Highlights from The Child’s Journey – November 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 | Food Distribution
Families receiving supplemental food supplies
It’s no surprise that children of prisoners are at a higher risk of poverty and hunger. Having a parent in prison often means that the remaining parent often struggles as 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 Cambodia can afford. The Prison Fellowship Cambodia team has distributed life-giving food support to hundreds of children enrolled in the program this year. These food packs include food staples such as cooking oil, rice, milk and grains.
COLOMBIA | Caregiver Support
When a parent goes to prison, the remaining caregiver often struggles to rebuild their life as the sole provider for their family. The Colombia team offers caregiver training events, Bible study groups and one on one counseling to help prepare and support caregivers throughout their loved one’s incarceration. Training sessions often include essential information about child health and safety measures. Through such efforts, caregivers are welcomed into a wider community of care and equipped with the tools to provide a safe, supportive environment for their children. Pictured: A caregiver meets with a caseworker for a counseling session.
Malawi | Children’s Day Events
Children in Malawi dance together during a Children’s Day event
Children of prisoners often face social stigma in their communities. This isolation can be detrimental to the well-being of children, who should be surrounded by a community of care. The Child’s Journey seeks to provide opportunities for community engagement and mentorship to each child. One way that Prison Fellowship Malawi does this is through their Children’s Day events hosted throughout the year. These events bring families together for a fun-filled day of food, activities and a Bible study. Children can connect with their peers and caregivers can meet with other parents in the surrounding community to build a network of support for both them and their child. This allows them to have a support system both within and outside of the program.
RWANDA | Prison Visits
An incarcerated father holds his children during a recent visit
Since the easing of COVID restrictions late last year, Prison Fellowship Rwanda has been hard at work reconnecting families through prison visits. The reunions are full of joy and the children treasure the time that they get to spend with their parent. Through such efforts, families are 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.
TOGO | Community Mentoring
Children in Togo meeting with their mentor to go through Bible lessons
When a parent goes to prison, the remaining caregiver often struggles as the sole provider for the family. This can strain the ability of the caregiver to have time to spend with their child. 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 are visited by a local volunteer mentor. These visits can serve many purposes, like 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.
ZAMBIA | Scripture Resources
Children in Zambia meet with their mentor to look through Bible lessons in their Scripture resources
The team in Zambia is hard at work distributing Bibles and Scripture resources to children and caregivers in The Child’s Journey. These resources, provided through our partnership with Biblica, are translated into the heart languages of the recipients. In Zambia, Bibles can be prohibitively expensive, especially as the Zambian economy is still battling soaring food costs and fuel shortages that have left many families struggling to afford basic necessities. In the photo above, children in Zambia are reading a packet called Living the History. These packets include Bible passages, devotional questions and fun activities to help children engage fully with the Word of God.
Interested in learning more or helping even more children? CLICK HERE.