DOST - Pakistan
Education and support for imprisoned children and young people
DOST works with street children, drug addicts, destitute women, prisoners, refugees, youth and the general public. It strives to restore to them their lives, their dignity, and their humanity, and to bring them back as contributing members of society.
Years: 2012, 2013, 2014
Women in prison are incarcerated on various charges, but most are victims of poverty, injustice, abuse and exploitation. The majority of these women are charged with drug trafficking and are often rejected by their family and so have nowhere to go on their release. Many of these women have their young children in the prison with them or arrive at the prison pregnant. For these children there are limited opportunities and they suffer from impeded physical, mental and social growth and development due to poor nutrition, lack of health care, education and social interaction beyond the prison confines.
Juveniles are also detained mostly on drug carrying and vagrancy charges. Once in prison, they lose total contact with the outside world and are presumed missing or dead. In the prison, they are victims of exploitation, depression and anxiety with no hope of release.
For these people, DOST creates self-help, healing communities that provide human rights protection and rehabilitation services. Abuse and exploitation has virtually stopped in all the prisons where DOST works. Services provided by DOST include psychosocial counselling, life skills education, legal aid, healthcare, recreational activities, and vocational skills development. The juveniles and minor children receive formal and non-formal education.
The ALMT has made a comittment to support DOST to deliver a sustainable programme of health and educational services and facilities to support these incarcerated children. The project will focus on two prisons. The team will include two social workers and two female health visitors, one for each prison.
“In our homes, we experienced poverty, hunger and violence. Now in prison we are protected, provided with food, health services, and best of all, education for our children, which they would never have received outside” - Mother imprisoned with 5 year old child.