30. 10. 2020
The cooperation between Help and the Directorate for Execution of Criminal Sanctions (UIKS) in Spuž has been successfully continued. Various programs help to resocialize prisoners and create better conditions for people serving prison sentences. Earlier this week, after months of practical and theoretical training, a final test has been held successfully for inmates who were being trained as excavator operators.
Oral and written examination in front of a Commission ended with all six candidates receiving a certificate as excavator operator.
Assistant Director of UIKS, Husein Nurković is especially pleased with the cooperation because in this way, he says, we facilitate the achievement of a key goal:
“So people can return to civilian life after having served their sentences in the best possible way, with knowledge and experience, and can be resocialized as soon as possible,” said Nurković, while he was awarding certificates to five qualified excavator operators.
“I guess that for you, who have attended this course, this is an extremely important step towards a better tomorrow after the end of your sentence. When you return home, you will have the opportunity to make a living from your work. So, I wish you all the best and I hope this experience and knowledge will help you to return to normal life”, said the Assistant Director of UIKS.
One of the trainees was missing at the graduation ceremony, because his sentence has ended the day before, and he was released from prison immediately after completing the exam. The diploma will be awarded to him later and it will certainly be useful for his future employment as excavator operator, a deficient profession in Montenegro.
The Regional Coordinator of Help, Klaus Mock, said that he was glad about the opportunity to conduct another cycle of professional education for prisoners in UIKS.
“I believe that this will provide you with a better chance in the job market. I am glad that you had the opportunity to gain something good during your stay here. It seems to me that this is something that could turn you into a different direction. I wish you all the best in the future and I congratulate you on successfully passing the test and on the good results you have achieved”.
The President of the Examination Commission, Žarko Borovinić, was especially pleased because one prisoner received the maximum number of points in the written test, which according to Borovinić “confirms the desire of these people to be actively involved in economic and social activities.”
“It is great that the result of the oral test has shown their dedication, but it is even more important to see in practice that they have really learned this craft with dedication.”
Some of the candidates handle the excavator very well and demonstrated during the test that they can practically master every task with it.
Samir Beriša, who reached 100 maximum points in the test, was very thankful on behalf of the five prisoners-participants of the training.
“I want to thank Help, who enabled us to attend this training, to acquire new abilities and to go a step further. We also thank UIKS, which enabled us to participate in the training.”
Training of prisoners for deficit occupations in Montenegro is realized through Help’s project “Support to socio-economic stability in the Western Balkans region 2019-2020” which is funded by the German Government – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with ministries and local governments.
The candidates who, through hard work and training, managed to obtain a diploma in a trade that could be useful to them after serving their sentence, attended the event with obligatory masks unavoidable during the coronavirus pandemic. The masks are part of Help’s contributions, sewn in prison and made from a special antibacterial material also provided by Help. Participants have told us, that until today thousands of antibacterial masks could be sewn after a short training.
As part of the assistance during the coronavirus pandemic, Help provided UIKS with a larger amount of disinfectants as well as several tablet devices and talking booths for prisoners. This is of particular importance as prison visits are already prohibited for seven months, since the begin of the pandemic.
Under the project, Help cooperates with UIKS in several ways. We also provided UIKS with a large modern machine for the construction of concrete blocks, which worked at full capacity until last week. Chief Nikola Tanasilović demonstrated that by now, there are around 6,000 pieces of blocks in stock. Tanasilović also showed us a wall around a prison unit, which has been built from the blocks produced with the new block making machine.
In addition to the provision of the block making machine and the excavator, Help has supported the establishment of a modern chicken coop on the farm located within the prison in Spuž.
Although we were primarily visiting for the award of diplomas to the trained excavator operators, we were also looking at the other outcomes of our cooperation with UIKS, as you can see in the photos that follow: telephone booths and building blocks.