Yusr initiative: Helping prisoners in need since 2017

More sports Tuesday 27/March/2018 18:59 PM
By: Times News Service
Yusr initiative: Helping prisoners in need since 2017

The Yusr initiative was launched as a graduation project by Abdulaziz Al Ya’aqoobi and his fellow classmates during their time at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU). It was established in 2017 to offer financial help to prisoners incapable of paying their debts.
It also aims to take care of them after they leave prison by providing informative and resourceful materials to help solve their problems, and to help offer a better environment that will contribute in developing their capabilities to go back to being productive members of the society.
“Volunteering work is very important for our community. When people help one another, hand in hand, it creates a better and balanced society and decreases deprivation and hardships of others,” said Abdulaziz.
After graduation, Abdulaziz and his team decided to continue their mission to help those in need. They searched for an organisation to represent them and successfully worked under the umbrella of Dar Al Atta’a, making it easier to take care of all procedures for their initiative. Since they established the team, they have managed to bail out 18 prisoners who were jailed for financial reasons, and are working to help release more people.
Currently, they help release those who have debts under OMR1,000, but their plan is to increase the limit and cover those with bigger debts, and increase the numbers of prisoners bailed out per year.
The community has shown ample support for Abdulaziz and his team, as the initiative strikes sensitive chords, especially due to the fact many are behind bars for issues that can be easily resolved with money.
Sometimes, society can have a negative perception about those in jail, but with the team’s media campaigns that fight to raise awareness over such matters, the perception towards prisoners has started to change, and society now gauges the crime rather than the prisoners.
“Now, people are judging prisoners according to their cases. Did they commit serious crimes? Or is it a financial situation that deserves help? Now, society is beginning to tell the difference,” said Abdulaziz.
There are many challenges apart from financial support. They initially struggled to get prisoners’ case files, until they found an easier way to do so through the Judicial Affairs Council, where they obtain the appropriate documents required to proceed with bail.
“We study each case carefully before bailing out any prisoner, to see if they fit our criteria, which is whether they have families to support, or if it is a case that does not involve honour or morality,” said Abdulaziz.