Prisoners Build Shipping Container Op Shops for Shakti in NZ
Prisoners serving time in Auckland are to learn construction skills while converting shipping containers into op shops for the Shakti charity.
This is a win-win. The prisoners converting the shipping containers into the shops will be able to learn new skills that will help get them jobs and hopefully stay out of trouble on their release, while the Shakti charity gets some shops that will provide a valuable income stream.
Let’s take a brief look at Shakti and then the deal they have forged with Auckland Prison.
Shakti is a charity that aims to help Asian women who are suffering violence and discrimination in Australia and New Zealand. The Shakti website says, “It supports women to overcome the barriers that come with migration and inter-generational bonds of cultural oppression. Led by ethnic women for ethnic women, Shakti is dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights of both women and children and advocating social change.”
As with so many non-profits, Shakti is constantly looking to raise funds for the good work it does on the ground. Op shops are one of those, and the shops will help women get work experience with a view to getting jobs. Farida Sultana, founder and director of SETAC Sustinnoworx told New Zealand Construction News, “This initiative will help Shakti’s Sustinnoworx project achieve its objectives of creating and marketing upcycled, refurbished and repurposed goods for the community, while also creating employment opportunities for vulnerable women. Much of this work will be done by women survivors of abuse and violence, and the project aims to create pathways for the women to become skilled members of the workforce or self-reliant entrepreneurs.”
Double benefit – prisoner training
The op shops could have been built by a private company. Instead it seems that Farida Sultana and her colleagues saw an opportunity to help another disadvantaged group in society – people in prison.
Many convicted criminals enter a cycle where they go to jail and come out with nothing, so go back to crime in much the same way that the writer of this article will always write for a living as he knows nothing else! I won’t end up in prison for what I do (well, probably…) but they frequently end up in and out of prison. Teaching prisoners marketable skills has long been shown a way of preventing recidivism.
This seems to be why the leadership of Auckland Prison has offered their inmates up to build the op shops for Shakti. Converting shipping containers into premises that can be used as shops requires a wealth of skills that will help the men get back to work. They will have to cut windows in the units, add insulation and flooring as well as electrical wiring and fittings, and put windows in as well as cladding the shipping containers – all marketable skills that they can go out and get jobs with at the end of their sentences. While here at Gateway Container Sales we like to say that shipping container conversions are relatively easy to do, to do them to a high standard is still something that takes a lot of time and skill.
Jeanette Burns, Corrections’ northern regional commissioner, said to the NZ Construction News website,“The conversion of these containers into high-quality, useful community spaces gives prisoners in the offender employment programme a fantastic chance to learn and hone construction skills that can help the men secure sustainable employment on their release from prison,”
Convert your own containers with Gateway
To convert shipping containers into shops and homes takes a range of trades to do it right. Even so, it is far quicker than building a unit with bricks and mortar, and can be done indoors such as inside a prison’s walls, away from the weather outside. Give us a call to discuss your needs today.