Highlights from The Child’s Journey April 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 we are helping children of prisoners live safer, healthier lives! 

CAMBODIA | Prison Visit

A moment of reunion during a prison visit facilitated by Prison Fellowship Cambodia

With COVID restrictions easing within prisons in Cambodia, the Prison Fellowship Cambodia team is once again facilitating visits for children in the program to visit their incarcerated parent(s). They recently took a group of TCJ children to a women’s correctional facility in Phnom Penh where they visited their incarcerated mothers — it was a time of overwhelming joy! For many of the children, this is their first time being able to communicate with their mothers in three years. Families are reunited and encouraged through efforts like these, making it more likely that parents will have a supportive community to return to upon their release. This is a key factor in helping prisoners rebuild their lives after incarceration and break the cycle of crime.


COLOMBIA | Scripture Resources

Click the image above to see children in Colombia with their new Scripture resources!

While safety, access to education, nutritious food and health care are all critical to ensuring that a child can reach their potential, spiritual engagement is the key area where the program makes an eternal impact. Through our partnership with Biblica, each child and caregiver in The Child’s Journey receives Bibles and age-appropriate Scripture resources in their heart language. The team in Colombia distributed more than 400 children’s Bibles last quarter, empowering those we serve to grow in the grace and knowledge of God’s word. Check out this precious video of TCJ children in Colombia expressing their gratitude for their new Bibles.


MALAWI | Home Visits

A caseworker from Prison Fellowship Malawi conducting 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 and 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. Each quarter, the team in Malawi completes more than 700 child home visits. 


RWANDA | Clenia’s Story

Clenia’s world fell apart when her father went to prison. The oldest of five siblings, she did everything she could to help her mother, who was working tirelessly as the sole provider of the family. The Child’s Journey stepped in to ensure that Clenia and her siblings would receive essential care like education support, health checks, supplemental food and Scripture resources. But they didn’t stop there… 

One evening, there was a raging storm. Clenia’s mother, Seraphine, rushed home as the rains pounded down harder. She began making dinner when she noticed rain dripping down the wall in front of her. As everyone sat down to eat, rainwater began to puddle on the floor and she rushed her children out of the house and into the violent rain. Just as they stepped outside, the walls of their house collapsed and their beloved home was gone. Clenia and her family had nowhere to go. The only posessions they had were the wet clothes on their backs.

The first person that Seraphine called was Clenia’s caseworker to let him know the situation. The caseworker escalated the matter so the family would be able to receive a quick intervention. Not only did Prison Fellowship Rwanda provide the family with a safe place to stay, but they assisted with repairing the family’s home, by fortifying the walls with brick and replacing their roof. Standing outside of their new home, Seraphine beamed, “My children are now safe and singing with joy. We can’t thank The Child’s Journey program enough. May all you have done be forever acknowledged by the Lord!


TOGO | Family Tutoring

Alphonse was enrolled in The Child’s Journey shortly after his father was sentenced to prison in 2016. He has always been active and friendly, frequently participating in community activities hosted by The Child’s Journey. However, his caseworker noticed that he was struggling academically.  Program caseworkers are dedicated to assessing the unique needs of each child and creating a plan to ensure that they are receiving tailored support in their areas of greatest need.

She decided that Alphonse needed to receive one-on-one tutoring to assist with his studies to equip him to succeed in school. Since his mother could not afford to pay for any outside help, the caseworker scheduled a weekly appointment with the family to conduct the tutoring herself and worked to train his mother so that she could help him as well. After just a few sessions together, the difference was staggering. Once Alphonse began receiving tutoring at home, he began to excel in school. Because of this marked improvement, Prison Fellowship Togo added as a best practice for all of their caregivers to be trained to become involved in their child’s academic progress. Pictured: Alphonse and his caseworker working on his homework together


ZAMBIA | Targeted Health Support

TCJ children attend an event where they are provided with de-worming medicine

Due to a variety of factors, including poverty and social stigma, children of prisoners often have difficulty accessing basic and necessary healthcare. This is why regular health checks are an essential service provided to children enrolled in The Child’s Journey. These health checks are comprised of giving an age-appropriate physical that includes recording the child’s height/weight, checking their eyesight, blood pressure and hearing, and making medical referrals for other observed medical needs. During these health checks, children may also receive targeted health interventions for medical issues that are common in their area. In Zambia, many children suffer the effects of having parasitic worms in their gastrointestinal system. This can lead to malnutrition while causing discomfort and illness. Because of the prevalence of this issue, children enrolled in The Child’s Journey in Zambia receive deworming treatments as part of their targeted health intervention. 

Interested in learning more or helping even more children? CLICK HERE.

CHEAV | Cambodia

I’m No Longer Forsaken 

Cheav, 68, is the father of ten children, six of whom still live at home. Since his wife is in prison, he is must act as both their father and mother.

They live in a poor, rural village an hour outside Phnom Pehn, Cambodia. Their home is made of thatch and leaves, which protects them very little from the wind and rain.

