The Sycamore Tree Project®

It was Life Affirming

JEREMY | Australia

Jeremy has spent the last 15 years in prison. When Jeremy started the Sycamore Tree Project: Justice and Peace®: Justice and Peace, he had no idea what to expect. He was apprehensive and feared the unknown.

During one session, the participants were split into small groups to talk about their life experiences.

“One person,” Jeremy says, “talked about what happened to him, and then to my absolute astonishment, spoke the path of forgiveness of this one’s perpetrator. You have a few profound moments in your life, and this was certainly one for me!”

Jeremy sat in awkward silence, wanting to say something. “My thoughts were scattered,” he says, “but two words kept coming to mind—courage and strength. The courage and strength to endure; the courage and strength to forgive. I told this person, ‘you are far stronger than I could ever be.’”

Jeremy went to bed that night thinking about this person’s journey and how it affected him so deeply.

“It made me want to strive to be a better human being,” he says. “It was life affirming.”

Jeremy fell asleep wanting to change his life’s direction, and woke up the next morning knowing he had started to change.

Jeremy says,

“I have done countless courses—some good, some bad. Without a shadow of a doubt, the Sycamore Tree Project: Justice and Peace®: Justice and Peaceis the best thing that could ever have happened to me. The sheer rawness of emotions it delivers and the understanding and compassion it releases within people gives you a sense of hope for the future for everyone involved.”

Help prisoners like Jeremy find the courage turn their lives around.

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Story credit: Martin Howard, Sycamore Tree Project: Justice and Peace®: Justice and Peace, Queensland, Australia