The National - Tuesday, August 9th 2011
PRISONERS at the Beon jail in Madang have organised a fun-filled day during the Independence weekend with a mini-tournament for themselves.
Three sponsors have donated balls and other sporting gears.
Ruben Micah, classified as a high-risk prisoner but the man who has been organising the tournament since 2009, said yesterday when receiving 15 balls from Nambawan Hire Cars that he was pleased with the response so far.
Melanesian Tours have given K200, four rugby balls and one ball each for basketball, soccer and volleyball.
Two weeks ago, Microfinance Ltd donated volleyball, touch rugby ball and a whistle.
Events planned for the week will be fun-filled for children such as various games, sack races and relays.
The games start Sept 13 followed by the finals.
It includes a flag-raising ceremony in the morning with a live band concert and a mumu to end the day.
This week, the prisoners are expecting a speedy release of funding for fuel so they can do some fishing as part of their fundraising drive.
The only institution giving them their time in joining the games is Divine Word University.
Micah said it was pleasing to see students mixing with inmates.
 “Why can’t other institutions also do the same? The community here, warder’s families and others, are joining in the fun and this is one way of healthy community participation,” he said.
Jail commander Tita Wada said it was one of the best ways to rehabilitate prisoners and as such business communities should.
“Today they are my prisoners, tomorrow they will be your neighbours or community members. The whole event is organised by prisoners,” he said.
He added that in the four years that the “Kapris group” had been detained, and while instilling self-worth among prisoners through such activities, there had not been one break-out – a record so far.