The Seeds of Affinity core values were written by women who have lived prison experience or a close working knowledge of the criminal justice system.
Seeds of Affinity recognises and promotes equity, self-worth and basic human rights of criminalised women.
Women in prison are among the most disadvantaged groups in society. We advocate that their human rights need to be recognised and they need to be given the chance to lead successful lives. Seeds of Affinity believes equitable access to accommodation, food, employment, training and other opportunities once women leave prison is important and essential for women.
Seeds of Affinity advocates for a pathway of action.
We advocate for the need to address the trauma, grief and loss, anxiety and depression which can lead to mental health issues. These negative effects are made worse by the prison experience.
We encourage pride, hope and opportunity for women.
Seeds of Affinity encourages women to become the best they can be. This is done by creating pathways to education, employment and training. Seeds of Affinity, through its regular workshops, builds a sense of community for women who have left prison.
Seeds of Affinity encourages mindfulness of the effects of the prison system on children, spouses, parents and families.
Once women move through the prison system, they face additional hurdles when trying to start afresh. Once women leave prison, they are further discriminated against in finding a job to support their families, or in finding housing. Lack of housing is a key factor contributing to re-offending.
Women who participate in the Seeds of Affinity program have the same aspirations for the safety and wellbeing of their families as all women.
When women go to prison their children are also imprisoned - by anxiety, isolation and sadness. Separation of mothers from their children is one of the most heart-rending and emotional issues facing women.
I was pleased to have the opportunity to support an initiative which represented the work of women who are very much in need of gainful employment and the support which is derived from the group setting. I am aware from my own work of the benefits that the program has produced in the lives of women who have participated. - Greg Mead, Senior Counsel, Legal Services Commission of SA