On Saturday 29 November 2014, a Caring for Ex-Offenders Conference was held in Brackenfell at Heidekoppie Church with open doors. This was the second time a conference of this nature was held in South Africa. It was also the launch of the Mentorship program.
The need for the program arose as we realized the high re-offending rate in the country. It is very good to bring people to faith in Jesus whilst in prison, but what happens when they leave prison?
They are confronted with their old friends, their old lifestyle, and the same old conditions that led them into crime in the first place...
Often with no-one to help them or support them. With no other guidance or influence, is it so surprising that they re-offend?
For this reason we looked into ways that we could offer support to ex-offenders when they leave prison. We found that supplying them with a mentor births the best results. It`s a fact that everyone in life needs a mentor. The problem was that mentors vary too much in skill and ability. Therefore in the CFEO Mentorship program, every mentor is professionally trained to ensure a standard of quality and support for each person that we work with. There will also be assistance and monitoring of the mentor to ensure their success and their personal support within this work as well.
At the conference we heard from the following speakers:
Paul Cowley from The UK, Director and founder of The William Wilberforce Trust. He spoke on the need for a CFEO program, and why the Church should be involved.
Testimonies were heard on the success and influence of the Mentorship Programs, all of which were truly remarkable.
Cobus Oosthuizen, Director of LifeXchange, also spoke on how the Mentorship Program will work to help the ex-offenders.
Sello Monare, Head of Parole placement and supervision, spoke on the value of a program such as CFEO. He confirmed the support and excitement of the Department of Correctional Services towards the program.
An article was published in “Die Burger” newspaper on 8 December 2014 reporting an interview with the Head of CFEO SA, Jaun Truter.
For more information please contact Jaun at firstname.lastname@example.org.