Highlights from The Child’s Journey – July 2023
Without intervention, children of prisoners are susceptible to exploitation, poverty, dropping out of school and criminal activity. Together we can stand in the gap to keep them from falling through the cracks of society and giving them a chance for a brighter future beyond the cycle of crime.
Keep reading to see how together we are helping children of prisoners live safer, healthier lives!
CAMBODIA | Caregiver Bible Distribution
While the children are the primary beneficiaries of The Child’s Journey, their caregivers are also empowered in a number of ways through the program. This includes initiatives such as caregiver support groups, health trainings and livelihood programs that may be offered in their country. However, the most important way that you are empowering caregivers is by providing them with the Word of God in their heart language. Bibles in the Cambodian language of Khmer can be hard to find and prohibitively expensive for most of the families that Prison Fellowship Cambodia works with. Caregivers are overjoyed to receive these precious resources and join with their children in learning more about the Bible.
Efforts like these also give the teams the chance to fellowship with the caregivers, check in and pray with them. Check out the video below to see a beautiful moment of prayer between the Prison Fellowship Cambodia team and the grandmother of a child in The Child’s Journey.
COLOMBIA | School Visits
A Prison Fellowship Colombia caseworker visits children in school to check on their progress
Ensuring that a child is able to attend school is integral to opening the doors for them to have future opportunities. With children back in the classroom, caseworkers are once again able to conduct school visits for children enrolled in The Child’s Journey. These check-ins are a way for the caseworker to confirm that the child is attending school, able to safely travel to school and that they are equipped with the supplies that they need in order to thrive in their classes. It also allows for fruitful conversations with their teachers, who become part of a child’s ‘community of care’.
Malawi | Home Repairs
A home that was destroyed by the cyclone is rebuilt by the Malawi team
One of the primary challenges facing children of prisoners in Malawi is a lack of safe housing. Many caregivers, left to provide on their own, do not have the means to perform necessary home maintenance like patching roofs or fixing cracked walls. These issues were compounded following Cyclone Freddy, which completely leveled thousands of mud brick homes across the country. The Prison Fellowship Malawi team has made it a priority in recent months to ensure that families are able to quickly rebuild their homes in order to give children a safe and stable place to live. For some, this includes completing tasks like patching holes in roofs or installing doors. For others, this includes completely rebuilding the home from the ground up, like the home pictured above.
RWANDA | Community Mentoring
My name is Francoise. When my husband was imprisoned in 2009, he left me with seven children. Our youngest child was only one month old at the time. I was depressed. I had nothing to feed my children and I wondered how I would care for them alone. Everything was chaos.
My one comfort is that I am a believer. Jesus is my shepherd, my savior and my hope. Psalm 4:9 has comforted me during these long 14 years that my husband has been imprisoned. Many temptations have come on my way. People offered me money to do immoral, illegal things. But I remember Psalm 4:9 – In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety. So, no one could deceive me.
I thought I could not manage to feed all of my children and pay school fees alone, but God had mercy on me. He sent Prison Fellowship Rwanda to help provide for our needs. They made sure that we had food and that my children were healthy and in school, but the greatest gift was my very own Bible. I read it daily and pray to God and thank him for his many blessings.
Thank you for the best gift of this Bible that you have given to us. In it we survive. It comforts the widows and prisoners. Pictured: Francoise reads her new Bible
TOGO | School Kit Distribution
Children in Togo give a thumbs up as they receive new school kits.
With a primary provider absent, families face new challenges and daily hardship, leaving many children of prisoners in Togo financially unable to afford basic school supplies. Your support ensures that your sponsored child in Togo receives resources, tools and the support needed to thrive in school. Earlier this year, the field teams gathered school supplies and backpacks to create school kits that they distributed to children at community events and individual home visits. This quarter, the team in Togo has distributed school kits to more than one hundred school-aged children in their program.
ZAMBIA | Day of the African Child
TCJ children gather to participate as part of the Day Of The African Child parade in Zambia
Since 1991, June 16th has been deemed the Day of the African Child in order to commemorate the 1976 uprising by students in South Africa against apartheid oppression. Across Africa, children participate in parades, rallies and other events to bring awareness to the rights and needs of African children. Prison Fellowship Zambia gathered together children in their program to participate in their local parade. This year’s theme was “the right of the child in the digital environment” and discussion focused on how to protect children from a predatory digital landscape and how to leverage technology to increase job opportunities for young people.
Interested in learning more or helping even more children? CLICK HERE.