The Child’s Journey®

Highlights from The Child’s Journey – March 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 | School Visits

Sombath (center) smiles during a meeting with his teacher (left) and TCJ caseworker (right)

Ensuring that a child is able to attend school is integral to opening the doors for them to have future opportunities. With the school year in full swing in Cambodia, 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 equipped with the supplies that they need to thrive in their classes. It also allows for fruitful conversations with their teachers, who become part of a child’s ‘community of care.’

COLOMBIA | School Kit Distribution

Katlyn smiles as she holds her new backpack that she received as part of her education support.

With a primary provider absent, families face new challenges and daily hardship, leaving many children of prisoners in Colombia financially unable to afford basic school supplies. Your support ensures that children in Colombia receive the resources, tools and 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 Colombia has been hard at work distributing these school supplies to school-aged children in their program. Receiving an education is one of the essential building blocks to help children realize a future beyond the cycle of crime.

Malawi | Prison Visits

A father holds his daughter during a prison visit in Malawi.

After COVID restrictions limited access to prisons for years, Prison Fellowship Malawi is once again facilitating 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.

RWANDA | Livelihood Training

Caregivers in Rwanda gather to learn gardening skills and create a double-dug community garden.

As part of their support for families in The Child’s Journey, the Rwandan team takes a unique approach to helping with nutrition and income. Through their livelihood programming, Prison Fellowship Rwanda provides families who are in need and want to develop their job skills with materials and training to grow their own supplemental food gardens. This provides families with an additional source of income, as they can sell the items at local markets, and it provides the children with more nutritious food. These substantial livelihood interventions are a key part of assisting families with establishing financial and physical wellbeing.

TOGO | Scripture Resources

Children in Togo smile as they receive Bibles and Scripture activities.

The team in Togo 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 Togo, Bibles can be prohibitively expensive, especially as the Togolese economy is reeling from soaring food costs that have left many families struggling to even afford necessities. In the photo above, teens in Togo received Reach For Life Bibles that include special lessons relating to young adulthood to serve as a resource for helpful, Biblical discussions during their mentoring sessions. 

ZAMBIA | Strength for Siame

Siame smiles down at her daughter, Mercy.

Siame thought her husband was playing a cruel joke the day that he called to say that he had been arrested. After arriving at the station to see him locked in a cell, her disbelief became grief and confusion. She felt like her whole world was collapsing after he was sentenced to ten years, leaving her with two children. Within weeks she had run out of money and she was unable to pay her rent, so she and her children moved into her mother’s house. She worked tirelessly as a housekeeper to ensure her family had enough to eat, but it never seemed to be enough.   

Despite her struggles, when she was first approached by Prison Fellowship Zambia about The Child’s Journey, she declined.  She shared, “I’m very independent and I was thinking I would manage to provide for my children and send them to school, so I sent them away.” However, after her oldest daughter, Grace, qualified for eighth grade, she realized that she couldn’t afford to pay school fees and cover other necessities. That week, she visited their office in Ndola with her children and asked if there was still room for them in the program. “To my surprise, they offered me immediate assistance, setting aside the poor treatment that I did to them.”  

From that point onward, the program became the source of hope for Siame and her girls. They were provided with all the required school supplies and fees, as well as supplemental food and rent support. Siame felt as though a tremendous burden had been lifted from her shoulders. In late 2023, Siame’s husband was released from prison and they are now reunited as a family. During his time in prison, he completed The Prisoner’s Journey and began following Jesus. Attending church together as a family is now a weekly joy. Siame said, “I want to encourage all those who find themselves in similar circumstances to believe in God and know that their problems can become a thing of the past. I am immensely grateful to Prison Fellowship  Zambia for their support and assistance throughout this challenging journey.”

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