Offenders climbing ‘mountains’
Moving Mountains is an apt name for an organisation which has helped young offenders in Tokoroa.
A 17-year-old serving a sentence of home detention, who has been familiar with the justice system since the age of 12 has since completed NCEA levels 1 and 2 after being referred to the programme – a significant achievement considering he only started with nine credits.
In the young man’s own words, he claimed he had ‘‘never stuck with anything’’ but that this was ‘‘easy, fun and interesting because it was so hands on.’’
Tokoroa Community Corrections work closely with various agencies to help pro- vide services to reduce reoffending.
Nouha Achmar from Moving Mountains worked closely with him to help him get through.
‘‘He has worked hard and shown commitment. He has progressed well and taken the opportunities provided for him.’’
Moving Mountains NZ is about ‘‘making all things possible’.
Achmar said tutors worked with the offender, teaching him skills such as building and plastering. The team was involved in a project where minor building alterations were made in which the offender participated from beginning to end, learning new skills while thinking about his future.
‘‘Second chances don’t come easy; but now this guy’s life choices are brighter.’’
Life has taken a positive turn for the young offender thanks to the Moving Mountains team working closely alongside the Department of Corrections.
He was the sixth person to enter the Youth Justice Facility in Rotorua and after spending two and a-half years there, he never thought his life would change until Moses and Nouha showed him what he could achieve. He never missed a day of the course.
Corrections is committed to reducing reoffending by 25 per cent by 2017.
Research shows there is a strong link between employment and reduced reoffending, community corrections district manager Raema Mackay said.
‘‘ Having a job gives an offender structure in his/her life, coupled with the pride that comes with a job well done and earning an income. Many people who we work with have not had employment before. The mentorship that can be provided by an employer can make an enormous difference in an offender’s life.’’
If you are able to supply work for someone like the offender in this story, please contact Nouha on 021 028 43869.