To differentiate the day from the rest of the days, the school was wonderfully decorated with balloons and Christmas trees; which were adorned with Christmas decorations.
Celebrating Christmas With Children With Imprisoned Parents - A Christmas Party At Wells Of Hope High School
We’re delighted to inform you that for the first time, we conducted a Christmas party for the children in secondary level on 9th December 2017. The party was held at their school, Wells of Hope High School. The event was graced by the school committee members, parents and staff at the school.
To differentiate the day from the rest of the days, the school was wonderfully decorated with balloons and Christmas trees; which were adorned with Christmas decorations.
The opening remarks were given by Charles Ssenoga, the school head teacher. He thanked the parents, the school committee members and all staff for attending the event.
Rebecca Tushabe 15 years was the coordinator for the day; she expressed confidence, creativeness and happiness during the party.
The children entertained the spectators in mimes, dance and drama. The children confidently and joyfully made presentations which they had prepared; and were loudly cheered on by the parents, staff and their friends
One of the highlights of the day was an eating competition where Viola, Henry, Sharon and Ben were the participants. During the competition, the children had an egg, a bun and soda. After, each participant had to blow a balloon until it burst.
The children were thrilled to see their teachers entertaining them during the party.
The committee members encouraged the children to be God-fearing and well-disciplined
During the party, children who had excelled in different departments were recognized and gifted. Some of the departments included: academics, sports and drama.
To climax the party, all the children and staff at the school received gifts; they expressed delight as they received their gifts.
With wide smiles on their faces, the children expressed happiness as they excitedly opened their gifts
Together with all the staff from head office, the children joyfully cut their Christmas cake which they happily shared.
We thank all our sponsors and friends for your continued support.
We are glad to report that on 25th November 2017, Wells of Hope Junior School hosted 86 children and 4 staff from Watoto Ssuubi Home. The children happily mingled with their friends at Wells of Hope; with whom they were engaged in chores like sweeping, mopping , fetching water and digging.
Children from Watoto Ssuubi Home cleaning classrooms with their friends at Wells of Hope
The children entertained each other in mimes and dance.
The children were later engaged in Devotion which was led by their friends from Watoto; Matthew and Pastor Chris both from Watoto encouraged the children to continue trusting God for He'll never forsake them.
The children were delighted to receive biscuits, clothes and milk from their friends from Watoto.
We thank Watoto Ssuubi Home and everyone they worked with for their continued love and care towards children with parents in prison.
On 9th November 2017, Ellen Eva Ssuubi conducted counseling with the children at Wells of Hope Junior School. The topics she handled included; self-worth, keeping up with positive discipline, working on negative habits, importance of obedience, personal and surrounding hygiene. The younger children were also taught about food etiquette; respecting their friends and their elders. The children were encouraged to embrace honesty in everything they do; to be remorseful; to forgive one another; and to be prayerful.
On 31st October 2017, Ellen Eva Ssuubi Wells of Hope Executive Director and Marjorie Lunkuse Wells of Hope Deputy Executive Director conducted counseling with the children at Wells of Hope High School. The topics discussed included: “I can attitude”; “Effective communication and channels of communication”; and “Discipline”.
Marjorie encouraged the students to know and understand that they themselves are the most important resource and that they can become what they want to become if they work on it.
Ellen Eva Ssuubi encouraged the students to use effective channels of communication at the school and the importance of keeping proper communication lines. The students were encouraged to always adhere to positive discipline because they will have no regrets in life and this will help them achieve their goal. They were also encouraged to respect their elders. The students were appreciative of the session that had opened up their minds.
At the end of the session, the girls received re-usable pads; and were taken through a training session about hygiene while using the pads.
We thank Camp David of the Ozarks and the Patricia Project in the US who donated the pads.
On 31st October 2017, we were delighted to conduct a dedication service and the Primary Seven Leavers party which were held for the 17 candidates at Wells of Hope Junior School. During the service, the candidates were prayed for by their friends and Wells of Hope staff; they prayed for excellence in their Primary Leaving Exams due on 2nd & 3rd November 2017. The service was led by Apostle Sunday Kafeero, a Wells of Hope volunteer. Sunday encouraged the candidates to be confident; know that they are known by God; and should seek the Spirit of remembrance. He added that God’s love is eternal; He’s faithful and He knows every human being by name.
The Wells of Hope staff encouraged the candidates to be confident and seek God’s wisdom and guidance
During the party, the candidates cut one cake which they shared along with sodas. They were gifted with success cards from Wells of Hope as a way of wishing them all the best in their exams; and presents to thank them for their determination in reaching the final level/ class in primary.
The candidates expressed their gratitude towards Wells of Hope for the continued support; “It's a miracle for me to complete Primary Seven, I did not know I would reach this level, may God bless Wells of Hope and everyone who has supported and stood with us to give us this hope,” said Catherine Mwebazenta, with a wide smile on her face.
We thank all the sponsors for their continued support in giving hope to children with parents in prison.
