CHCSA lends a helping hand to inmates and ex-offenders.
Contributed By Chien Han Sheng
For many, the term “M3” brings to mind the BMW Series. For City Harvest Community Services Association and its volunteers, however, it takes on a whole new meaning.
M3, or Mighty Men in the Making, is a rehabilitation service provided by CHCSA for immates at the Reformative Training Centre and Changi Prison Complex. Workshops and courses specifically designed for these individuals are conducted fortnightly, with CHCSA workers aiming to build up the self-esteem and confidence of these ex-offenders and allowing them to rediscover their goals in life.
The M3 program is one with foresight and vision, as it does not just provide practical assistance to the inmates when they are in prison; after their release, CHCSA assists these ex-offenders in integrating into the society once again. This is done through the recommendation of jobs, preparing them for job interviews and even looking for halfway homes, where monitoring and support are provided for the ex-offenders so that they can leave their past behind them and work towards their goals and aspirations. In many cases where ex-offenders choose to go back to school, CHCSA also provides tuition to help them in their academic pursuits.
On Jan. 22 and 23, CHCSA volunteers made a trip down to the Reformative Training Centre and Changi Prison Complex for their weekly visit, during which, interaction and bonding took place. The volunteers were able to provide a listening ear for the inmates as they poured out their struggles and worries.
Said one of the inmates who declined to be named, “I always look forward to the CHCSA volunteers coming to visit us. It shows that they believe in us and our future.”
“Not everyone can enter the RTC and the prison complex to spend time with the inmates like this. So I really treasure the time that I get to spend with them,” said 29-year-old volunteer Yan Li Jie, who works as an event executive.
Another volunteer, Jennifer Leow, a mother of two, echoed her sentiments, commenting that the inmates are like sons to her. She chooses to be a volunteer for the M3 program as she believes these individuals have the potential to become assets to society upon release.