New Life Stories was established in 2014 to prevent intergenerational incarceration. They are an IPC (Institution of Public Character) that aims to provide children of incarcerated parents with essential reading and pro-social skills to ensure that they are not left behind in their crucial early years of development.
New Life Stories has put in place a holistic strategy targeted at providing support to the incarcerated and their families. The programmes aim to provide these children with educational and emotional stability so that they can have a fairer start in school. Their parents are also supported by our customised in-prison programmes to prepare them for their release and to give them the reassurance to successfully reintegrate back into society. New Life Stories also educates and guides the families by providing them with essential tools to be self-sufficient.
Here are some stories from the families and how New Life Stories have helped them.
Aaron and father
9-year-old Aaron was left under the care of his relatives when both his parents were incarcerated. When we first met Aaron back in April 2019, he was very shy and did not know how to express his emotions clearly. He kicked the chairs and walls whenever he was upset. Through his drawings, the volunteers then understood that he felt frustrated when he could not understand what was being read to him.
After 6 months, Aaron has far exceeded our expectations. With continuous support from trained befrienders, Aaron has shown tremendous improvement. His teachers have commended Aaron for making great progress in his studies and for being a positive role model in class. Now, Aaron is very enthusiastic during his befriending sessions and is very close to his volunteers – he looks forward to seeing them every week!
June and son, Razak
June was apprehended by the police 5 years ago and felt like she was missing out on a huge chunk of her son’s life. While attending the New Life Stories programme, she enrolled her son, Razak in the befriending programme. 5 volunteers were assigned to Razak, and they would visit him at his home every week.
During the New Life Stories incare programme, June was encouraged by our trainers to write a book to her son to share how much she loved and missed him, even though they were separated by prison walls. She wrote the book, ‘Power of Faith’, documenting how she felt like she was lost at sea in prison, and only by the constant support from her family was she able to find herself back on the shores.
Now, June and Razak are back together and their relationship is stronger than ever. June is very thankful for the New Life Stories team to always be a pillar of support for her, and to never give up on her.
You can support a family this festive season by purchasing a book for your own family! You can also make a donation to help New Life Stories to continue running its Family Strengthening Programme.