Still hundreds of miles away in their village, Oscar’s parents didn’t know he was in prison for stealing bus fares. A small and painfully shy boy, Oscar would nearly burst into tears whenever he could summon the courage to look me in the eye. Despite being arrested for a petty crime, Oscar had little hope of making bail or getting an early release.
There are one million children in prison around the world. Each one is a child – just like Oscar. Each one has a story. But they are locked behind cement walls, chain-linked fences, police dogs, armed guards, and iron bars – just like Oscar. Their stories are locked away, too, far from our comfortable lives. Telling their stories is powerful. It is the first step to their freedom.