MIRKÓ PROJECT – FOR THE CHILDREN OF CONCICTS
There are few initiatives focusing on the children of inmates in Hungary – who are often stigmatized and excluded from society, while they have difficulties even to keep in touch with their parents. The main goal of the project is to strengthen and nurture the parent-children relationship and to support the children. The secondary aim is to involve and activate the civil organisations and through this activity, the sensitization of society and the development of prejudice- and shame-free communication methods. The project involves inmates and their children, its immediate effect is to strengthen the relationsip of the children and their fathers. The performances of the storytelling father groups and other playful programs help the children in reducing their anxieties and stress, while it improves the self-assessment and responsibilities of the fathers. Several volunteers help the initiative, supporting the storytelling group and the everyday lives of the involved families. The methodology and the results will be available to the experts and the institutions, and the message will reach the mainstream society. It is our common responsibility what opportunities are given to the people who have committed crimes and their children, who are not responsible for their situation.Mirkó project focuses on father and child relationships. Children are in need and entitled to be in contact with their parent, and depending on the procedure that can either traumatize or improve the relationship with their parents and thus, determinate their future. The family and the community within the prison are primary elements of restorative practice, therefore connecting these two plays a major role in increasing the chances of reintegration and reducing the stigma. We organize special visits, where father and child can come into contact with each other in a more intimate way.The complex program is based on the Penitentiary Tale Program, which has been running since 2011 in Balassagyarmat Strict and Medium Regime Prison. The prisoners write, dramatize and perform theatre plays that are acted out in front their children and civilians at special visits or other occasions (Easter, Christmas, etc) throughout the year. Children’s time is also organized regularly in the prison, when fathers are also involved in the children’s drawing, playing and singing activities. In addition, we visit the children in their homes and deliver donations to the families in need. So far, we have been reached more than 200 children.
PENITENTIARY TALE PROGRAM