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The Michael Project
The Michael Project


The children on their Christmas outing to Greenwood Park
CHIKURUBI FEMALE PRISON

Location: Harare, Zimbabwe

Imagine if you were born in prison and for 4 years had never left, or had someone come from ‘outside’ to visit you. You have no toiletries or adequate clothing, and your prisoner mother’s meagre food leaves you both hungry, and cold. Tadiwa did not have to imagine, because this was reality. She now spends her day at the Chikurubi Day Care Centre, receives two meals of her own each day, has a new dress, and under the loving care of Christian teachers, is having fun singing, drawing and playing.

Chikurubi Day Care Centre operates within the grounds of the maximum security prison and is there to welcome little ones between the ages of 9 months and 6 years to a place of fun and safety.  They are the babies and toddlers of incarcerated women who are serving their sentences.  Some of these little ones have been born in prison and so know of no other life.  Others accompany their mothers at the tender age of 2 or 3 years into prison, both of them being shunned and abandoned by their families.  So it is delightful to hear the laughter and singing that radiates from the Day Care Centre during the day and to see the joy on the faces of these little ones, previously ignored and discarded in disgrace.
Both the pre-schoolers and the babies are given breakfast and lunch each day and are stimulated through a variety of activities appropriate to their age.  The playground is a favourite of the children as is the art and craft that the teachers prepare.  The Christmas outing to a children’s theme park is anticipated for many months before and it is wonderful to see the children running free and uninhibited through the park.



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