Lina1 will never forget the day her phone rang and the voice on the other end of the line told her, “Your husband has been arrested.”
“Our life was once very stable,” says Lina. But from then on, everything changed.
Devasted by the sudden separation from their father and the shift in their lives, Lina’s children Yefry, Maria Jose, and Larry started to act out socially and emotionally. They became disengaged, disobedient, and anxious.
The impact of parental incarceration on child development can be devasting. Many, like Lina’s children, suffer from antisocial behaviors such as depression and aggression, because they don’t know how to process the trauma of losing a parent. They often struggle in school and are shunned by their peers for being associated with a prisoner. And children with a parent in prison are five to seven times more likely to repeat criminal behaviors than children whose parents are not in prison.
Prison Fellowship International’s children of prisoners sponsorship program exists to serve these unique needs of children of prisoners.
“One Sunday, a friend told me about Prison Fellowship Colombia and the children of prisoners sponsorship program,” says Lina.
Lina registered her children in the program and says she’s grateful for the newfound support.
Her children are now part of a loving and accepting community that understands their pain and their needs. The program provides them with school kits and food packs. And they enjoy recreational activities with other children of prisoners and psychological support from trusted professionals.
“We ask God to multiply blessings for all the people who are part of [this] program,” says Lina.
1Names changed to protect the wife of a prisoner