"This is without doubt the most beautiful and humane activity offered to women in detention. Mothers have the opportunity to offer the recording of their voice to their children. Often, they can tell them with their story what words can't say. Mothers tell stories from the heart."
- Testimony from a volunteer
Some 200 books are sent each year to the children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces and nephews of incarcerated women at the Établissement Leclerc de Laval or at Joliette Institution.
The project originated from an American experience from which the Elizabeth Fry Society of Saint-John was inspired by. It obtained authorization from the American organization to implement the program in Canada, and to promote it to other Societies across the country.
How it Works
This project is made possible by a team of volunteers from the Elizabeth Fry Society of Quebec who travel to detention centers. Participants are invited to choose a book and read it at loud. Their voices are then recorded by the volunteers. The participating child receives the book and an MP3 file by mail in the weeks following the recording. They can then hear their mother's, grandmother's, aunt's or sister's voice, reading the book they've received as a gift. The program is aimed at children aged between one and sixteen years.
To Support the Project
This project allows participants to maintain a strong bond with their children.
By listening to the voice of a loved one telling them a story, the child develops an interest in reading.
"It's a wonderful way of maintaining pleasant contact with my children. They look forward to their book and ask for more! All my children enjoy it. In fact, my two older daughters have told me that, while they weren't interested in reading before, now they can't do without the books I send them. I've discovered their interests and tastes by choosing these books and talking with them."
- Testimony from a participant