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RFI Gives Peace a Face

RFI gives peace a face in the United States and around the world by inspiring cultural change through an advocacy campaign around Unguarded and the methodology of APAC; also through our partnership with My Father’s House and Living with Convictions, two U.S.-based organizations, engaged in re-entry programming to support them in adapting the APAC model and leading opportunities for reflection, learning, and sharing.

AVSI-USA visits apac

In June, a delegation of AVSI conducted a site visit at the APACs in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. We asked each traveler to share their impressions upon their return.

Proximity- May RFI Newsletter

At the end of April, I traveled to Chicago to encounter a series of organizations, parish groups, and associations, who work in prison ministry, re-entry, and restorative justice.

“You gave me hope.” April RFI Newsletter

So much has happened in the past weeks. We have celebrated My Father’s House fifth anniversary with an incredibly successful gala (you can read more about it here); had the surprising chance to show Unguarded in two correctional facilities in South Florida with two groups of 40 inside students; and we continue to see our network expanding across states and communities. In this newsletter, we add our voice to the many who are celebrating Second Chance Month 2023.

My Father’s House Gala 2023

The 5th anniversary Gala of My Father’s House on March 15th was a great success!
It was encouraging to see more than 100 people sitting at the tables, interacting with MFH staff, volunteers, and residents, and listening attentively to the program in an evening that was blessed by the presence of the Archbishop of Denver, Samuel Aquila.
During the evening, Jim and the MFH family shared the origin of MFH, the present challenges and joys, and the projects and dreams for the future.

We started involving small groups of volunteers at My Father’s House during the Sunday dinners, a tradition offered since its foundation to current and former residents. To break “barriers and prejudice,” (Denio) we broke bread.

Why volunteers are critical to our mission

In the Fall, we started a series of workshops with Jim Blum, Founder of My Father’s House (MFH), and Denio Marx, Director of International Relations for APAC. During our November session, we learned about the importance of volunteers. They are the heart and soul of the APACs in Brazil.

We started involving small groups of volunteers at My Father’s House during the Sunday dinners, a tradition offered since its foundation to current and former residents. To break “barriers and prejudice,” (Denio) we broke bread.

First screening of acclaimed documentary, “Unguarded” in an American prison

The first showing of Unguarded will take place on May 27, 2021 at the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office Transitional Work Program in Louisiana. The documentary chronicles APAC’s (Association for the Protection and Assistance of Convicts) revolutionary method for prison system transformation that’s centered on the full recovery and rehabilitation of the person.

Inmates reconnect with family and community by making 350,000 masks

Unable to receive family visits due to the COVID-19 restrictions, inmates Alisson Tomas Zanetti, Philipe Augusto Ferreira Leal, and Edemir Cardoso da Silva Júnior were feeling abandoned and even more isolated from their community. Together, they sum up a 74-year sentence which they serve inside three APACs (Association for Protection and Assistance to Convicts), a prison system without guards or weapons located in various Brazilian states.  To reconnect and feel useful, they have all joined “Humanize Prison Sentences, Promote Life.” Funded by the European Union and the Italian Bishop’s Conference and implemented by AVSI Brasil and the Fraternity of Assistance to Convicts (FBAC), the project will help 400 inmates in 23 APACs make 350,000 masks to reduce the spread of coronavirus.