Cape Town, South Africa
“Alpha has made great progress in South Africa”, Dylan Appolis from Southern Cross newspaper, SA writes. “Alpha for Prisons was launched in 1995 in response to demand from offenders, and since then, enthusiasm for the course has grown. Over 3,500 people have done Alpha in SA prisons in the past 12 months.”
Pollsmoor Prison is located in the Cape Town suburb of Tokai and is a maximum-security prison, home to around 7,000 of South Africa’s most dangerous offenders. It is also just one example of how Alpha is changing hearts and lives, and not just those of the prisoners but all who get to be part of the transformation of these communities.
Pollsmoor Prison has a textile factory where they make uniforms for SA prisoners.
A couple of years back when 16 female inmates working there asked about Alpha, the factory manager wasn’t keen to release them to do Alpha during the working day. However, eventually these 16 women were given permission to participate in the course. It was described to be ‘a wonderful course’ where a number of women committed their lives to following Jesus. And what is truly remarkable to see is how God is not only working in the lives of these inmates but through them as well as their transformed lives transform the community around them.
The factory manager has since said that the productivity of the women has increased hugely and that the atmosphere is also very different - the relationships between the women, as well as between staff and the women, has improved so much.