If you’ve read one of my previous posts, you’ll know that I have a soft spot for the Yellow Ribbon Project. Next month Yellow Ribbon is organizing the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2015 to create awareness for and fund their campaigns.
What is the significance of a yellow ribbon? It can have various meanings, but this is what Wikipedia had to say:
In Singapore, the government has initiated an annual Yellow Ribbon Campaign, through the Yellow Ribbon Project, to promote giving ex-convicts a second chance in society. Typically, a person shows his support for ex-convicts by pinning a yellow ribbon on his shirt during the annual campaign held in September. This was probably influenced by its use as a symbol of acceptance in the song “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree” as stated above.
If you are not old enough to know the significance “Tie A Yelllow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree” song, well neither did i, even though I know the tune! Well, maybe my mum did mention it, I probably didn’t remember 😀
(Sorry the video is super cheesy!!!)
The chorus goes:
Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree,
If you still love me
It’s been three long years
Do you still want me
This is what Wikipedia had to say about the song:
The symbol became widely known in civilian life in the 1970s. It was the central theme of the popular song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree”, Written by Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown and recorded by Tony Orlando and Dawn (among many others), as the sign a released convict requested from his wife or lover to indicate that she would welcome him home. He would be able to see it from the bus driving by their house, and would stay on the bus in the absence of the ribbon. He turned out to be very welcome: there were a hundred yellow ribbons.
So now that you know the significance behind the yellow ribbon, the Yellow Ribbon Project is about giving people second chances. It also “aims to improve the effectiveness of rehabilitation of ex-offenders in Singapore through rehabilitation initiatives to help them reintegrate into society.” Did you know that the rate of recidivism – ie return to prison, has no co-relation to the type of prison e.g. an open prison vs. maximum security? This is just one of the useless but fascinating facts I learnt in criminology.
Recidivism is one of the most fundamental concepts in criminal justice. It refers to a person’s relapse into criminal behavior, often after the person receives sanctions or undergoes intervention for a previous crime. – Google
That only emphasizes to me how important the support of family, friends and society are in lowering the rates of recidivism! Reading all the different accounts and testimonials of support for ex-cons on the Yellow Ribbon Facebook page is extremely heartwarming. We watched this clip from one of Gordon Ramsay’s shows many years ago and I’ve always remembered this scene. Just watch how blown away he is by one of the inmates! (Skip to 2:00 to see the part).
Help the Yellow Ribbon Project today by taking part in the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2015 or passing on the word about the run and the project. For everyone who’s talked about becoming a more inclusive society, this is your chance to walk, or run the talk. (I know, I am so punny!)
This year there is the Competitive 10km and 6km Fun Run, the latter which I hear is suitable for families and strollers, and will be a Happily Ever After Running Trail will feature at every milestone, story book characters who have lived to the fullest after getting a second chance! Sounds interesting right?
There will also be activities at the run to find out more about the work the fund does to overcome the stigma many offenders face when they leave prison.
Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2015
Sunday, September 13, 2015
SAF Field (Changi Village)
Farnborough Rd Singapore 509747 Singapore
Click on the link above for more information!
For more about the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run, you might like to read about one blogger’s experience with the run last year; and a little about Benny Se Teo, and ex convicts who runs the Eighteen Chefs food chain.