Helping Children in Prison 

By Canon Felix, Gitega Burundi

There are children in prison. They have not a good life. We are calling for help. We are calling for different reasons : some were born in there, others have committed faults while others were brought by their mothers. In order to know how they live, I visited Concern for Children in Prison, a local ngo operating in that domain. He is doing a charitable activity. This is what he told to us:

Since five years, we realized that there are many children in the prison. All together are 120 Children. They are in different prisons of Burundi. They are with their mothers. Some of them have born in the prison, others were brought by their mother. We are trying to help their mothers. We proceed by gathering food from village to village, family to family. They are in bad state. When we help them with food, it sounds like we must visit them regularly. This is impossible. Since some months, we are teaching mothers in prison to run micro-project in order to have income. We are teaching them how to make baskets. We provide them with stuffs to use. The problem is that those children live together by their mother. They hear evil words from their mothers. Also, they don’t have even a small space in which they can relax. They are with their mother every time.

Born in prison.

They live in prison, not because they are prisoners but because they are with their prisoned mother. Children born in prison are registered at unknown father. This is a big problem, for if they are registered to a such father, there are some rights to which they will not access: For instance, a such child can’t go in military activities. It is the same for the no-registered child. He has limited rights.

Brought in prison by their mother

Children brought by their mother are in the same situation as they that have born in there. They have a fragile life, with problem to go to health center in the case of deases. They have not any opportunity to join other children at school. They stay in there without studying.

It is very sad. We call everyone who has a charity heart to help those children victims of their mothers faltes. Our suggestion is to free them. If it is impossible, separate children and their mothers . This will help then to not hear the evil words. For we cover all the country, we are in need of support. Let’s help children in the place which are not appropriate to them.

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