Year Joined MKLM: 1993
City: São Paulo
Focus: Education, Pastoral Ministry, Healthcare
Project(s): Health Formation & Re-Entry Preparation for Women Prisoners
People Served: 165 Women prisoners annually
Project Goal: Facilitate circles of support for women in prison in the areas of mental health, women´s and newborn health and re-entry issues.
Kathy Bond joined MKLM in 1993. She is originally from Battle Creek, MI. Kathy was serving in mission in Brazil when she met Flavio Rocha da Silva while they were working on a social justice project. They married in 2000 and briefly returned to the United States to live in Berkeley, CA, where they were active in the Holy Spirit Newman Parish and Kathy was the Western Regional Recruiter for MKLM. Flavio and Kathy returned to Brazil in 2004. Their daughter Maya was born there in 2005.
There are over 12,000 women in the prison system in the state of Sao Paulo which represents almost 40% of the total female prison population of the country. Kathy works in three women’s prisons focusing on groups for pregnant women and prison moms who are with their newborns for six months. Although conditions vary from prison to prison, overcrowding, human rights abuses and dragging judicial processes are constants with 50% of the incarcerated in the state in pre-trial status. Through working with the Catholic Church’s Prison Pastoral and a local NGO, Kathy is active in networks that are pushing for prison reform.
Through her ministry, Kathy addresses the following needs:
- Facilitates discussions on physical, emotional and mental health
- Teaches relaxation techniques (yoga, massage, meditation, body work) to deal with stress and anxiety
- Addresses re-entry issues including identity documents, support networks including government and private programs, family dynamics and mental readiness
- Helps build self-esteem, positive attitude and community in the difficult situation of being in prison pregnant and/or with a newborn
- Teaches Shantala Baby Massage to promote maternal bonding/secure attachment
- Advocates for prison reform
- Language translation for non-native speakers