Highlights from The Child’s Journey – February 2024

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 | Annual Progress Reports

Children in Cambodia complete their Annual Progress Reports during a caseworker visit.

Cambodia’s Annual Progress Report campaign is underway! The team has been visiting each child to help them complete their report packet and take new photos. An Annual Progress Report is an update about children that includes a new photo and information about their growth and development over the past year. Children look forward to creating their new reports every year and sharing their recent achievements and future dreams.

COLOMBIA | Group-Based Mentoring

A group of children in Colombia gather for a mentoring session.

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 engage in mentoring sessions led 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.

Malawi | Health Checks

Children in Malawi complete registration to receive their health checks.

The Malawi team has been hard at work coordinating events with local health professionals to provide health checks. Helping children maintain their health and wellbeing is a key aid area for the program. In addition to providing nutritious food, necessary interventions such as parasite treatments, routine illness prevention and emergency medical care, the team regularly provides standard health checks for each child.

Regular health checks include:
– Recording the child’s height and weight
– Checking the child’s blood pressure, vision and hearing
– Giving the opportunity for the caregiver to ask the health provider any questions that they may have regarding the child’s health
– Providing illness prevention measures, such as deworming treatments
– Performing an age-appropriate physical exam
– Making referrals for any observed medical issues

RWANDA | Restoring Arianne’s Smile

Arianne’s upbringing was uniquely challenging. One of seven siblings, she also had an incarcerated father. Because of her family situation, she often felt shame and guilt. During her father’s incarceration, providing for the family’s basic needs felt insurmountable. “Depression seemed to engulf us,” Arianne said.

Amid this darkness, Arianne found light in The Child’s Journey program. Her program enrollment marked a turning point in her family’s life. The program covered her school fees, conducted home visits, connected her with peers facing similar challenges and provided food assistance. Arianne was also introduced to a spiritual mentor who helped her shed the shame and guilt she has long carried. “This assistance not only helped our immediate trouble, but also helped me begin to heal,” Arianne shared. Participating in the program has transformed Arianne’s life in ways she never thought possible. “I have evolved into a person who embodies values, respects others and has unwavering faith,” she said. “Today, I am filled with joy and happiness.”

TOGO | School Visits

Yawo and Kokou smile during a school visit from their caseworker.

Ensuring that a child is able to attend school is integral to opening the doors for them to have future opportunities. With children returning to the classroom after the holidays, caseworkers are once again conducting school visits. These check-ins are a way for the caseworker to confirm that the child is attending school, able to safely travel to school and that they are equipped with the supplies that they need in order to thrive in their classes. It also allows for fruitful conversations with their teachers, who become part of a child’s ‘community of care’.

ZAMBIA | Food Support

Caregivers in Zambia receive food supplies including maize, cooking oil and rice.

It’s no surprise that children of prisoners are at a high risk of poverty and hunger. Having a parent in prison often means that the remaining parent struggles as the sole breadwinner of the family. The volatility of Zambian currency in recent months has exacerbated this issue and caused the cost of food staples and fuel to rise above what many families in Zambia can afford. The Prison Fellowship Zambia team has distributed life-giving food support to 870 children enrolled in the program this year.

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

Highlights from The Child’s Journey – January 2024

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 | A Bible Reading From Sreyyee

Click the video above to see Sreyyee read John 1:1-4 in the language of Khmer.

Although each child and their caregiver are provided with Scripture resources in their heart language, growing in knowledge of God’s Word involves more than just receiving Bibles. This is why mentors engage children and their caregivers with Biblical lessons during monthly sessions. In Cambodia, a country with a Christian population of only 2%, children like Sreyyee are being encouraged to read and learn Bible verses in order to bring God’s Word into their hearts. We hope this video of Sreyyee reading from the first chapter of John brings joy to you today!

COLOMBIA | Christmas Events

Children attending a Christmas event open their new gifts.

