Blessing was one of the beneficiaries, she was forced into crime by necessity and it seemed like this is how her life would be. She didn’t think there was a way out of this life and neither did anyone else. Following her release from the prison, she has found part time work with the project partner organisation, putting back into the project that helped her, helping more women in their transformation.
Save The Woman ~ lifeline for women ex-offenders
Due to high level of inequality and poverty, some people are forced into crime. After a time in prison, who wants to hire them? Who is willing to give them that chance? How can they break from that cycle? Save The Woman is one of a kind and for many women, their only chance of a brighter future. According to a Prison Reform Trust brief, women are a small minority of those in the criminal justice system, representing less than 5% of the prison population, and are easily overlooked in policy, planning, and services -they have been described as 'correctional afterthoughts.
Middlesbrough was 6 times most deprived local authority in England, children living in Middlesbrough are some of the UK’s poorest and most vulnerable with an average child poverty rate of 37% rising to 61% in the most affected wards compared to 20% nationally. Most women entering prison have committed a non-violent offence, the offence of food account for over half of those serving 6 months or less. Save The Woman sees this project as worth being invested in, by working with these vulnerable women to reduce the rate of re-offending. Re-offending is not just bad news for society - it is catastrophic for the women themselves and tears families apart.
A mother with experience of prison says, “The real battle started when I got out. Everything – a home, re-establishing relationships, getting a job. Imprisonment exploded a bomb into every aspect of my life." Our Enactus Teesside team of volunteers works remotely from Middlesbrough in the United Kingdom. Save the Woman is building on experience gained in Nigeria and has identified partners like Teesside University and My Sister’s Place an organisation based in Middlesbrough, with aim of working with ex-offenders in the North East of England. Providing training and channelling female inmates and ex-offenders creativity into enterprises, giving them the possibility of self-employment. With overwhelming positive feedback from Nigeria- we are also looking to expand across communities in Zimbabwe to impact more women.
In the past few months, we have also identified a local partner in Zimbabwe named “Women’s Entrepreneurship Day”. Both parties have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, with the hope of extending our work to Harare Prison and other neighbouring African countries. Our services provide a platform for the women who would otherwise be excluded to find a place in society as entrepreneurs.
However, we can’t do this alone, we need more resources and partners. If you are among those that will give these women the opportunity of a second chance, please email us today.
“TO TRAIN A WOMAN; IS TO TRAIN A NATION
Together we can make good things happen!!!