“The way of the new beginning”
Project “The way of the new beginning” is being carried out with the financial support of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 and is a natural continuation of 18 years work of Mission Salvation Foundation with prisoners and their families.
Project “The way of the new beginning” aims to assist the process of re-socialization before releasing and after releasing of imprisoned individuals. Realizing in details the difficulties and the way of a new beginning, the project is offering activities, which completion would facilitate the process of re-socialization and integration of a vulnerable group of people. Therefore, activities for raising the motivation for an independent business, leader and entrepreneurial skills, management of personal and company finances are an important part for reducing the risk of recidivism. Another key factor is the family relationships that are assisting the individual, its motivation and separation from criminal influence. The combined work with the family is mediated by the methods of arts, such as fine and applied arts, singing and dancing. Mission Salvation Foundation is managing the center for culture and education “Palace of the Happy People”, where teachers and volunteers are ready to cooperate in the area of the art activities. The art mediates the communication with the inmates and provides methods for communion in an informal context. The goal of the art activities is to re-enforce the family relationships and to remove the false “values”. On the other hand the convicts idealize their release and the majority of them expect to see an end of their troubles at the prison exit. The reality they are facing is dramatically far from their preliminary mind-set. According to the experts, the convicts most often don’t have any specific plans about the future and in this connection, continuing the communication with them and the incessant support, both, social psychological and material is of a great importance for their return to normal and law abiding life. Our experience shows that the preparation for successful adaptation to a complete life in community and social involvement needs to start still in prison before expiration of the served sentence through social-psychological support, classes for personal development and leadership skills, cultivating abilities for personal financial management and entrepreneurial preparation for starting of a small or medium size business. If we give a chance to the released from prison to try new behavioral models, the likelihood to go back to prison will decrease considerably. Mission Salvation Foundation successfully collaborates with the Head Administration for Execution of Penalties, Migration Administration, Central Sofia Prison and Prison Community Kazichene.
Substantial contribution of the project is the immediate involvement of the inmates’ families, since a great part of the success depends on their support and adequate attitude. The punishment imprisonment should be considered as a complex of problems not only for the affected but also for his family. The restoration of the family relationships is of an extreme importance for the wives and children of the convicted.
AKTIVITIES, PROVIDED IN THE PROJECT “THE WAY OF THE NEW BEGINNING”
The art workshops are going to use fine and applied arts, choral singing and dancing in order to stimulate an expression of feelings and encounters before they go to prison, while in prison and towards their families. The facilitators are going to give assignments for drawings, dance or a song by which they will represent their feelings for their families, children and wives. Many of the activities are going to be discussion related concerning the meaning of art and creative work. Dancing will give assistance to the expression of the physical feelings towards the wives, which cannot be described by any other means of expression. The three months of workshops will end up with a visit of the inmates by their families, in order to present their skills in fine and applied arts, singing, dancing, as well as to share their expectations and feeling in regards with the time after prison. The hidden talents and feelings will be manifested and respectively through the arts will mediate the communication with the children. Fathers will do role plays as children’s characters to improve their communication with the kids.
2.TRAINING SEMINAR FOR ENTREPRENUERSHIP
The training seminar on entrepreneurship includes the following main subtopics: The essence of entrepreneurship; Steps for starting an enterprise; на предприемачеството; Regulation difficulties, etc. The goal is each of the trainees at the end of the training to be able to have answers for some major questions, namely, which segment of the market is going to be his target, what is he going to do, what kind of an enterprise he will start, what are the means, to know the business he is going to deal with, to foresee possible reasons for failure, etc.
3.SEMINAR FOR LEADERSHIP SKILLS
Vision and wisdom.
Abilities to improve personal effectiveness through acquiring and development of leadership skills. The skill to manage yourself.
Leadership’s styles and approaches.
Basic theories about leadership.
Acquiring of leadership skills for creating and building of an effective and working team /family, professional, etc./
Motivation as a main factor for success. Stimulating creative work and initiative. Potential possibilities.
Communication – verbal and non-verbal, barriers in communication, interpersonal relationships.
Essence of conflicts and premises for their existence. Acquiring skills for conflict overcoming.
Possibilities for taking part in discussions, role plays and solving cases.
4.SEMINAR FOR PERSONAL FINANCES MANAGEMENT
The seminar on personal finance’s management will introduce the basic principles of management, namely: sources of income, saving, budgeting, the rule of no loans, investing. The facilitators are going to help for the working out of a personal financial plan and evaluation of the financial status of the convicts, as well as setting of financial goals after leaving the prison. The seminar is particularly important for acquiring of a realistic perspective for the future and an adequate preparation for being out of prison.
5.SPECIALISED PROGRAMME FOR ПРОГРАМА ЗА RE-EDUCATION OF CHARACTER THROUGH PERSONAL SOCIAL PSYCOLOGICAL MEETINGS
Psychological and social support for convicted people at their reintegration in society. The successful accomplishment of this activity envisions to bring about the formation of a complex service for assistance of convicted people. It consists of the following sub-activities: Juridical assistance at issuing personal identification papers and registration at Unemployment office and helping to find a job – help with preparing a CV, directions of how to present themselves at the meeting with the potential employers, organizing meetings with potential employers. Providing a meeting place for regular meetings with ex-convicts. The idea is this place to turn into a place of security and support for the released inmates back in society. In this meeting room will be conducted individual consultation with an expert for social rehabilitation and with psychologist, as well as common interest groups for overcoming the social isolation. It will be equipped with 30 work positions, computer, multi-media projector, screen and a flipchart. Continuation of the educational courses in psychology and social adaptation, finances, entrepreneurship, leadership and art stimulations. Each week will have up to 16 classes. At the rented for this purpose facility – encouraging of volunteer activities with the goal for faster reintegration into society – help with the projects of the foundation “The Many-Colored House” (shopping), “Happy Kids school” (cleaning up of classrooms, setting up tables, etc.), help with the organization of the newly released convicts from prison (coordination, phone calls, organizing of meetings for counseling), ushers at the conducting of the different courses.
6.TRAINING SEMINAR FOR VOLUNTEERS AND EXPERTS WHO WORK WITH PRISONERS
The president of Mission Salvation Foundation is going to hand down his experience in the work with prisoners to 12 people who will work in turn on the project at the prison. Each one of the experts will have a volunteer alongside who will assist the work when seminars, workshops and courses are carried out. The experts and volunteers will acquire skills for conflict solving, dealing with stress and in resistant environment. It is extremely important for each of the facilitators to be able to direct the differences and to rightly judge the behavior of the prisoners. They should be also able to reduce tension between the participating individuals
7.COACHNG PERSONAL SESSIONS
Meeting with released prisoners, who have substantial advancement in their re-socialization with starting of their own business, finding work, successful restoration of family relations, etc., to be motivated to taking part as volunteers of the Foundation in the work of the project in the last 3 months. With their personal example they will be able to encourage and pass on their skills and motivation for change.
Meetings with serving inmates, who want to take part in the projects for virtuousness of the Foundation such as making or repairing objects, needed for mothers at “The Many-Colored House” project.
Successful re-socialization and motivation for the other participants in the project.
8.HOLIDAY’S FAMILY MEETINGS
Organizing of holiday meetings for the families in the prison for Easter, first school day and Christmas, accompanied by special program and a treat.
Positive attitude concerning the activities of the project and respectively meaningful engaging of the families for coordination and re-socialization of the convicted individuals.