We are so excited share with you an opportunity Grace has had in starting a new project recently, an area of great need. When Grace was approached by Regional Women Affairs to provide services to the 150+ children in the region who live in prison with their mothers, we sat listening speechless and broken that these forgotten children were growing up in prison, without blankets, toys, education, very little clothes or opportunity. We had previously not thought about helping these children. Why? Because we had no idea they existed.
If a mother is convicted and sentenced to prison time and there is no one to care for her child then, since there is no real ‘foster care’ system here, the child become an inmate with their mother. It is heart breaking to think these children are growing up behind bars, with so few opportunities.
Grace has recently had the opportunity to bless these very special children who have something of a tough life. Sometimes these children are lucky enough to go to school but, invariably, they spend their days inside the prison.
We have started working with 16 children in Bahir Dar Prison, only one of whom currently attends school. We are hoping to find places and funding to be able to send 5 other children to school.
Each week we are visiting and bringing a little light into the darkness. The children’s faces light up with joy as they run towards us, waiting to see what excitement the week will bring. The simple pleasures of bubbles, balloons, playing games and making simple crafts bring pure delight to the faces of the kids and warm the hearts of those involved.
Grace Centre was able to bless the kids with new clothes, a toy each and soap. We are hoping to provide new soap each month to each of the children. There are many needs in this prison and many in the other 15 prisons within the region that we have not yet reached.
Grace is in the process of investigating options for service to these forgotten children, these prison kids. Primarily, we would like to provide these kids with opportunities for education and help meet their most basic needs.
The current budget within the prison system for each child per day is 50 cents. Yes you heard me. 50 cents. Even here in a third world country that does not buy much, barely one small meal.
We need your help to continue to bring a little joy and provide these kids with future opportunities.
If you would like to be involved or would like to sponsor one of these precious children to attend school, please let us know. If you would like to be involved (or have any good connections for us of other people or organisations that may be interested in helping) we would love to hear from you.
A few snapshots of these amazing kids…
Love Dee and Kate xxx