Damascus Crime Prevention Services From crime to Christ

P.O. Box 12958, Centrahil
Port Elizabeth 6006
South Africa
info@damascus-sa.co.za
047-861 NPO  PBO NR: 930017835
TRUST: IT332/2012

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Activities and Programmes

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As an organization, we believe in a holistic approach to dealing with crime and as a result we are structured in such a way that we simultaneously render crime prevention services on three different levels. This three-phased approach is encapsulated by our slogan:


1.     PREVENTION: reaching out to young people in crime-ridden communities with positive life skills and community programmes. At present this is taking the form of life skills intervention programmes running primarily at Secondary Schools in the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth where problems with gangs and drugs are rife . These programmes target “at risk” youth in order to teach them positive life skills (such as communication skills, the dangers of substance abuse, standing up to peer pressure and building positive self-esteem, aggression and conflict management, etc.) so they will be less likely to commit crimes in the future. Over the past five years that these programmes have been running, we have received tremendously positive feedback from teachers and parents alike about the often dramatic positive changes in the behaviour of previously “troubled” youths; all confirming our belief that we are making a significant impact. This is sometimes supplemented with parenting workshops, leadership development with selected learners, teacher workshops, and community outreach projects involving both youth and adults. In addition, we have assisted a number of the learners who completed our programmes to find employment after they matriculated by referring them to job placement agancies and providing them with testimonials. Finally, we are also available for motivational talks at schools, churches and community events.

  

      

2.   TRANSFORMATION: reaching out to offenders (youth and adults) in various prisons to assist in their rehabilitation. We see ourselves as complementing the rehabilitation services rendered by Correctional Services by presenting our own life skills programmes, conducting bible studies and church services, doing individual counseling as requested, and by facilitating contact between the offenders and their families where possible to repair broken relationships. Over the years we have helped hundreds of offenders, and have had the privilege of seeing so many of them being transformed completely to the point of no longer being a danger to the community. Obviously the more effectively offenders are rehabilitated while in prison the less likely they will be to commit another crime after they are released, thereby reducing crime in the country as a whole, and so the need for us to continue these kind of services is great.

  

3.   REINTEGRATION: providing emotional, spiritual and practical support services to ex-offenders immediately following their release from prison, often while they are still on parole. This is done through regular telephonic contact, home visits, referrals to other community resources in terms of training, seeking employment and so forth, and through practical and/or material help where possible. In 2011 we also raised funds for a new initiative called “Extreme Home Makeover: Jesus Edition,” through which we renovated the homes of some ex-offenders in order to give them back their dignity in terms of their living environments, while creating a “safe haven” for them and their families. This project was completed successfully and will be re-instated as such needs arise in the future. Providing good after-care services is a key component of facilitating the successful reintegration of ex-offenders back into society, which in turn also drastically reduces the chances of them re-offending.

 


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