to an end-of-summer fun day last week.
The event was held to close out the annual summer programme staged by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and the Ministry of National Security for the wards under the ‘We Transform’ initiative.
Policy Director and Project Manager at the Ministry, Ella Ghartey, told JIS News that the children participated in fun-filled activities such as jumping on the trampoline, rock climbing, board games, dance and sports competitions, while enjoying treats like snow cone, popcorn, hot dog and cotton candy.
“This was a one-day event for each institution,” she noted.
“It was really a joy to see the children interacting with each other, having fun, as well as interacting with the staff. I believe that they felt celebrated and remembered. The feedback has been tremendous from the institutions and persons are asking when we’re going to be doing this again,” she said.
Ms. Ghartey told JIS News that since the inception of We Transform in 2017, the Ministry and DCS have collaborated on the implementation of a summer programme within the four juvenile centres.
She noted that over the six weeks of the programme, the wards are engaged in empowering and art-centred activities, for example, visual and performing arts, as well as life skills training and motivational talks.
She told JIS News that the pandemic had impacted the staging of the programme for the past two years, and so last week’s treat, which was being held for the first time, was welcomed by the youngsters.
“The pandemic resulted in us having to significantly scale down our activities at the institutions, particularly as it relates to no face-to-face activities, which, as you can understand, was quite challenging for the children. We thought it fit to close out this year’s summer programme with a bang with lots of excitement and attractions at our inaugural fun day,” Ms. Ghartey said.
She told JIS News that based on the positive feedback from the wards, the Ministry plans to stage the fun day at the end of the annual summer programme going forward.
Ali Zanele – Mi Nuh Know (Audio Visual)