The Child’s Journey®

Highlights from The Child’s Journey – April 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 | Health and Safety Training

Caregivers and children gather for 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 Cambodia 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.

COLOMBIA | Food Support

Samuel and his mother receive an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.

A few years ago, we shared Samuel’s story of perseverance despite his medical diagnoses. (Check it out here if you would like to learn more.) After developing digestive issues due to his illness, Samuel requires a vegetable-heavy diet, which his mother provides him with the help of targeted food support from The Child’s Journey. Samuel is just one of hundreds of children in Colombia that have received essential food support over the past few months, a service that has been increasingly important as inflation has caused the price of many food staples in Colombia to rise. Children of prisoners are at a higher risk of malnutrition and poverty due to losing a caregiver to incarceration and efforts such as these help them lead healthy lives.

Malawi | Rebuilding Homes and Futures

Filesi, Rehema and Kenneth smile alongside their caseworker, Kelvin, as construction takes place on her home.

In the heart of Malawi, the wish for a stable and secure home resonates deeply, particularly with children of incarcerated parents. The stark reality is that a significant number of The Child’s Journey beneficiaries reside in homes so dilapidated that it’s hard to imagine how they withstand the relentless challenges posed by their environment. Housing assistance is not just a means to provide shelter but is a crucial foundation for a child’s overall well-being and development. The Child’s Journey is dedicated to ensuring that children don’t just live, but thrive in safe and stable homes.

Filesi, Rehema and Kenneth are three children whose lives have been positively transformed through the program’s housing support initiative. After a meticulous assessment by caseworkers, it was clear that the family desperately needed a safer home. Embracing a spirit of empowerment and collaboration, the family was encouraged to participate in building their future. Their mother spearheaded the construction of their new home by creating a temporary roof as she waited for the program to furnish zinc sheets, planks and other items. This project marked a new beginning for the family. The children’s involvement in carrying small items like nails and wire rolls was more than just assistance; it was an act of shaping their own future. Witnessing their home take shape brought a profound sense of accomplishment and joy to the family. Today, Filesi, Rehema and Kenneth have more than just a roof over their heads; they have a foundation for a brighter future. Each home built through the program stands as a beacon of hope, a place where dreams can grow and thrive.

RWANDA | Caregiver Support Group

Caregivers in Rwanda participating in a support group and Bible study. 

Prison Fellowship Rwanda hosts support groups and workshops for the caregivers of children enrolled in The Child’s Journey. Sometimes these include trainings for best practices to keep families safe and healthy, while others are a chance to come together for a Bible study and fellowship. Having a support network to share struggles, successes and everyday life is vital for caregivers, as they often walk through incarceration of a family member and caring for their family with limited resources and community support. While the children are the primary beneficiaries of The Child’s Journey services, the program also seeks to empower and support their caregivers by providing them with training and fellowship. This holistic caring of the family provides an even greater foundation for the families to overcome economic and social challenges. 

TOGO | Scripture Resources

Jacqueline in Togo completes her homework during a tutoring session.

With a primary provider absent, families face new challenges and daily hardship, leaving school and school supplies financially out of reach for many children of prisoners around the world. Your support ensures that children of prisoners in Togo receives the resources, tools and support needed to thrive in school. This includes providing locally purchased school kits that are filled with supplies and providing uniforms and school fees to children who need them. Many children also participate in tutoring sessions when they meet with their community mentors and their caseworkers regularly check in with their school to see how they are progressing. These efforts are critical to keeping children educated and on the path to a brighter future.

ZAMBIA | Home Visits

A caseworker in Zambia completes a home assessment.

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 and ease the re-entry process.

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