But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
Casa de La Amistad is a ministry with more than two decades of experience supporting children who currently have a parent living in prison—some of whom live there themselves. Slowly honing its expertise serving this specific population, this ministry has received praise from prison officials, local government, and other NGOs for its unique service in this area, helping to shape the reputation of the Bolivian Baptist Church.
While an independent project, ADA can be seen as an extension of Casa de La Amistad which focuses on supporting a select group of mothers with children in the Casa project. ADA has three components—training in sewing, life skills workshops, and devotionals. Together this provides holistic care.
In conjunction with local social workers, staff offer the moms regular workshops on themes relevant to their situation. This includes parenting techniques, communication, physical health, and domestic violence. Additionally, the staff lead weekly Bible studies with the mother’s. Currently they are using material that explores the stories of women in the New Testament.
Now armed with an arsenal of sewing machines, the mothers rotate class days with a sewing instructor and work through a curriculum. Their first projects focused on making school uniforms for their children, as well as official ADA uniforms for themselves. They are currently looking to break into the Bolivian market, having already taken on one local order outside of class.
In many ways the women in this project are marginalized within their society. They have suffered discrimination because of their lack of formal education, their indigenous heritage, and their connection to the prisons. Many of them are survivors of violence and have gone through a lot with very little support. Through ADA however, they are no longer individuals fighting alone; rather they have found new strength in their community.
Isabel, whose husband is serving time for abusing her and her children, put it this way: “I worry a lot. I worry about my children. What will happen tomorrow? But when I come to sewing class it distracts me a little. I forget about my worries. I’m just there laughing with my friends.”
We look forward to walking alongside these moms as they realize their potential and grow in faith.