Highlights from The Child’s Journey – June 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 | Health and Safety Training
A caseworker in Cambodia leading a health and safety training course with TCJ families.
Health and safety are crucial for all children, but children of prisoners often find themselves struggling in these areas due to economic and environmental factors. This is why Prison Fellowship Cambodia developed a health and safety training program that is being delivered in the communities of children enrolled in The Child’s Journey.This training has the dual purpose of allowing the caseworker to ensure that the child is living in stable, safe conditions, while also giving them the opportunity to provide the children with additional mentoring in how to take precautions against illness and harm.
COLOMBIA | Community Events
Click the image above to see a video recap from a recent community event.
Children of prisoners often face social stigma in their communities. This isolation can be detrimental to the well-being of children who need to be surrounded by a community of care. One of the program goals of The Child’s Journey is to provide opportunities for community engagement and mentorship to each child. One way that Prison Fellowship Colombia does this is through community lunches. These lunches have enabled PFC to gain the trust and respect of the community. They feed everyone; you do not need to be a program beneficiary to participate. Children in The Child’s Journey can connect with their peers and caregivers can meet with other parents in the surrounding community to build a network of care for both them and their child. This allows them to have a support system both within and outside of the program that has been built by community gatherings.
MALAWI | Providing Bicycles
Every child deserves the chance to learn and grow through education. In the wake of Cyclone Freddy, families have faced new challenges and daily hardship, leaving many children of prisoners in Malawi without basic school supplies or the ability to purchase them. Your support ensures that children in Malawi receive 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 The Child’s Journey community events and individual home visits. In recent months, the team in Malawi has distributed more than 400 school kits to school-aged children. Pictured: A girl in Malawi stands with the bicycle that she received from The Child’s Journey.
RWANDA | Community Mentoring
Children of prisoners often face social isolation due to having a parent in prison. With their remaining caregiver struggling as the sole provider for the family, it means that they have less ability to provide time for their children. All children need a community of care in order to thrive, which is why community mentoring is such a key part of The Child’s Journey. Each month, children in the program are mentored by a local volunteer mentor. These mentor visits can serve many purposes – assisting with schoolwork, leading a Bible study, or teaching health and safety lessons. The children anticipate these monthly meetings and, for many, their mentors become part of a family to help them through this vulnerable part of their journey. The mentor team in Rwanda provides encouragement and support to more than 1,200 children each quarter. Pictured: A TCJ mentor in Rwanda smiles with her mentees.
TOGO | Home Visits
A caseworker in Togo completes a home visit assessment with a family.
Child home and community visits are key for program implementation and success for children in the program. These quarterly visits are an opportunity for the staff to meet with children and their caregivers, come to a full understanding of their specific needs and interact with other members of the child’s community. During these visits, program staff share their vision and work with the members of the community to promote healthy approaches to released prisoner re-integration. It is common for released inmates and their families to be rejected, stigmatized or even held in contempt within their communities. Interviews and meetings with community members help promote a change in perception about these families.
ZAMBIA | School Kit Distribution
Children in Zambia smile as they receive their new school kits.
Every child deserves the chance to learn and grow through education. With a primary provider absent, families face new challenges and daily hardship, leaving many children of prisoners in Zambia financially unable to afford basic school supplies. Your support ensures that children in Zambia receives resources, tools and the support needed to thrive in school. Earlier this year, Prison Fellowship Zambia 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 Zambia has distributed hundreds of school kits to school-aged children in the program.
Interested in learning more or helping even more children? CLICK HERE.