START Prison Academy

Description

“Start“ Academy is a Christian, non-governmental organization founded to offer prisoners deeper personal and spiritual growth opportunities in Lithuanian prisons. We just started a series of lectures “Looking for myself. Have you seen it?“ in Panevėžys prison. This series of lectures has started in January and will continue for half a year. We already gathered 17 lecturers who will do lectures. They are very eager to start their first meetings with women in this prison. Among the lecturers there are university teachers, musicians, artists, psychologists, pastors and people of other professions, who will be sharing their experience with women, lead the lectures as well as practical and artistic activities.

Topics of the lectures:

    • Me and My Emotions
    • Do I have the Inner Freedom?
    • The Dessert in My Heart
    • Me and My Addictions
    • My Forgiveness
    • A Life in Illusion and Self-deception
    • The Artistic Me
    • Music is a Refreshment to My Soul
    • A Person‘s Nature and Our Choices in Life
    • Me and My Femininity
    • Me and Suffering
    • My Decisions
    • The Expressions of Artful Me
    • Me and My Boundaries
    • Depression
    • Me and My Relationships in a family
    • What for I live and Who do I Worship?

Problem

The number of prisoners in detention facilities in Lithuania keeps growing, and according to 2013 statistics, the number of inmates reached 8 thousand (Prison Department Statistics, 2013). These numbers get various feedbacks from the society: some hope that the prisoners will change themselves, others are sure that they have to be changed by the specialists working there, and finally there are people who don‘t believe in any changes in them. Because every person is an individual with their own characteristics and attitude to life, it aggravates the creation of various rehabilitation programs, their processing and efficiency. All of this requires united efforts of Justice Department, church, NGO`s and society. Very often detention facilities are simply the time for weathering and stagnation, when the personality is slowly disappearing. The absence of experiencing guilt, loss of inner harmony, poor knowledge of the true you, viscous and unsuccessful wandering in questions about existence and meaning and/or addiction, all of these are often an “accessory“ of a prisoner. Cooperating with detention facilities as well as invited lecturers, our organization will aim to diminish this decay at least a little bit, to awaken the search for spirituality, responsibility and gratefulness.

Our Organization Believes that:

    • Jesus has already redeemed all sins of prisoners. We only need to be guides, those lodestars, to Jesus.

    • For this journey to be meaningful and valuable, it is very important for the travelers (prisoners) “to visit those places“and “meet those guides“, who would light up the way with their words and hearts.
    • The creative processes are important part of self-knowledge and spiritual growth.
    The Main Goal of the Organization:
    To help these prisoners find the harmony in relationships with themselves, God and others around them.

The Main Goals of the Organization:

    • To encourage deeper self-knowledge and self-development through group and art activities;
    • To foster certain good personal qualities, such as responsibility, forgiveness and gratefulness;
    • To form positive “I“;
    • To encourage creative, critical and philanthropic thinking;
    • To give an opportunity to get to know Jesus through the lecturers.

Achievements:

We hope that after having finished the course, the participants:

    • Will know themselves deeper;
    • Will find out and strengthen the desire for further self-development;
    • Will be encouraged to foster newly found and well known positive personal qualities;
    • Will understand and accept their desires, true abilities and possibilities;
    • Having understood and accepted their weaknesses and strengths, they will find the inner balance.

An Invitation to Support

Victor Hugo once said: “He who opens a school doors, closes a prison“. Therefore, we are inviting you to become a part of this personal and spiritual development school for those who truly need this. We are in need of financial support to help fund the lecturers’ journeys to and back, since many of them are travelling from various parts of Lithuania. Also, we need funds to keep the organization running so we could continue doing what we do and create new projects for the prisoners. If you believe and think that our organization is needed and important, we invite you to contribute financially.
For example:

    • €39 (135LT) would have one lecturer to travel back and forth to Panevėžys from Klaipėda (it‘s about 248.2 km/154.2 my one way)
    • €72.50 (250LT) would buy us a conference board which would be very useful for the lectures in the future;
    • €463,80 (1600LT) is a minimal salary to keep three workers for one month.
    You can support our organization by transferring money to the account below or through PayPal (email information: starto-akademija@prisonministry.lt).

The account information:

VšĮ “Start“academy (the name of the organization)
SEB bank
Recipient‘s account: LT39 7044 0600 0798 2593

To those who will support us we promise to gladly send you our information and updates. We have already created a web page and soon will have Facebook page. We are also very open to new ideas, questions and suggestions! Please, contact us.

Let‘s help those women be CHANGED together.
Sincerely Ieva,
the initiator of “Start” academy

www.prisonministry.lt

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