Seeds of Affinity


Linda and Anna, founders of Seeds of Affinity (from the website)

I went to a forum this week about social work and community development, and heard about a fantastic initiative taking place here in Adelaide – a support system for women leaving prison. This is a group of people whose lives have often been very very difficult. Then the whole process of being in jail and having to adjust to being out are further hard experiences to add to whatever has happened previously. The woman who spoke at the session, Anna Kemp, is one of the founders of the service and has worked in the Corrections Department for nearly 40 years. How amazing is that in itself – what commitment and dedication. She started the group Seeds of Affinity, with a woman she had worked with as a prisoner, Linda Fisk. That was 10 years ago.
One of the most interesting things about how they operate is that they have set up a small enterprise making toiletries and gourmet food, so that the women come together not just to talk, but to make things which are then sold, with the proceeds going to help women in jail.
For example, they make a small toiletries pack for women entering prison, as women don’t get paid for two weeks after entering, and so that first two weeks can be difficult. The letter that accompanies the pack is so moving in its expression of support and care for the women, and conveys a sense of hope, respect and possibility for them – I got very teary when I read it as part of Anna’s powerpoint presentation (I wish I had a copy to put here).
Many good things have happened through the establishment of the service – women’s lives have changed and improved in all sorts of ways. Some have gone on to study, Linda herself is the South Australian nominee for Local Hero in the Australian of the Year awards for next year, and the women generally have a safe, caring option for connection to assist them to move on in their lives. What a gift for them and for us all that this is happening.
If you would like to find out more, here is the link to their website (and check out the shop for their products – be a good thing to keep in mind with Christmas coming up). Also, Nicky (friend and regular reader here) tells me that there has been interviews about the program on the inestimable Radio Adelaide – here are a couple of links.

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7 Responses to Seeds of Affinity

  1. Mandy Laidlaw says:

    What an aspiring story, thanks 🙂

  2. Pamela Smith says:

    This one was good i have a son in jail and it is hard he called me the otherday and i asked him if i can send him a birthday present or christmas and he is not allowed i wright careds to him and all was wright samthing to the reader as well as all letters are read so i am nice to them as thay are only doing there job but i do tell them about the wonderfull person thay have there that is my son just to let them no he is loved and he belongs to me this is a very hared time for him his kids and his mum and i hope when he cames out he gets the support of same wonderfull pepole in this story

  3. Hi Pam, this group are wonderful and I hope your son gets support and assistance in his life as well. You are such a dear and loving person – he is really lucky to have you…
    Lots of love to you darl,

    • Pamela Smith says:

      Thank u but david is my son a he came out of my body and he is apart of me we as mothers are ment to love unconditional and it is hard sametimes but if we all did it we would not nead so much help i think anyway

  4. It is hard to love unconditionally I agree – especially hard to also treat yourself with respect and expect respectful treatment in return. I don’t think unconditional love means you have to accept being treated badly, but actually working out how to do this (both love them and not accept bad treatment from them) is hard. you are a champ dear Pam and I am sending you lots of love…

  5. Pingback: Minglearama | Stories of buttons and bread

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