Christmas can be a particularly difficult time of year for the children of prisoners. Being separated from a loved one is never easy, but it’s particularly felt during times of family celebration. To bring cheer to the children in their program, Prison Fellowship Colombia organized Christmas celebrations for families served by The Child’s Journey. Children were able to gather and participate in activities and receive food support packs to help their families celebrate the holidays without worrying about where their next meal would come from. Additionally, children were gifted new toys. For some, these were their only Christmas gifts this year and their joy to receive them was overwhelming.

Malawi | Food Deliveries

A family in Malawi receives a delivery of staple food items.

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 struggles as the sole breadwinner of the family. The unprecedented inflation of Malawian currency in recent months has exacerbated this issue and caused the cost of food staples to rise above what many families in Malawi can afford. The Prison Fellowship Malawi 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.

RWANDA | School Supplies

Children in Rwanda hold up their new notebooks.

With a primary provider absent, families face new challenges and daily hardship, leaving many children of prisoners in Rwanda financially unable to afford basic school supplies. Your support ensures that children in Rwanda – and across the program – receive resources, tools and the support needed to thrive in school. Earlier this year, the field teams gathered school supplies to create school kits to be distributed to children at community events and individual home visits. This quarter, the team in Rwanda has been hard at work distributing these school supplies to the hundreds of school-aged children in their program. Receiving an education is one of the essential building blocks to helping children realize a future beyond the cycle of crime.

TOGO | Health and Safety Training

A mentor in Togo shows her mentees how to properly wash their hands.

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 Togo 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 caseworkers and mentors to ensure that the child is living in stable, safe conditions, while also giving them the opportunity to provide them with additional mentoring in how to take precautions against illness and harm.

ZAMBIA | Targeted Support

A family in Zambia receives children’s bedding from TCJ.

The Child’s Journey is not a cookie-cutter program. It is designed to assess a child’s greatest need and stand in the gap to address their unique situation until their family be reunited and/or become self-sufficient. While it may not be a need that we would normally think of, many of the children that we serve in Zambia find that necessary items, like bedding and mosquito nets, are out of reach financially. Recently, the team in Zambia procured dozens of blankets, sheets and mosquito nets for families who were in need of such items and have been distributing them during caseworker visits. Such efforts allow vulnerable children to live happier, healthier lives.

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

Highlights from The Child’s Journey – December 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 | Livelihood Support

A caregiver feeds her new chickens.

As part of their targeted support for families in The Child’s Journey, the Cambodia team takes a unique approach to helping them with nutrition and income. Through their livestock program, Prison Fellowship Cambodia provides families who are in need and want to develop their job skills with chickens and trains them on how to successfully maintain their flock. This provides families with an additional source of income, as they can sell the eggs at local markets, and it provides the children with more supplemental nutrition. These substantial livelihood interventions are a key part of assisting families with establishing financial and physical wellbeing.

COLOMBIA | Food Support

Staff in Colombia prepare food packets for delivery.

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 is left to be the breadwinner of the family. The inflation of the past year has exacerbated this issue by causing the cost of food staples to rise across the world and Colombia has not been immune to these effects. One of the areas that TCJ caseworkers monitor is ensuring that children are well nourished. Currently 97% of the more than 900 children served by the Colombia team are well nourished, and they are working hard to make that number 100% by delivering supplemental food supplies to families in the program.

Malawi | Mentoring Sessions

A caregiver in Malawi smiles during a caseworker visit.

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.

RWANDA | Child Health Trainings

Children gather for a health and safety training lesson.

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 Rwanda developed a health and safety training program that is being delivered in the communities of children enrolled in The Child’s Journey. This provides caseworkers with the opportunity to provide the children and caregivers with information and supplies to help them take precautions against illness and harm.

TOGO | School Supply Distribution

With a primary provider absent, families face new challenges and daily hardship, leaving many children of prisoners in Togo financially unable to afford basic school supplies. Your support ensures that your sponsored child in Togo receives resources, tools and the support needed to thrive in school. Earlier this year, the field teams gathered school supplies to create school kits to be distributed to children at community events and individual home visits. This quarter, the team in Togo has has been hard at work distributing these school kits to the hundreds of school-aged children in their program. Receiving an education is one of the essential building blocks to helping children realize a future beyond the cycle of crime. Pictured left: A girl in Togo smiles as she holds her new school supplies.

