EVERYONE DESERVES A SECOND CHANCE
CAN PLAY A PART…
In our society, we often don’t realize that there are groups of people who are ostracised, sidelined, and looked down upon. One of those groups is prisoners and ex-prisoners. YouTurn Project wants to make an impact and inspire people from all levels of society to change their views, perspectives and actions towards this group. “You” refers to everyone, having their lives “Turn”-ed into a more accepting, forgiving, and inspiring society.
YouTurn Project is inspired by Yellow Ribbon Project, a campaign that pushes for second chances for ex-offenders in Singapore. Malaysian CARE, involved in prison ministry since 1981, has never stopped helping, caring, guiding and advocating for offenders and ex-offenders since then. It is part of Malaysian CARE’s calling to reach out to the target population regardless of their religion and ethnicity. YouTurn Project is part of Malaysian CARE’s efforts and initiatives to build bridges between offenders and ex-offenders and society, removing all stigma and discrimination, and inspiring acceptance and reconciliation.
Core Values of YouTurn Project
YouTurn Project promotes equal opportunity for ex-offenders in their daily lives.
YouTurn Project recognizes that family reconciliation builds a strong foundation for ex-offenders.
YouTurn Project inspires community acceptance to support the reintegration of ex-offenders.
Equal Opportunity in Life
Lily was out of prison after being sentenced for drug offenses. She was determined to start a new life and was getting help from an NGO to plan for her future. After months of preparation, Lily felt that she was ready and went to look for a job at the nearest hypermarket. After filling up the application form, she was told she would not be hired due to her being an ex-offender. There are many others who suffer just like Lily, who was unable to get a decent job due to her background, unable to get herself back on her feet and to get an equal opportunity in life.
Ahmad was caught for a drug offense and was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment. Upon completing his sentence, he had nowhere to go. His only sister was working and couldn’t provide much help, but wanted to see his brother make it in life. After going through the reintegration program at Rumah Petros, Malaysian CARE’s halfway home, he slowly reconciled with his sister and even managed to learn some vocational skills to take away after the stay. Not many are like Ahmad, having the opportunity to reconcile with family, and not many had that kind of support after incarceration.
Discrimination and stigma are among the major factors that stop an ex-offender from reintegrating back into society. Having been rejected by his family and community, John had nowhere to go after he was released from prison. Because of that, he became homeless. With many tries and failures, John finally got over the prison lifestyle, but not without the help of his employer, family, and friends, who gave support and accepted him for who he is, and not what his background was. Acceptance, not discrimination, is one of the answers to fruitful re-integration.