The National,Thursday 22nd December 2011
by FRANCIS POKA
CHILDREN living in Baisu prison with their mothers last week received surprise Christmas presents from the International Committee of the Red Cross at Baisu jail in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands.
Papua New Guinea detention coordinator Peter Barras presented toys to Nathenal Bafi, six, and Moses Kewa, seven, who are living in the prison because their mothers are serving jail terms.
Barras said he walked around the prison compound, going from the section for men, those on remand, juvenile and female compound.
He said he was surprised when he saw children in the compound with their convicted mothers and quickly thought of finding Christmas presents to make them happy.
“I drove back to Mt Hagen and went in the shops and bought two boxes of Christmas toys and presented them to the children,” Barras said.
He said he felt sympathy and sadness at seeing innocent children living in prison with their mothers.
Barras said his visit was a follow-up from last year, when prisoners had raised hygiene issues.
He said ICRC was there to help the Correctional Services and not directly involved in their operations.
Barras said the ICRC spent more than K2,000 to buy materials to help prisoners clean the area they lived in.
The items presented were soaps, buckets, powders and mops.
Baisu jail operations manager Jim Kamins thanked the International Committee of the Red Cross for helping prisoners with material to clean their cells and shower blocks.