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.