Reaping the Harvest by Joy Wanless

Reaping the Harvest by Joy Wanless

Many people imagine that sending someone to prison is an excellent way of getting rid of criminals and keeping them out of sight. We forget that the criminals are also very human and that they need a second, and sometimes a third chance to start over again.

Our team at Pollsmoor have been amazed at the change we have observed in many of the young men we have been working with. We discovered that they are thoroughly bored with nothing to do all day, and Mercy Swart suggested they might like to start a vegetable garden. From small beginnings these young men have shown us what a bit of help and encouragement can achieve. In 2006 they cultivated a small plot and were very excited to be able to harvest some healthy vegetables which were then distributed to the Claremont Night Shelter for soup.

In 2007 we told them we would again bring compost and more seedlings and we discussed what they wanted to grow. Imagine our delight when we found not only a flourishing original garden but a whole new section cleared and prepared ready for the compost and seedlings.

The young men have recruited new helpers and their enthusiasm has led some of the wardens to contribute their expertise and other donations of seedlings. The result is a bumper crop of excellent vegetables which are now given to homeless and other needy people. The wardens are helping with the distribution.

You cannot imagine the enjoyment and pride these young men have in doing
something creative and at the same time being able to help others in need.