ZAMBIA | Scripture Resources

When Mrs. Kunda’s husband was arrested, she was overwhelmed with disbelief. “My husband was a prayer warrior, our breadwinner, a father, a family man and a very humble man,” said Mrs. Kunda. “Never in my life did I ever think this could happen. It really was a nightmare.” Unable to go to the police station that night because she had to care for their new baby, she visited him in jail the following morning. He told her that he had been caught in the middle of an altercation and one of the other men involved had died. Hearing this, she felt like the world had crashed in around her.

In the blink of an eye, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison and she was left to care for their three small children. Destitute and hopeless, the Kunda family was chased from their home and forced to move from house to house because they were unable to pay rent. The children were kicked out of school and humiliated by people in the community because of their situation. Mrs. Kunda was emotionally and psychologically hurt, especially since her family and her church were unable to help her. When she felt like she was out of options, Mrs. Kunda’s help finally came when she received a call from a caseworker at Prison Fellowship Zambia.

“Because my children are now in PF Zambia’s program, my hope has been restored and my burden has been lightened,” said Mrs. Kunda. Since their enrollment in The Child’s Journey, the Kunda family has received school, food and health support, scripture and Bible resources, and monetary gifts to buy a refrigerator and start a home business. Mrs. Kunda is also now a member of a local village banking group which helps her boost her business. Despite all the hardships the Kunda family has endured, God came to their rescue through The Child’s Journey. “God bless you and the works you are doing, you have changed our lives,” said Mrs. KundaPictured above: Mrs. Kunda (center) stands with her two oldest children.

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

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.

Highlights from The Child’s Journey – October 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 | Sothea’s Favorite Bible Verse

Click the video above to see Sothea read her favorite Bible verses in the language of Khmer.

Part of the program services include providing each child and their caregiver with Scripture resources in their heart language, but growing in knowledge of God’s Word involves more than just receiving Bibles. This is why through monthly mentoring sessions, TCJ volunteer mentors are engaging children and their caregivers with Biblical lessons. In Cambodia, a country with a Christian population of only 2%, children like Sothea are being encouraged to read and learn verses in order to bring God’s Word into their hearts. We hope this video of Sothea reading from Psalm 121 brings joy to you today!

COLOMBIA | Community Events

Children gather to play a game during an event hosted by Prison Fellowship Colombia.

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 Colombia does this is through community events. These events have enabled them to gain the trust and respect of the communities in which they work. 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.

Malawi |Hamida’s Story

Hamida (left) smiles at her family during a recent prison visit facilitated by Prison Fellowship Malawi.

You may remember the photo above from our August update, so why are we sharing it again? Since then, we received a heartwarming testimony from the caseworker of Hamida, the girl pictured on the left. We have shared it below and hope it serves as a bright spot to your day.

What started out as a normal day for most people, was a very special day for Hamida and her family. They joined the prison visit organized by Prison Fellowship Malawi’s child sponsorship team and traveled to visit Hamida’s incarcerated father, Yohane. Upon arrival, Hamida and her siblings were welcomed by their smiling father who hugged them with tears of joy rolling down his cheeks. The children gazed at Yohane in disbelief. It was the first time they had seen him in five years! Hamida shared, “I am happy to see my father alive. God is great. It has been years without seeing him. We miss him a lot. We need him home.”

Dressed in a white uniform, Yohane embraced the kids and family, shared stories and told jokes. He also read Bibles scriptures to encourage his children not to lose hope, to always trust in God and to work hard in school. In return, the children gave their father gifts that they had brought him including hygiene and food items. After an hour-long reunion, the family parted with hugs and the hope of meeting again soon. Yohane commended PF Malawi for organizing the trip saying, “You have afforded me the opportunity to meet with my children. I never expected to see them while here. May God bless your work.”

