Starting with July 2019, former detainees can benefit from the services of a unique and unprecedented project in the Republic of Moldova. The SHARE project is of particular importance for the reintegration process of people, who have served their sentence and are starting to build a new future. Its target group consists of people, who have been released from detention in the last 12 months.
The project, implemented by the Public Association “Regional Center for Community Policies”, with the financial support of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), offers a wide range of services, including: psychosocial counseling, personal development and vocational training, education opportunities, issuing of documents, individual and group support and even a place to live for people, who have regained their freedom.
In addition to assisting former detainees, SHARE also consults the private sector and influences public opinion to change society’s perception and attitude towards people, who have been released from prison. It is absolutely crucial that these people feel accepted and are provided with everything they need to take full advantage of a second chance. Another goal of the project is to spread a pro-social business model, such as that of DiVetro, highlighting the employment benefits of former detainees.
“Everyone deserves a second chance, if they intend to use it in a constructive way. It is very important that they do not face stigma and prejudice, but receive the necessary help, which we are happy to offer “, said Anastasia Railean, human resources specialist within the project.
So far, 28 people who have been released from detention have been successfully employed in various fields, such as footwear manufacturing, installing video equipment, installing protective surfaces for cars, installing glassware, etc. The employers of these people are the partners of the SHARE project: DiVetro, Line-X, Cristina and Videosecurity.
In November 2019, the SHARE project was joined by the Public Association “Positive Initiative” in order to provide services of information, identification, data collection and re-addressing of detainees. During this period, 38 people were consulted and informed about the provided services, some of whom later became beneficiaries of the project.
“In order to increase the reintegration chances of detained persons, we must provide them with qualitative information and guide them even while they are serving their sentences. It is a complex process and it is possible only thanks to the joint effort of all parties involved”, said Vasile Gantza, peer to peer consultant in the Therapeutic Community “Catharsis” within Penitentiary No. 9-Pruncul and the organization “Positive Initiative”, employed within the project. Several people from the above-mentioned therapeutic community became beneficiaries of the project services, being currently successfully employed and further supported in the professional training process.
The prosperity of our society depends on a correct mentality and attitude towards people, in which the dignity and right to a successful life do not depend on a person’s past and / or past mistakes. People with a criminal past have the right to a second chance, the right to a decent future, the right to be respected and to have equal rights. Change begins in society, change begins in us, change begins with projects like SHARE.
Author and translation: Dan Erușevschi