Walking the South Island to raise funds for Mothers Project – enabling connections between imprisoned mothers and their children.
Kia ora, my name is Alex. This January, I will be ditching city life to hike the South Island leg of Te Araroa (“the long path”, which runs from Cape Reinga to Bluff). I will be walking 1,300km over three months to raise funds for Mothers Project, an organisation I have been involved with over the past two years.
Around 20,000 New Zealand children are impacted by parental imprisonment, and about 85% of women in prison are mothers. Once inside, it can be difficult for mothers and children to maintain meaningful connections. Good relationships between mothers and their children, even when they’re separated by prison walls, can benefit child wellbeing, and reduce parent reoffending. Mothers Project, an initiative of the Who Did You Help Today Trust, was established to help children with mothers behind bars to maintain a positive connection with their mum, so they can go on to live productive lives.
One aspect of Mothers Project is the Storybook Programme. Each month, volunteers attend the prisons with a box of books and a device to record mums reading to their children. These are then sent to the children so they can hear mum reading to them, and hold the book their mum held.
All money raised will be used to purchase books and recording devices for the Storybook Programme, activity packs for mothers to send to their children, and books for the prison visitor rooms, so mothers can read with their children when they are visiting the prison.
"Regardless of what these women have done or been through, we can tell you that they love their children. They want to stay connected to them, even if only to tell their children not to end up in prison like they have."
I am excited to be able to support an organisation which I have seen impact the lives of mothers and children first hand, and would really appreciate your support!
For more information on Mothers Project, visit https://www.mothersproject.org/
Follow my progress on Instagram - @alexhikesteararoa
I will be walking the length of the South Island to raise funds for Mothers Project – helping imprisoned mothers maintain meaningful connections with their children.