RWANDA | Home Harvest

Putting the finishing touches on the irrigation tube of a sack garden.

The Child’s Journey staff in Rwanda recently completed training to bring Home Harvest to the families that they serve. Home Harvest is our new livelihood initiative that provides families with the materials and training to grow their own supplemental food gardens. The program has been welcomed by the team as a way to increase food security and provide caregivers with skills that can be translated into additional income for the families. Through such efforts, families can be empowered to make strides towards economic self-sufficiency and live healthier lives.

TOGO | Audio and Visual Bibles

Caregivers in Togo gather around a Proclaimer® audio Bible to listen to scripture together.

The inability to read or access scripture in your heart language shouldn’t be a barrier to the Gospel, but it is for millions around the world. Last year, we partnered with our friends at Faith Comes by Hearing (FCBH) to launch The Listener’s Way (TLW) as a way to bring audio and visual Bibles into prisons, giving those in prison a new way to interact with God’s Word. In less than a year, TLW grew from three countries to 28 – praise God! Given this response, we met with FCBH again to discuss growing the partnership to include caregivers in The Child’s Journey. They agreed to increase their pledged amount of audio and visual Bibles and Togo became the first TCJ country to pilot scripture listening groups with caregivers. Initiatives such as these are key to expanding access to the Gospel and helping families grow together in their faith.

ZAMBIA | School Supplies

Children in Zambia receive new backpacks filled with school supplies.

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 your sponsored child in Zambia 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 community events and individual home visits. This quarter, the team in Zambia has distributed school kits to more than one hundred school-aged children in their program.

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

Highlights from The Child’s Journey – September 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 Checks

A group of children gather for a health check event facilitated by Prison Fellowship Cambodia.

The Cambodian team has been hard at work coordinating events with local health professionals to provide health checks. Helping children maintain their health and wellbeing is a key aid area for the program. In addition to providing nutritious food, necessary interventions such as parasite treatments, routine illness prevention and emergency medical care, the team regularly provides standard health checks for each child.

Regular health checks include:

– Taking records of the child’s height and weight
– Checking the child’s blood pressure, vision, and hearing
– Giving the opportunity for the caregiver to ask the health provider any questions that they may have regarding the child’s health
– Providing illness prevention measures, such as deworming treatments
– Performing an age-appropriate physical exam
– Making referrals for any observed medical issues

COLOMBIA | Mentor Visits

A Prison Fellowship Colombia mentor meets with a group of her mentees.

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.

Malawi | Scripture Resources

Click above to hear a girl in Malawi read John 10:14-15 from her new Bible in the language of Chewa.

The team in Malawi 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 Malawi, Bibles in the language of Chewa can cost the equivalent of an average month’s salary, making them prohibitively expensive for many of the families that we serve. This is especially true as the Malawian economy is still recovering from the aftermath of Cyclone Freddy, which left many families struggling to find and afford basic necessities. In the video above, a girl in Malawi reads from her Reach4Life Bible, which includes special lessons relating to young adulthood. These lessons serve as a resource for helpful, Biblical discussions during monthly mentoring sessions. 

RWANDA | Sylvie’s Story

At 9 years old, Sylvie’s life was turned upside down after her mother was arrested. Her father and grandmother continued to do everything they could to ensure that she and her three siblings were provided for, but they still struggled to provide adequate school fees for all of them. Sylvie’s father agonized over the prospect that his children may not be able to go to school, despite his best efforts.

Fortunately, later that year they were visited by Prison Fellowship Rwanda and enrolled in The Child’s Journey. As part of the program, the children’s school fees and supplies were covered. They have also been visited regularly by caseworkers who provide training on subjects like health, safety and spiritual resilience. “Prison Fellowship Rwanda has been a great blessing to us,” said Sylvie. “It has changed our lives and helped our family develop.”

