An Ex- convict, Mark Mensah, who was sentenced to a four-year jail term for stealing eight bags of cement and three plastic chairs at the Winneba local prison has been supported by Christian Atsu, the Newcastle winger.
The support is part of Crime Check Foundation’s (CCF) Reintegration Project in collaboration with the Newcastle midfielder, Christian Atsu, which will enable the Foundation reintegrate ex-convicts properly into the Ghanaian society.
Mensah had to relocate from his home town, Apam, where he lived formally but had to leave there and find solace in Accra because of stigmatization. “But life has been very difficult for me here in Accra”, he told crimecheckghana.
CCF with support from Atsu presented GH₵ 500.00 worth of air refresher and other items to Mensah to enable him start his own small business and also GH₵ 100 for his up keep.
Amid tears of joy, he commended Atsu and the Management of CCF for their great support. He also promised to work very hard and also handle the items well.
Mr. Ibrahim Oppong Kwarteng, the Executive Director of CCF, used the opportunity to admonish the public to refrain from stigmatizing ex-convicts and rather join hands with Atsu to help these ex-convicts to be reintegrated into society properly.
Earlier, Mensah said, “life in the city has been difficult as I have been struggling with even a place to lay my head, food to eat and virtually every basic life necessities.”
He told crimecheckghana that he is currently selling air refresher and other items on the streets along the George Walker Bush N1 H 1 Highway.
He said during one of his daily routines, a good Samaritan offered to allow him sleep in his kiosk. He also gave him his air refresher and other items to sell at a daily wage.
“I make GH₵ 8.00 daily,” he added.
As a father, having to provide for his six-year old boy and also doubles up as the bread winner for his aged mother, who can no longer work, his sister and her child.
“I am left with no preferable alternative than to accept to be the sales person of his employer at such a low wage and it is from this penury that l save money to send to support my child and family back home,” Mensah said.
The ex-convict said he was in dire need of just GH₵ 200.00 to start his own air refresher business to support himself and family.