ACET Belarus is working to see transformation in prisons. In partnership with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and with the help of volunteers from local church communities, ACET Belarus delivered 76 meetings on sexual health, the implications of drug abuse and traditional family values to 3,660 prisoners in 4 cities in 2018.
As well as providing education, an ACET volunteer accompanied the team to play her flute. The team commented that her playing seemed to open up the prisoner’s hearts. One of the inmates said he’d never heard anything like it before in his life.
In one of the target prisons, the main offences are those of domestic child and partner abuse, and drug and alcohol abuse. The context of this makes the activities of ACET Belarus all the more pertinent.
One of the sessions discusses the importance of marriage. In a recent workshop one of the men exclaimed that marriages fail because their wives cheat on them. Another inmate responded that both parties have a responsibility, and following this the team were able to talk about the balance between work and the attention and time needed to strengthen their families. The team shared that at the end of this session, the man who retorted so angrily had become more gentle and expressed a newfound hope.
One of the prison guards told ACET Belarus volunteers: “I have never seen the men like that before. If they knew all this before, then most probably none of them would have been here!”