SACA (as part of the Community Action for the Rehabilitation of Ex-Offenders (CARE) Network) kick started the year 2015 with much fanfare with the staging of the musical production The Prison Within in collaboration with Nanyang Polytechnic – specifically the faculty of Social Work from the School of Health Sciences – and in support of the Yellow Ribbon Project. The musical event which took place on Saturday, 17 January 2015 served as the curtain-raiser for the CARE Network’s yearlong SG50 celebration which also coincides with the Network’s 15th Anniversary.
The musical by the 2nd year Social Work students is a creative attempt to highlight an often neglected group that suffers silently when an individual is incarcerated – their family. It is worth noting that the idea for the musical came mainly from the NYP students; SACA is heartened that young people such as them are able to be sensitive to the needs of an often neglected group, the families of offenders, and want to use this production as a means to reach out to their peers to raise awareness of the need of such people in our midst and how we can do our part for them in our personal capacity.
The Association was honoured to have Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman (Minister of State, Ministry of National Development & Ministry of Defence and Mayor, South East District) grace the event. He had a surprise appearance and role in the big finale scene at the staged CARE Network Fair, where he assumed the role of Guest of Honour for both the Fair and the musical event itself. He also shared his thoughts on the trials faced by unintended victims of incarceration – the families of ex-offenders, the importance of acceptance of ex-offenders by family and the community, how the social work students of today are the social work ambassadors of the future, and how youths play an integral role in society both now and in the future.
The event saw an overwhelming response and turnout of more than 1,100 guests made up of youths, industry partners and supportive members of the public – creating an almost full house situation in the 1,200-seater auditorium at Nanyang Polytechnic. A total of 50 SACA staff and volunteers provided core manpower in the running of the event. Feedback received from industry partners and the public was positive; there were even calls from related parties to restage the musical! CARE Network and Nanyang Polytechnic were grateful and extended their thanks for the support rendered by SACA staff and volunteers.
The event received extensive press coverage before and after the event day on various media platforms such as print (Lianhe Zaobao – zbNOW), radio (Capital 95.8 interview with guest actress Catherine Sng and NYP student representative Teo Yi Xuan), and online (Lianhe Zaobao Online, OMY.sg, Capital 95.8 (Facebook), and Alvinology.com). Check out some of the unforgettable scenes of the night below!