Singapore, 13 September 2017 – Hoping to ease the reintegration of ex-offenders who have served long-term imprisonment through education and sharing of basic knowledge after their release, the Industrial and Services Co-operative Society Limited (ISCOS) launched a new orientation initiative earlier this year.
Aptly named as Project ReConnect, the programme aims to help newly-released ex-offenders to familiarise and reconnect with the community around them. Held at least once every two weeks, the project is targeted at ex-offenders who have served at least three years in prison, to attend in the initial weeks after their release. It is a full day programme starting with a brief orientation covering selected topics such as employment, housing and medical matters, followed by a community tour to places such as Community Centres, MRT stations, grocery stores and other places.
Commenting on the rationale of the project, Ms Lisa Lim, ISCOS Executive Director said, “For many ex-offenders especially those serving long prison sentences, the first three to six months are critical to the success of their reintegration to society. By first orientating them through a structured programme like Project ReConnect, we will continue supporting them and their families with our full suite of programmes and services. It has always been our wish to be the beacon of hope to those who are willing to change, and be their friend in times of need.”
The project is fully sponsored by Goldbell Foundation (Goldbell), a partner who has been supporting ISCOS on various fronts, including offer of employment to ex-offenders. During the Project ReConnect tour, the participants are also brought to Goldbell’s work site to witness first-hand the working conditions and job opportunities available at Goldbell.
“We believe that everyone deserves a second chance. As long as he or she is willing to change and work with a positive attitude, we as part of the community should support them. Through this project, we hope to help the participants to start their new lease of life on the right footing, with the right kind of support,” said Mr Vincent Teh, Chairman of CSR, Goldbell Group.
Since its pilot in April 2017, ISCOS has conducted approximately 16 sessions under Project ReConnect, involving over 80 participants. The feedback received were generally positive, as it helped to re-orientate them with the rapidly changing landscape in Singapore in terms of infrastructure, technology, services and many other elements. Being away from the society for a long time, the ex-offenders often feel isolated and out of touch which further impede their reintegration process.
About Industrial & Services Co-operative Society Ltd (ISCOS)
Since 1989, ISCOS has been extending friendship and support to ex-offenders and their families so that they can lead meaningful and productive lives. Together with the CARE Network/Yellow Ribbon Project partners such as Singapore Prison Service, SCORE and other aftercare agencies, ISCOS takes an active role in engaging the community to help ex-offenders and their families gain a foothold in the society.
As a social Co-operative for ex-offenders under the purview of the Ministry of Home Affairs, our programmes and services are geared towards enhancing the skills level of our members, connecting them with supportive employers, providing social support through positive peer groups, building stronger family units, as well as extending academic assistance to their children in order to prevent intergenerational offending.
For more information, please visit www.iscos.org.sg.
About Goldbell Group and Goldbell Foundation
Goldbell Group is Singapore’s market leader in distribution and leasing of industrial vehicles with business operations that span across the Asia Pacific region, with a presence in Malaysia, Vietnam and Australia.
Goldbell has a strong belief in giving back to the society and has taken a small step towards cultivating corporate social responsibility by incorporating Goldbell Foundation into the business.
Goldbell Foundation aims to enable people to commit and contribute to the society and environment positively through a signature philanthropic strategic framework – GOLD, which focuses on Going Green, Opening Opportunity, Living Life and Delivering Dignity.
ISCOS is one of the partners who receives support from Goldbell Foundation, through Project ReConnect and the Fairy Godparent Programme, to motivate and support these families in their quests to achieve a better outcome in life.
For more information, please visit www.goldbellfoundation.org.
Looi Jo Anne
Manager, Comms & External Relations
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Executive, Comms & External Relations
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