As COVID-19 begins to level out in Cambodia, some parts of life are returning to normal. Children are going back to school equipped with masks, school supplies, bookbags, bikes, and the love of learning. But for children of prisoners, their daily challenges continue and “back-to-school” is never a guarantee.
Many children of prisoners in Cambodia live in rural areas where it may be difficult to access education. Others simply cannot afford the small fees for school materials and uniforms and often will drop out of school and work to help provide for their families.
Our partner organizations—such as Prison Fellowship Cambodia—along with caring child sponsors are helping us protect children of prisoners in Cambodia by providing food, clothes, safety, spiritual and emotional care, and assistance to stay in school. Items as small as school supplies and money for uniforms can help children of prisoners—who are often stigmatized for having a parent in prison—feel welcomed among their peers and allow them to focus on their studies rather than their appearance. And a simple bicycle provides a small safety net to travel to and from school.
Ranata, a child of a prisoner, is grateful to return to school and for the help from her faithful sponsor. “I am so happy to get a school bag and money to pay for my school fees! I would like to thank Prison Fellowship Cambodia and my sponsor for helping.”
Prison Fellowship Cambodia continues to rise to these challenges, providing at-risk children and families essentials to meet the needs of their daily lives. And they’re making sure sponsors can see the difference they’re making in the lives of these precious children. Recently, Cambodia completed their Annual Progress Report campaign called “I Am Wonderfully Made!” where children shared with their sponsors—through notes, drawings, and health reports—how they’re progressing with their support.
When you sponsor a child of a prisoner you help provide essential items that make all the difference to their self-esteem and their safety.
Twelve-year-old Seethal remembers the day the floodwaters seeped into her home and rose. In October 2019, India receive the heaviest monsoon rainfall in 25 years, leaving homes, shops, and hospitals waterlogged and many families in danger and displaced. Seethal’s family was one of the lucky ones, as a rescue team brought her, her mother, and brother to safety. Their home, however, suffered a great deal of damage and many of Seethal and her family’s precious few belongings had washed away.
As a child of a prisoner, Seethal and her family have already lost so much. Prison Fellowship India (PF India) stepped in to help, enrolling Seethal in the children of prisoners sponsorship program, which provides her with regular food, clothes, educational, emotional, and spiritual support through a one-to-one connection with a child sponsor. Together, Seethal’s family and PF India prayed for God’s provision. He answered their prayers through Seethal’s sponsor, who provided a special monetary gift.
Amazed and grateful, the family used the money to make a partial repair to their home and buy Seethal a new dress to replace one she lost in the flood. Their home was in need of more repairs, but the family continued to trust God. And then, unbidden, Seethal’s sponsor sent another gift! The money was enough to finish their home repairs and replace more goods lost in the flood.
The support of a sponsor can mean so much to a child of a prisoner and have the power to restore more than material goods, including their hope and faith in a God who cares for them deeply.
Give a Child of a Prisoner the Gift of Hope