By Fr. Dr. Lucian Arinaitwe
What more can be brought on board to Holistically ameliorate the scenario?
It is widely perceived across many Educationalists, Social workers and Religions, that accomplishing tasks of amending broken hearts amidst the most needy is a noble human contribution. In another deeper perspective, the concept of prisoners and refugees extends beyond physical prisons and refugee-camps/sites to being imprisoned in unconstructive mind-sets, corruption, violence, inhuman use of power, enslavements of various vices and undue attachments. Both concepts of prisoners and refugees are given critical regard in this presentation, especially in the current challenges of lack of commitment to ameliorate needy areas, whereby in other respects the situation continues to worsen.
For Holistic Educationalists, such contributions of amending broken hearts amidst the needy, rhyme well with their noble task of going beyond the cognitive inputs alone to also delving concretely into both the psychomotor and the affective inputs that include positive care, empathy, feelings, values and fruitful actions that really work. For the related Christians, it marches well with the Biblical text from Mt.25:35-36 where Christ puts it thus “I was a stranger and you invited me in,… I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ This harmonises with the focus of this presentation on promoting an education that critiques the root causes and even amends broken hearts of prisoners and refugees in their circumstances that often tests their hope, their courage, as well as their deep seated hearts’ desires including those who may even contemplate committing suicide. We note that as per an Education related presentation from Uganda Prisons service Department of Education and Vocational Skills Training. (During the 23rd ESSR-2016 at Golf Course Hotel Kampala), it was stated thus: “In the recent times, Uganda Prisons Service (UPS) has had a strategic paradigm shift in its operations, making a departure from being a colonial punitive institution to a Correctional establishment to match with its legal mandate.
The fortification of this shift towards corrections is hinged on the human rights aspect and viable Rehabilitation programs that inmates are accessing of late, inmates’ education being a major component…” It had also a note thus: “Note: Currently the Total daily Inmate Population in UPS is approximately 46000.” This presentation is equally keen in enhancing the above strategic paradigm shift where the inmates’ Education is being forwarded as a major component as we emphasise the holistic quality and Peace approaches in liaison with offering related services among the Refugees as well, that include accomplishing tasks of amending broken hearts. Traditionally, Prisons were known to keep inmates under lock and key and to subject them to hard labour in its farms, but of late all efforts are being put in place, with the support of all stakeholders, to make inmates realise other components for correction, rehabilitation and reformation, so as to be transformed into better and responsible persons, which remains great value for this presentation.
An Education that amends broken hearts amidst current prisoners and refugees is to aggressively include Stakeholders who must exercise sincere study, research, evaluations, loving, inspiring people they serve and motivating them genuinely and also radiate the happiness the human being deserves. This wellbeing and happiness is espoused by various leaders including Pope Francis (2015) who is quoted in this work, and his message on “being happy”: “I would like to remind you that being happy is not having a sky without storms, or roads without accidents, or work without fatigue, or relationships without disappointments. Being happy is finding strength in forgiveness, hope in one’s battles, security at the stage of fear, love in disagreements…” Pope Francis also puts it thus: “The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience.
Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.” (Evangelii Gaudium-2013, no. 2). The Pope inputs are equally noted: “I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ…, since ‘no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord’ ” (PAUL VI, Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete in Domino [9th May 1975])
In the Educational analysis that encompass endeavouring to accomplishing tasks of amending broken hearts amidst the most needy, recognises, acknowledges and promotes the key positive practices, ideas, principles and guidelines that are also greatly cherished by the Inmates, their experts and Leaders serving among the Prisoners and Refugees that include:
1. The value of avoiding Low esteem, readiness to keep happy learning, harmonious living, teamwork, love for not only oneself but also for their inmates, while recognising their human dignity, preciousness and greatness.
2. Appreciating the philosophies of successful people and Models who successfully turned their challenges into opportunities, like St. Paul and Nelson Mandela etc., who were once a prisoners but came to be among greatest inspirational Leaders and others termed as “From grass to Grace”
3. The value of confidence in God, public witness of what the Lord has done for them, Religious activities (e.g. Praise and Worship), of life and general determination to improve things to move from one level to another level.
The above numbers highlighting the key ideas, principles and guidelines which are also greatly cherished by the Inmates, their experts and Leaders serving among the Prisoners and Refugees, when critically analysed, are essentially very fundamental for meaningful and holistic development of any human person and related communities elsewhere.
It is further reiterate that in addition to all that is recommended and suggested for the Holistic cognitive, affective and psychomotor developments, (also noted as “physical, moral and intellectual” in Canon Law-795), formation and strong establishments of efficient Holistic Peace clubs and Environment related Clubs are equally and indefatigably recommended for the better. May God bless you all abundantly.
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