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Suzanne

Suzanne is the coordinator of FreeHands and is a missionary serving in Bolivia with Latin Link (an evangelical Christian organisation). She and her family have lived and worked in Bolivia since 1999.  She began visiting San Sebastián Women's Prison and soon realised that the prisoners could use their sewing and painting skills they had learnt in prison to generate an income to provide for their families.

Suzanne and her team of caring Christian professionals now visit 4 different jails each week sharing life skills with both men and women trapped by situations that have made a normal life impossible. Her joy is seeing families restored and children’s lives changed for the better.

Janet

Janet is an accountant by profession and is the Freehands administrator. She is happiest helping to care for the many children who pass through the project, counselling the mums and teaching bible principles and practical skills to those around her and within the women´s jail. She is always doing things to help people even when she isn´t supposed to be working and has a great capacity to love and care for everyone she comes into contact with.

Lourdes has worked in the jails for many years with another institution and now works with us. She is a pastor, psychologist and a skilled teacher. She enjoys working with parents and helping to counsel them on problems their children experience from the trauma of living in jail with their parents or living in maybe an orphanage or with other people while the parent/s are in jail. She is married to a local pastor and has 2 children of her own.

Lourdes
     

Carla

Carla is a social worker who until recently was head of a Christian orphanage here in Cochabamba. She has a large family of her own now mainly grown up and has spent a lot of time over the years taking children into both the women and men’s jail to visit their parents from the orphanage. She too has a very large heart and does everything she can to support families she comes across and works hard to raise additional funds to help out needy families here.

     

Aldo is a pastor and psychologist who joined our team initially so that we had a man to accompany us in the men´s jails as all prisons here are open without cells so we are always surrounded by prisoners. He  has become a valued member of our team and has a wealth of personal experience from living on the streets himself with alcohol and drugs many years ago. His joy now is to help youngsters come off the streets and get ‘clean’. His gentle easy-going style makes him very popular with the male prisoners who look to him for support.

Aldo
     

Ely

Ely has 2 teenagers and is a single parent. She is quite quiet and reserved but is a very strong lady who wants the best for her children. Since leaving jail she has learned to be a baker and excellent cake maker and runs our bakery department. Besides making products to sell in our restaurant she makes Birthday and Wedding cakes and helps to train up women both in the jail and those needing skills outside in this area so that they can survive.

 

     

 

Yrene has 2 children and met her husband when they were both in jail. She is now a well- qualified cook and makes food for our restaurant for between 30-40 lunches a day. She enjoys catering for large events and also training up other women both inside and outside the jail to prepare hygienic and healthy traditional food. She is a lively character and has a great sense of humour.

 

 

Yrene

     

Celina

Celina is a single parent mum who has 2 teenaged children who she is trying to help through university and used to be our chief craft sewer for all of our artisan work. Since the economy has become so poor in Bolivia she has taken over running the restaurant which we have at Freehands and helps to teach these skills to the women who have left jail and come to learn from her about handling money, stock, customer relations and other associated skills.

 

Leticia has recently been released from jail, is a single parent who has 2 small children. She is working with us in the restaurant part time while she looks to find a full time job. She finished her schooling whilst in prison and is hoping eventually to study part time at the university in either Business Administration or Accountancy. She will need a lot of support and encouragement in order to full fill her dream.

  Leticia
     

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