Yu stap lukout wan difren kind gift blong famili mo fren blong yu? Yu wantem supportem ol man mo women blong makem change lo laef blong olgeta? Kam pem wan painting mo card blong Art Kalabus. Hemi wan gudfala gift blong supportem ol man insaed long kalabus. Art Kalabus hemi wan rehabilitation program. Taem ol man blong kalabus hemi stap makem painting, hemi save changem ting ting mo fasin blong olgeta. The Department of Correctional Services hemi gat fulap good painting we yu save putem i go lo haos blong yu or gim lo fren mo famili blong yu.

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It has been said that the way to discover a person’s soul is through their art. Whether it’s writing, singing, dancing, acting, sculpting or painting, what happens inside a person can be revealed externally through their chosen form of artistic expression.

If you happen to stop by the Department of Correctional Services Head Office in Rue Pasteur, Port Vila, you will find a display of paintings created by prisoners from the Low-Risk Correctional Centre in Stade. Individually framed colourful images of birds, islands and volcanoes are placed on a shelf along a wall. Although different artists have created the paintings, it is clear that Vanuatu’s natural landscape is a common theme. Home is what they know and home is what they paint.

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Through the art rehabilitation program that began in 2008, prisoners have had the opportunity to utilize their creative talents. Trevor Rarua, a Senior Probation Officer, says that every artwork has meaning or tells a story about an event. In a painting that depicts a yacht in the harbor, he says the inmate took his inspiration from the yacht that was intercepted in 2013 for carrying 750kg of cocaine, worth $370 million. Another painting shows a bird being eaten by a dog. He is unsure how to interpret that particular painting.

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The art rehabilitation program is part of the ‘Nuifala Rod’ (New Road) program that aims to help offenders understand the reasons for their offending and assists them to make positive plans for living a good life in the community. The paintings are made using house paint on plywood and then varnished. There are also painted trays and cards available. Paintings start from 2000vt and all purpose cards are 200vt for a single card or 1000vt for a pack of 5 depicting aspects of island life. The Kalabus Art cards are printed on an environmentally responsible paper.

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Profits from the sale of paintings and cards go towards supporting the program and rebuilding the nakamals at Stade and the women’s correctional facility, which is where the classes were held. Unfortunately they were destroyed by Cyclone Pam and a permanent facility hasn’t been rebuilt to accommodate the art classes.

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By providing rehabilitation activities, the Correctional Services hope to support detainees live a good life when they return to the community. Other programs include cleaning and maintenance, agriculture and construction. The Vanuatu Correctional Services is currently looking for an Art Programme Advisor. Please contact them on 23263 for information or visit www.kalabusarts.org.