Bellan foundation is committed to ensuring that incarcerated women, particularly those in the process of being discharged and those already discharged from prison are empowered to restart their lives. We found that these women have little to no support. The state correctional facilities have programs to equip the inmates with primary technical skills for them to be productive individuals after serving their term. The problem becomes the monetary support essential for them to engage the skills they have learned. Bellan foundation wants to ensure the availability of resources for them to kick-start their lives as they get integrated back into society.
Besides, Bellan foundation ensures that incarcerated women’s children left without care while they serve their term are given an equal chance to be the best that they can be in life. Through equipping them with education and providing them with a conducive environment for growth, they have a great shot at becoming their best. Furthermore, Bellan foundation aims to facilitate a reconciliation program between the women in prison & their families especially their children through a programmed continuous visitation and connection.
Bellan foundation understands that the greatest burden for incarcerated mothers is the state of their children. Their anxiety increases as they wonder if their children are eating, going to school, or if their fathers are available for them at all. They worry of their kids are safe and well protected; especially their female children who are more vulnerable to sexual abuse, pregnancies and early marriages. Specifically, Bellan foundation seeks to answer the questions that goes through the minds of the incarcerated mothers by doing the following:
We visit the women in prison and identify those who have children and in what condition and what ages. We interview these mothers to get to know how they would want to be assisted to help their children while they are in jail. During the visits we also support the mothers in case they have some needs while in prison, such as supply of medicines, legal process of making appeals in their cases and supply of toiletries like bathing soaps, bar soaps, sanitary towels, underwear, slippers, rubber shoes, etc. Bellan foundation is actively involved in Remote Parenting which is usually organized by Langata women maximum prison management. Remote Parenting is an event where the incarcerated women’s families, children, relatives and friends come together at the prisons to have time and celebrate together. This event is organized once a year.
We trace and visit their families and children both in Nairobi and different parts of the Country in the Rural areas/Villages to update them about their mother’s condition, pass the greetings from both sides. This is to ensure that there is a continued connection between mothers, children and family. Over the years we have realized that both the children and their mothers are more relaxed in spite of the mom’s incarceration.
Rescuing incarcerated women’s children
Children of prisoners are among the world’s most forgotten and destitute populations. They are much worse off than impoverished children whose parents are not in prison, the research conducted in most of the countries indicates that they are poorer, more deprived of basic needs, more stigmatized, more victimized and are more likely to eventually commit crimes. Yet their needs fall between the cracks of what most child-focused programs provide. Their plight is largely unknown to the general public, when a family breadwinner goes to prison, the children are deeply impacted through no fault of their own. They need to know they are loved and cared for and that God loves them.
Therefore Bellan foundation rescues the children and puts them into a home where they can get better support and care.