An NGO's Efforts to Empower Ex-Convicts in Botswana: Opportunities and Obstacles

An NGO's Efforts to Empower Ex-Convicts in Botswana: Opportunities and Obstacles

Molefe Coper Joseph (University of Edinburgh, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8568-0.ch010
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Abstract

This chapter presents a case-study drawn from a qualitative study which explored how non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Botswana perceive and respond to recent global emphasis to engage men as stakeholders in gender and development so as to achieve gender equality and to empower women. This case-study was purposively selected from sixteen focus group discussions held with different organizations across the country. The chapter specifically looks at efforts by the Botswana Institute of Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Offenders (BIRRO), an NGO established by a group of rehabilitated ex-convicts to empower other ex-convicts by way of facilitating their re-integration into society. They established this NGO after realizing that the rate of reoffending is high due to negative stereotypes attached to ex-convicts. Despite facing some challenges, BIRRO is trying to counteract the disenfranchising criminal identity which members of the public attach to people who once committed a crime.

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