The quality of life for hundreds of children in Malawi is about to improve thanks to a new partnership agreement between Prison Fellowship International and Prison Fellowship Malawi. After a year of preparation, Prison Fellowship International’s child sponsorship program launched in Malawi on November 1. The program commenced with the enrollment of the first 140 children, who will receive food, clothing, access to education, regular medical check-ups, and spiritual and emotional care.
There are millions of children around the world who have lost one or both parents to imprisonment. Many live in dire circumstances, struggling to live a normal, safe, healthy life while their parent–often the family’s breadwinner–is behind bars. Some are forced to beg for food or must drop out of school to work in dangerous conditions. And many are stigmatized and discriminated against for being associated with a criminal.
Prison Fellowship International’s child sponsorship program works in partnership with Prison Fellowship affiliates around the world to rescue, restore, and rebuild the lives of poor and vulnerable children of prisoners. The program ensures children have safe housing and protection from exploitation, and abuse, as well as proper nutrition, medical care, access to education, and the opportunity to develop emotional and spiritual strength. In addition, the program helps children maintain a relationship with their incarcerated parent, which is vital to their wellbeing.
“Prison Fellowship Malawi has been part of the Prison Fellowship International family for nearly 20 years, and their heart and passion for prisoners and their families is at the core of their organization,” said Michele Leith, associate program manager at Prison Fellowship International. “Over the last five years, the child sponsorship program has grown to reaching nearly 6,000 children around the world. With Malawi as our newest program partner, we know that thousands of children who are currently hidden and wondering where their next meal will come from or afraid of what their future holds will be seen, known, and loved, and have a chance for a brighter future.”
The child sponsorship program currently serves 5,716 children throughout Cambodia, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Malawi, Nepal, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Togo, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Over the next year, Prison Fellowship Malawi plans to expand care to 300 children of prisoners. And by 2024, Prison Fellowship International aims to expand the program to serve 800 children in Malawi. Visit pfintl.wpengine.com/malawi for more information or to sponsor a child from Malawi.
Prison Fellowship Malawi
Prison Fellowship Malawi was founded in 2001 and is active in 30 of the country’s prisons.
This story was originally posted on Christian News Wire.
Aubrey was one of the first children registered into the child sponsorship program in Malawi. He is a shy, curious, and charming six-year-old boy who lives in a rural village with his baby brother, mother, and grandmother. The Prison Fellowship Malawi team and Prison Fellowship International staff met with the family on the front porch of their home to complete registration. The registration process collects information about children and their families to enroll children into the program. It also allows the program team to identify a child’s imminent needs and how program support can help.
During registration, Aubrey’s mother shared that she could not afford to send Aubrey to first grade, because the country’s school fees—which equates to $1 USD— were too high. She said Aubrey loved school and it saddened her that he was not able to go. That was the first time Aubrey spoke up, saying he wanted to go to school, but couldn’t. A few moments later a large group of students walked down the street past Aubrey’s home. He immediately ran to the street to watch the children walk by. It was clear Aubrey longed to be a part of that group.
Through program support, Aubrey has returned to school. His mother is relieved of the overwhelming burden of school fees. Aubrey now has the same opportunities as his peers. Through the child sponsorship program and the generosity of people like you the barriers that prevented Aubrey from attending school are removed, helping to pave the way toward a brighter future for him and his family!
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