Morning Tears is an international non profit organisation working to support children with imprisoned parents. The alliance has members in China, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy. Morning Tears Germany is an affiliate of Children of Prisoners Europe.
Recently, their Cologne-based project “Room to Bond”, which has received considerable attention from the media and decision-makers and has led to the improvement of visiting rooms in Cologne prison, has passed into its next phase. The project was initiated by BAG-S e.V., another affiliate of the COPE network. Funding for this second phase of work has been secured by Theresa Herzog, a student at the Alanus Hochschule art school, through the Montag-Stiftung’s student project support and by a joint fundraising call by Morning Tears Germany and KRASS e.V.: https://www.betterplace.org/de/projects/13152-papa-hinter-gittern-kind-bestraft/news
Theresa Herzog has formed a small student group with three others to lead the project in Cologne prison as well as to facilitate a creative project involving teenagers and families of prisoners. The initial activities include setting up a youth group in a Cologne-based youth centre and working with the group on topics such as imprisonment.
According to Theresa, Morning Tears Germany’s project “Drinnen trifft Draußen” (which translates as “Inside meets Outside”) aims to “sustainably improve the atmosphere of the meeting facilities for prisoners and their families”. The improved appearance of the facilities will be designed and devised through dialogue between prisoners, their families and young people from outside prison using creative art mediums. Theresa and Morning Tears Germany share the belief that participatory art projects create opportunities for change in society, and that art should not only be for the wealthy; it should be accessible to all. The art project focuses on three locations in and outside of the prison: the shelter at the tram station in front of the prison entrance; the security gate, which has to be crossed to enter the visits areas; and the room for extended family visits, which includes a space for children to play, for the family to prepare food together and to sit down to share a meal, allowing for a few hours of “normal” family life.
More information can also be found in the Morning Tears Germany July newsletter, which you can subscribe to by following this link: http://morningtears.org/publications/#newsletter