Forde: Tree Planting for Rehabilitation

Forde: Tree Planting for Rehabilitation
Article by Barbados Today
Published on August 14, 2021

The national campaign to plant more trees has been touted by Minister of Environment and National Beautification Adrian Forde as one way to help rehabilitate ex-convicts and bring them back into society.

As nearly 100 trees were planted Friday at the Government Industrial School, Forde said opportunities such as the national tree planting exercise, as well as other initiatives which engage people in groups to cooperate and work toward a common selfless goal, must be introduced to citizens who are seeking to better prepare themselves to re-enter society, after their time of incarceration.

Forde declared: “We have to find rehabilitative measures when persons are incarcerated, to be able to help them do their time, but at the same time allow them to improve their lives. There are certain tenents that we must appreciate that goes along with tree planting and the caring of trees. The tenents of hard work, discipline, selflessness, the ability to care for something, all of those tenents I think help to make persons better.

“It’s a holistic exercise to help us rehabilitate our people, especially those who are incarcerated, [and] who sometimes sits down in a cell or facility, doing nothing. We want to encourage them to put their energies to good usage.”

Teams from the National Conservation Commission (NCC) and the National Botanical Gardens planted just under 100 trees during the course of the morning at the GIS.

Acting Principal of the Dodds, St Philip reform school, Ronald Brathwaite, expressed hope of the new trees becoming another avenue for residents on the compound to learn more about self-discipline and environmentally friendly behaviours.

He said: “The residents here at the school will endeavour to make sure that we keep these trees in a good state and look after them so that they can leave a long-lasting legacy for the persons that come after.

“The purposes of this school is to find a new road and new path for residents in the country, who…might have gone the wrong way. We try to turn behaviours around and get people back on the right path, this [tree planting] is part of the initiative where people will understand the importance of trees and the importance of trees to their environment in Barbados.”

The national tree planting exercise is expected to visit the Girls Industrial School in St. Lucy, with HMP Prison Dodds to follow soon after. (SB)

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