Cheav works as a day laborer, and makes about $1.20 a day. His body is weak, and it is increasingly difficult to manage the jobs that come his way. After his wife was sent to prison, his children stopped going to school, because he could not afford their uniforms, and they had no way to get there safely. Cheav was losing hope.

A local church partner from the Prison Fellowship International’s child sponsorship program learned of Cheav and his family’s situation, and visited them. After a few months, the four youngest, Seak Lan, Seak Long, Srey Toch and Srey Thom were enrolled and the whole family experiences benefits. Their unstable home now has new, sturdy walls, and a roof. Food packages supplement what Cheav’s meager daily wage cannot provide, ensuring the youngest children receive the nutritious food they need to grow strong and stay healthy. They also receive regular health checks, are back in school, and their new bicycles allow them to travel to and from classes safely. Cheav dreams his children will become teachers or metal workers—that they will have better lives.

Cheav is now better able to provide for his family, because the program provided him with five hens, and taught him how to clean, care for, and raise them to eat and to sell locally. Since learning this new skill, he has produced 30 chickens.

In the last year, Cheav developed relationships with the local church pastor and social worker, and through them, became a Christian. While Cheav continues to struggle to meet all of his family’s needs, he is prayerful, and grateful for the change in his family’s life.

Help give families, like Cheav’s, the boost they need to thrive.

Give a Child of a Prisoner the Gift of Hope

Learn more about our child sponsorship program


From Insecure to Secure

Ten-year-old Sambath and five-year-old Kakada live in a poor section of a small village just outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia. They are growing up without the presence of a father, because he is in prison. Kakada has only known his father from behind prison walls. Their mother remarried just over a year ago, and started a new family, so the boys live with their grandparents. Once their father is released, he will go home to his own parents.

“Their father doesn’t want them,” says Sambath and Kakada’s grandmother.

The psychological trauma this experience caused by both boys made them withdrawn. And this trauma, especially for children of prisoners who are repeatedly rejected by family members and peers, compounds over time if not addressed.

The two boys enrolled in our child sponsorship program, which is giving them emotional care to help them overcome their trauma and build their confidence and self-esteem.

Since joining the program, their emotional state has improved dramatically. Sambath and Kakada are now more outgoing and engaged in school and social activities. The program has also provided safety for the boys. They no longer have to walk dangerous streets to school, as they both received bicycle to travel with to and from school. They also receive regular food packages and medical services to help them grow strong and healthy. With the financial support, their grandparents have been able to increase their small fruit-selling business, which is helping create regular income and build a stable environment for the boys.


Sambath and Kakada now have hope for the future. Sambath wants to be a teacher when he grows up, and Kakada dreams of becoming a policeman.

Help children like Sambath and Kakada receive emotional healing and hope for the future. 

Give a Child of a Prisoner the Gift of Hope

Learn more about our child sponsorship program

ARAGEL | Cambodia

She Wants to be a Star

Aragel was born in a prison while her mother served time. Her mother has since been released, but eight-year-old Aragel’s father is still in prison. With her mother’s past, and her father gone, this makes life a struggle and they often were alone and rejected.

But when Aragel was enrolled in our child sponsorship program she and her mother received financial support and emotional and spiritual care from a local caseworker and pastor.

Together, they work with Aragel and her mother to ensure they receive food, regular medical check-ups, and the necessary materials to succeed in school. Aragel dreams of being a star when she grows up.

Give a child like Aragel the chance to dream and have a better life. 

Give a Child of a Prisoner the Gift of Hope

Learn more about our child sponsorship program

SREYNITH | Cambodia

A Young Girl Rescued from an Abusive Home

Sreynith’s father was always drunk and abusive to his family. When he was arrested on charges of homicide, Sreynith’s mother remarried. But home life remained difficult.

Sreynith was abused when her step-father drank. Both her mother and step-father insulted her when they disliked Sreynith’s housework, and she was forced to drop out of grade school to help care for her half siblings.

Sreynith’s grandmother, Mrs. Mom, heard about our child sponsorship program through her pastor and decided to enroll Sreynith into the program.

The caseworkers brought the abusiveness and dysfunctionality Sreynith suffered to light, and determined her family was not safe to live with anymore.

Mrs. Mom moved closer to her grandchildren, but couldn’t afford to support them on her own. Two local pastors partnered with the child sponsorship program to share the cost of providing a place for Sreynith and Mrs. Mom to live.

In 2014, the program partnered with local churches to raise the funds and purchase a house.

The house is old, but it is a safe haven for Sreynith.

Today, Sreynith is happy—living with her grandmother, healthy, and regularly attending school. She has become an active participant in the children’s group at church.

Her house has been renovated, and two of Sreynith’s siblings have also come to live with them.

Sreynith and Mrs. Mom give thanks for the strong support of the program. Mrs. Mom is especially thankful for the program staff’s careful monitoring, who noticed and rescued Sreynith from abuse.

