Highlights from The Child’s Journey – May 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 | Sharing God’s Word
Click on the video above to see Chhanun reading from his new Bible.
Part of the services provided by The Child’s Journey includes providing each child and their caregiver with age-appropriate Scripture resources in their heart language. More than 500 children in Cambodia and their caregivers have received these precious resources in just the past three months, and they are thrilled to begin exploring God’s Word. For many, this is the first time that they have been able to read the Gospel, as Christians represent a tiny fraction of the population of Cambodia and it can be difficult to find Bibles translated into the language of Khmer. Check out the video above to see Chhanun in Cambodia reading from the book of Genesis in his new Bible!
COLOMBIA | Home Visits
A family in Colombia prays with TCJ staff during a child home visit.
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 or even held in contempt within their communities. Interviews and meetings with community members help promote a change in perception about these families. Each quarter, the team in Colombia completes more than 900 child home visits.
MALAWI | School Kit Distribution
Click on the video above to see children in Malawi receiving new school kits!
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 your sponsored child in Malawi 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 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.
RWANDA | A Lifeline For Claudine
Claudine is the mother to five children – four boys and one girl. When her husband was arrested and sent to prison, she was left to care for her children alone. It felt like a nightmare. Her husband had left her physically alone, and because of the shame of his crimes, she felt abandoned by her community as well.
Claudine struggled to care for her children and provide for them, as they were too young to stay alone while she was at work. Claudine was also crushed by the constant reminders of her status in her community. One day, overwhelmed by her emotions of shame and despair, Claudine tried to take her own life. By God’s grace, the sound of her youngest son crying brought her back to reality, and she was not able to go through with it. It was in that moment that Claudine realized it is only God who wipes away her sorrow. Pictured: Claudine (right) with three of her children and a PFI staff member.
TOGO | Supplemental Food Deliveries
A group of children in Togo give a thumbs up after receiving new food supplies.
Children of prisoners are already at a higher risk of poverty and hunger. Having a parent in prison often means that the remaining parent is struggling to be the sole breadwinner of the family. The inflation of the past year has exacerbated this issue by causing the cost of food staples to rise above what many families in Togo can afford. Because of this, the need for supplemental food support increased for the families served by The Child’s Journey. The Prison Fellowship Togo team has distributed life-giving food support to hundreds of children enrolled in the program this year. They often used these distributions to provide additional items such as hygiene kits and school supplies. Such efforts help the children lead healthy lives.
ZAMBIA | Visiting Incarcerated Parent
A group of TCJ children gather outside the bus to visit their incarcerated fathers.
With the easing of most COVID restrictions throughout the country, Prison Fellowship Zambia is once again able to facilitate prison visits for families in The Child’s Journey. For many of the children, this is their first time communicating with their loved one since before the start of the pandemic. The reunions are full of joy and the children treasure the time that they get to spend with their parent. Through such efforts, families can be reunited and encouraged, making it more likely that if the parent is released, they will have a supportive community to return to. This is a key factor in helping prisoners rebuild their lives after incarceration and helping them break the cycle of crime.
Interested in learning more or helping even more children? CLICK HERE.