Poverty puts vulnerable adults at even greater risk of being trafficked, falling into crime or the sex trade, or ending up in prison. Many of Tearfund’s projects, including our Inspired Individuals programme, seek to help people who are particularly vulnerable.
Tearfund partner Prison Fellowship Zimbabwe (PFZ) is transforming lives by offering support to prisoners in Zimbabwe’s toughest jails. Now a new project is releasing hope into the lives of a special group of people in prison – mothers and children.
For children in Chikurubi Maximum Prison, life is grim. Days are spent in hard labour under the sun, or if their mothers are sentenced to solitary confinement, in a small, dark, dirty cell. Family acceptance for children born to women prisoners is rare. Children born into prisons often pay for the crimes of their mothers.
Family acceptance for children born to women prisoners is rare. Children born into prisons often pay for the crimes of their mothers.
In collaboration with Greystone Park Church, PFZ has started an initiative to care for children of women inmates. A new day care centre in the prison provides children with healthy food, clean clothes, basic education and a safe place to play. According to law, children cannot stay with their mothers in prison beyond their fifth birthday. PFZ tries to relocate children by reconciling them with their families, but many still end up unwanted in children’s homes.
PFZ and Greystone Park Church hope that the day care centre will provide a loving environment for these children. More importantly, they pray the centre will be a place where children can be sheltered from the darkness of their environment; where they can learn good values that will help them break free from the cycle of crime and poverty.