As a family, they are thankful for the blessings God has brought their way.

Help a child like Sreynith find safety and emotional support.

Sponsor a Child

Learn more about our child sponsorship program

KANHA | Cambodia

Five-year-old Kanha lives in Cambodia’s Speu Province. She is the impoverished daughter of a prisoner. But like a growing number of children being cared for through our child sponsorship program, she is a survivor.

Kanha suffers from a serious heart condition that requires open-heart surgery. But her mother can’t afford the operation on her own. The desserts she sells in her village barely generate enough income to feed her three children.

Kanha’s father has been in prison for 11 years—since before Kanha was born.

“Since my husband was arrested, my family met difficulty and crisis,” says her mother. “My children lack food. [We don’t] have money for spending or [school] supplies.” She says their condition gets worse with each passing year.

To help families like Kanha’s, Prison Fellowship Cambodia is tapping into community resources. Twenty health centers agreed to provide regular health checks, and 54 churches now partner to help deliver essential monthly services to families of prisoners. In addition, local authorities are teaching personal safety workshops, and the department of agriculture is delivering chicken-farming training to empower families of prisoners.

With assistance from Prison Fellowship Cambodia and our child sponsorship program, Kanha received her heart surgery this year. Her condition is improving, and so is her family’s.

“Thank you!” says her mother. “[Our] burden has been reduced in our time of need, and [our] living condition is better than before, because my daughter [is now] healthy.”

Help provide health for a child like Kanha.

Sponsor a Child

Learn more about our child sponsorship program

UDOM | Cambodia

Even though Udom’s father served his sentence in prison, he didn’t come home upon his release. Instead, he married another woman. Udom’s mom struggles with various issues and has disassociated from her family. Udom and his siblings live with his grandmother.

Though his grandmother sews for a living, she doesn’t make enough income to support her family. Their one-room house is simple, with tin walls and roof, but it’s tidy and clean.

Through the support provided through our child sponsorship program, Udom loves going to school, and he and his siblings can now eat until they are full. He treasures the letters sent to him by his sponsors. These letters are well-read, but stored so carefully.

Udom’s grandmother says, “Thank you! You have helped us be happy all the time! May God bless you!”

Give a child like Udom nutritious food and much more.

Sponsor a Child

Learn more about our child sponsorship program

DANY | Cambodia

Dany, 9, used to spend hours every day on the dangerous streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, helping her grandmother sift through garbage, looking for things to sell.

Life is still hard for this little girl, the child of prisoners. But today, she is back in school and her family has new hope.

Dany and her frail grandmother, Soo Lay, sold the items they found in the garbage for a few pennies which bought a couple of bites of food. Every bite was precious.

Soo Lay provides for Dany and her brother, who were left in her care when their parents were imprisoned.

The three live in an ancient pagoda in a former crematorium. It’s a dark, toxic place.

Until the roof was recently repaired, the floor was constantly flooded. They sleep and eat on a raised wooden bed, a few feet away is the oven where thousands of bodies have been burned.

As a child of prisoners, Dany has often been bullied by other children. “They say, ‘Your parents are in prison’ and they curse me,” she said, adding, “I miss my mother and it makes me sad. When I go to bed, I cry myself to sleep.”

She is also in constant danger from traffickers who prey on little girls. “When I’m walking, I’m afraid I will be taken,” she said.

With her parents in prison and only an aging grandmother to care for her, Dany’s life and future were in jeopardy. You can meet Dany in the video above and learn more about what her life was like until Prison Fellowship International intervened.

Just like her, many children of prisoners, the innocent victims of crime, experience rejection, poverty, and despair.

Thankfully for Dany and her family, Prison Fellowship International was able to help them meet basic needs. Now, they have new hope.

Through our child sponsorship program, we provided Dany’s family with nutritious food and helped her and her brother start attending school. A Christian caseworker and local church volunteers ensure her needs are being met and that her family is connected with a community church so they can experience God’s love and learn His Word.

Dany was thrilled to receive a new bike to help her get to school daily, and she wrote to express her thanks to her sponsor:

“Hello sponsor. I really thank you for buying a bicycle for me. Before, I always had to walk to school. Now that I have a bicycle to ride to school, I promise you I will try hard with my studies and I will get a good result at the end of the year.”

Our caseworker also connected the family with a local pastor who is a kind, trusted presence in the children’s lives. We also arranged for the children to visit their mother in prison, which made Dany happy.

“I am really thankful for your support by giving us 50 kg of rice. It is important for my family and helps reduce our daily expenses, so we can save some money to meet other real needs,” Dany’s grandmother said. “Thank you too for helping to repair the roof. Before, when it rained at night, we didn’t sleep until the rain stopped because it dripped into the house and on my bed. Now the roof is repaired.”

“My family is better than before,” Soo Lay told us gratefully.

Give a child like Dany hope for a better future.

Sponsor a Child

Learn more about our child sponsorship program