Detainees clean the Muslim cemetery in N.Mitrovica and restore the doors of the St. Sava Church in the South

FOTO: KoSSev

Detainees of the North Mitrovica detention center are currently cleaning up the Muslim cemetery in this part of the town, ahead of Eid. At the same time, after cleaning up the Christian cemetery for Remembrance Day in South Mitrovica, they are also restoring the doors of the Church of St. Sava. In addition, they will soon begin tidying up all the rural cemeteries in the north.

Although all of them ended up in the detention center because of illegal activities, including serious crimes, the detainees have been doing what they can to help the city and community for years through voluntary and humanitarian work. That’s also how they help themselves.

The detention center has carpentry, metalwork, and tailoring workshops. Some of the detainees are cooks, and a bakery is expected to open soon.

Led by the prison administration, they respond to requests for help outside the detention center’s walls. Sometimes, they are the ones who initiate similar ventures.

In past years, their most visible work was through the clean-up of cemeteries – Christian in the south and Muslim in the north, especially ahead of the holidays.

This week, ahead of Eid, the detainees of the North Mitrovica detention center will be cleaning and tidying up the Muslim cemetery in this part of the town.

Among other things, the detainees are mowing the grass, cutting down the overgrown vegetation, and collecting garbage accumulated between clean-ups.

At the same time, the detainees of the North Mitrovica Detention Center are currently installing the doors of the Church of St. Sava in South Mitrovica, which they restored in the previous days.

The necessary material was provided by the hardware store „Vanja“, the NGO Casa, and the restaurant „Duo grill“, with UNMIK’s help with the organization, as well as all other actions carried out by the detainees.

„They are behaving really well, we’ve never had any problems with them. They helped us a lot, now we have a door, and recently they mowed the churchyard. In addition, they are tidying up cemeteries. They are doing that now in the cemetery in the northern part. Whenever we need help they respond. We have excellent cooperation with the head of the center Benasim (Medic) and he is always there when we need help,“ says father Nenad, the head of the church in South Mitrovica.

Cleaning and tidying of all rural cemeteries in the north of Kosovo will be carried out soon, once again done by detainees.

Until now, teams of detainees have always been ethnically mixed. Their participation has always been on a voluntary basis.

The journey of their resocialization is arduous and thorny. Its success depends not only on the detainees but also on the institutions and the entire community.

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