Through the support of their sponsors, Sylvie and her family have been able to purchase things like new clothes and shoes for all of the children. The team at PF Rwanda has also been hard at work making sure that the family lives in a safe, stable home. They replaced the roof, added rooms, purchased furniture and installed electricity. They also helped the family purchase cows, goats and pigs in order to help them create a small business that provides more financial stability in their daily life. Sylvie’s father has faced many difficulties raising his children on his own, but now knows that he is not alone.

“I have no words to express my feelings, only God knows how happy I am,” said Sylvie’s father. “It is amazing to see how you take care of my children. Thank you again.” Pictured above: Syvlie holding a new pair of shoes purchased through a gift from her sponsor

TOGO | Supplemental Food Deliveries

A family in Togo smiles as they receive a sack filled with food staples like cooking oil, rice and maize.

Children of prisoners are already at a higher risk of poverty and hunger. Having a parent in prison often means that the remaining parent struggles as the sole breadwinner of the family. Recent inflation has exacerbated this issue by increasing the cost of food staples above what many Togolese families can afford. The Prison Fellowship Togo team has distributed life-giving food support to hundreds of children enrolled in the program this year. They often use these distributions to provide additional items such as hygiene kits, school supplies and bicycles to students who live far from their school.

ZAMBIA | Home Harvest

Watch the video to see part of the sack garden training session in Zambia.

The Child’s Journey staff in Zambia recently completed training to bring Home Harvest to the families that they serve. Home Harvest is our new livelihood initiative that provides families with the materials and training to grow their own supplemental food gardens. The program has been welcomed by the field as a way to increase food security and provide caregivers with skills that can be translated into additional income for the families. Through such efforts, families can be empowered to make strides towards economic self-sufficiency and live healthier lives. Check out the video above to see part of the sack garden training session that took place in Zambia this summer.

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

Highlights from The Child’s Journey – August 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 | Supplemental Food Support

Families in Cambodia received supplemental food and other supplies during a recent community event.

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 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. They often use these distributions to provide additional items such as hygiene kits, school supplies and bicycles to students who live far from their school.

COLOMBIA | Health Checks

The Colombia team has been hard at work coordinating events with local health professionals to provide health checks. Helping children maintain their health and wellbeing is one of the key areas that The Child’s Journey provides assistance. In addition to providing nutritious food, necessary interventions such as parasite treatments, access to routine illness prevention and emergency medical care, the team regularly provides standard health checks for each child enrolled in the program.

Regular health checks include:

– Taking records of the child’s height and weight
– Checking the child’s blood pressure, vision, and hearing
– Giving the opportunity for the caregiver to ask the health provider any questions that they may have regarding the child’s health
– Providing illness prevention measures, such as deworming treatments
– Performing an age-appropriate physical exam
– Making referrals for any observed medical issues

Malawi | Prison Visits

A family smiles together during a prison visit facilitated by Prison Fellowship Malawi.

Now that COVID restrictions have eased across the country, prisons throughout Malawi are once again open for visitors and Prison Fellowship Malawi has been hard at work reconnecting families. 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.

RWANDA | Kevin’s Testimony

Click the video above to watch Kevin’s testimony.

From hopelessness to hope filled – you are making stories like Kevin’s possible in the lives of more than 1,100 chidlren across Rwanda. Kevin has been enrolled in The Child’s Journey for the past five years while his father has been incarcerated. He shared his moving testimony during an event hosted by Prison Fellowship Rwanda and described how the care of  The Child’s Journey completely changed his life. Click on the video above to learn more!

TOGO | Community Mentoring

Children of prisoners often face social isolation due to having a parent in prison. The remaining caregiver often struggles to find time to help their children with homework or Bible studies. 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 Togo provides encouragement and support to hundreds of children each quarter. Pictured: A boy draws a map of Togo during a tutoring session with his community mentor.

ZAMBIA | Health and Safety Training

Families in Zambia attend a health and safety training course.

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 Zambia developed a health and safety training program that is being delivered in the communities of children enrolled in The Child’s Journey. This provides caseworkers with the opportunity to provide the children and caregivers with mentoring on how to take precautions against illness and harm.

