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Offenders serving time at the Evaristus Shikongo Correctional Facility near Tsumeb frequently turn to God for hope and the institution's annual choir competition allows offenders a platform to worship. 

The nbc visited the facility as offenders prepare for this year's choir competition.

Being in a correctional facility gives offenders time to reevaluate their lives and consider making better decisions.

Often, offenders develop or strengthen existing relationships with God - and what better way to worship than through song? 

The Evaristus Shikongo Correctional Facility started the choir competition three years ago, in support of an initiative by the offenders themselves.

The offenders also regularly sing at local churches.

An offender at Evaristus Shikongo Correctional Facility, Paulus Kwandu said the choir is part of the rehabilitation where you can rehabilitate yourself, where you can understand the bible learn the work of God and cannot involve yourself in the problems, especially since there's a lot of illegal things in prison such as tobacco which is not good you where doing wrong things outside and again inside.

Ndeshilongela Joseph, another offender at Evaristus Shikongo Correctional Facility said they don't have changes in their choirs besides the fact that those that are in charge here give us limited time and sometimes we can't even practice."

Eight choirs are participating in this year's competition and while there is no prize to be won, participants will receive a token of appreciation - comprising cosmetics and snacks. 

Those spoken to said singing is therapeutic, giving them strength through their rehabilitation process.    

The 2023 Evaristus Shikongo Correctional Facility's choir competition is slated for October to November.
 

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NBC Digital News

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Eveline Paulus