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

Highlights from The Child’s Journey – July 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 | Caregiver Bible Distribution

While the children are the primary beneficiaries of The Child’s Journey, their caregivers are also empowered in a number of ways through the program. This includes initiatives such as caregiver support groups, health trainings and livelihood programs that may be offered in their country. However, the most important way that you are empowering caregivers is by providing them with the Word of God in their heart language. Bibles in the Cambodian language of Khmer can be hard to find and prohibitively expensive for most of the families that Prison Fellowship Cambodia works with. Caregivers are overjoyed to receive these precious resources and join with their children in learning more about the Bible.

Efforts like these also give the teams the chance to fellowship with the caregivers, check in and pray with them. Check out the video below to see a beautiful moment of prayer between the Prison Fellowship Cambodia team and the grandmother of a child in The Child’s Journey. 

COLOMBIA | School Visits

A Prison Fellowship Colombia caseworker visits children in school to check on their progress

Ensuring that a child is able to attend school is integral to opening the doors for them to have future opportunities. With children back in the classroom, caseworkers are once again able to conduct school visits for children enrolled in The Child’s Journey. These check-ins are a way for the caseworker to confirm that the child is attending school, able to safely travel to school and that they are equipped with the supplies that they need in order to thrive in their classes. It also allows for fruitful conversations with their teachers, who become part of a child’s ‘community of care’.

Malawi | Home Repairs

A home that was destroyed by the cyclone is rebuilt by the Malawi team

One of the primary challenges facing children of prisoners in Malawi is a lack of safe housing. Many caregivers, left to provide on their own, do not have the means to perform necessary home maintenance like patching roofs or fixing cracked walls. These issues were compounded following Cyclone Freddy, which completely leveled thousands of mud brick homes across the country. The Prison Fellowship Malawi team has made it a priority in recent months to ensure that families are able to quickly rebuild their homes in order to give children a safe and stable place to live. For some, this includes completing tasks like patching holes in roofs or installing doors. For others, this includes completely rebuilding the home from the ground up, like the home pictured above.

RWANDA | Community Mentoring

My name is Francoise. When my husband was imprisoned in 2009, he left me with seven children. Our youngest child was only one month old at the time. I was depressed. I had nothing to feed my children and I wondered how I would care for them alone. Everything was chaos

My one comfort is that I am a believer. Jesus is my shepherd, my savior and my hope. Psalm 4:9 has comforted me during these long 14 years that my husband has been imprisoned. Many temptations have come on my way. People offered me money to do immoral, illegal things. But I remember Psalm 4:9 – In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone,  LORD, make me dwell in safetySo, no one could deceive me.

I thought I could not manage to feed all of my children and pay school fees alone, but God had mercy on me. He sent Prison Fellowship Rwanda to help provide for our needs. They made sure that we had food and that my children were healthy and in school, but the greatest gift was my very own Bible. I read it daily and pray to God and thank him for his many blessings.

Thank you for the best gift of this Bible that you have given to us. In it we survive. It comforts the widows and prisoners. Pictured: Francoise reads her new Bible

TOGO | School Kit Distribution

Children in Togo give a thumbs up as they receive new school kits.

With a primary provider absent, families face new challenges and daily hardship, leaving many children of prisoners in Togo financially unable to afford basic school supplies. Your support ensures that your sponsored child in Togo 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 community events and individual home visits. This quarter, the team in Togo has distributed school kits to more than one hundred school-aged children in their program.

ZAMBIA | Day of the African Child

TCJ children gather to participate as part of the Day Of The African Child parade in Zambia

Since 1991, June 16th has been deemed the Day of the African Child in order to commemorate the 1976 uprising by students in South Africa against apartheid oppression. Across Africa, children participate in parades, rallies and other events to bring awareness to the rights and needs of African children. Prison Fellowship Zambia gathered together children in their program to participate in their local parade. This year’s theme was “the right of the child in the digital environment” and discussion focused on how to protect children from a predatory digital landscape and how to leverage technology to increase job opportunities for young people.

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

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.

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.