On 10th October 2017, 72 children visited their parents in 5 prisons namely: Luzira Upper, Murchison Bay, Nakasongola, Jinja and Kitalya. This time, they were accompanied by a team from Partners in Hope USA; Lawson Martin, Brooke Skypala, Erik and Alana Mitchell. As always, they were accompanied by Wells of Hope staff. Despite the heavy rains in the morning, the children were still enthusiastic; as some sang on their way to prison.
In all prisons, children were warmly welcomed by the prisons personnel, went through security checks and were ushered into the waiting rooms where they met their parents.
Below were some of the highlights:
Luzira Upper Prison;
Unlike the other visits, this time the inmates in both Codemn and Boma were merged in the same room and so it was one big happy family.
Upon arrival, the children quickly identified their parents and with big and warm hugs, they expressed their joy of seeing them.
Parents were seen engaging their children in prayer before they shared a meal; it is such a great joy to see the parents eagerly serving their children because they do it with so much joy and love.
Interactions made with the parents of the children were wonderful and all of them are very grateful to the fact that Wells of Hope has intervened; and that it is helping with making the future of their children bright; fathers were thankful to Wells of Hope that their children are going to school and know how to speak English and write.
The visit was climaxed with a song and dance from the children; they learnt them during the camp held last month and the title of the song was “I am not forgotten.” Parents happily cheered on their children as they repeated some lines in the song.
Rebecca Namatovu met her father for the very first time; her sisters Sarah Nalubega and Rose Nasamba who had spent two years without visiting their father were so excited to meet him, they shared with him about the stories at home and how everyone was doing ,he encouraged them to work hard in class and be disciplined children . He prayed for his children and promised that he would be back to them soon.
Simon, a dad to Irene Kiyai, Doreen Nakiria and Peter Ojangole was so excited to see his children for the first time this year; this is because at the beginning of the year he was transferred to Mbale prison where he was going for his appeal. He was filled with joy to inform his children that his sentence was lessened from 40 years to 7 years and he still had an opportunity to have his sentence reduced further. The children were so excited and thankful that their father’s sentence had been lessened; Irene was seen shading tears of joy. He continued to encourage them to work hard in school and be disciplined children because discipline is the key to success.
In the Main prison, Latif Walekwe, Yasuri Walekwe and Enock Segawa, were happy to see their fathers and the inmates equally happy to see their sons growing so tall and taller than their fathers. The inmates were all praises for Wells of Hope, Enock’s father thanked Wells of Hope for his son who is going to sit his senior four exams, because if it was not Wells of Hope, Enock would have given up on studying.
At the women prison, the women were excited to see their children, Ellen Eva, Alana and Erik Mitchell. They appreciated Wells of Hope for not only bringing their children to see them but also visitors who are also supporters of the ministry from the US; this was very important for them. Later, the mothers shared a lovely meal with their children and the visitors.
It was an exquisite moment seeing the inmates praying for their children who are candidates: Stanley father to Enock Segawa in senior 4, Bonny (mother) with 2 candidates; Catherine in Primary seven and Hellen Agumuniitwe in Senior 4.
At Kitalya, this golden opportunity had the children excited. David and Annet could not hide the anxiety of seeing their father for the first time. Betty Nabulondera too could not wait to see her father another time and to tell him too how she too felt.
Yuda, father to David and Annet was very happy to see his children and with a radiant smile on his face, he expressed his joy of seeing his children. He said with a rather sullen face that it had really been a long time without seeing Annet and had never seen David since he was imprisoned. The parents shared merry moments with their children.
The children and the parents expressed tremendous joy upon seeing one another; “Wow! I can’t believe that you’re this big now!” Angela Nawangi’s dad exclaimed in excitement after seeing his 7 year old daughter. The parents and their children were engaged in deep conversations; with wide smiles and loud laughter, one could tell that they enjoyed one another’s company.
The parents later reviewed their children’s academic progress with Ben: they expressed gratitude to Wells of Hope for all the support rendered to their children; and encouraged their children to trust God and put in more effort in their studies so that they don’t end up like them.
We thank Partners in Hope USA for facilitating the visit.
We are glad to report that Partners in Hope (PIH) USA represented by Lawson Martin, Brooke Skypala, Erik and Alana Mitchell served at Wells of Hope Uganda from 5th to 11th October 2017. The aim of the trip was to be engaged in activities at Wells of Hope; and see how the lives of children with parents in prison as well as their families have been impacted through the organization. They donated a sound speaker, a DVD player, shoes, computers and mosquito nets to the children.
During their visit, they interacted with the children with parents in prison at Wells of Hope Junior School and Wells of Hope High School; they interacted with the children’s parents in prison; interacted with 3 inmates’ families in Kayunga District – Central Uganda.
On 6th October, the PIH Team visited the schools and were delighted to see the amazing work being done.
On 7th October 2017, the PIH Team interacted with the children’s parents: Erik encouraged the inmates to embrace forgiveness in their hearts; Lawson encouraged them to stand firm amidst the suffering that they were going through because suffering produces patience and hope; and to look at eternity because everything on this planet is temporary; Brooke encouraged them that regardless of what they had done, God accepts them and that they’re His children; and Alana encourage the inmates to always search themselves and ensure that they are on track. The inmates were extremely happy and expressed their gratitude towards the visitors for the continued support towards their children.
On 8th October, the children engaged the visitors in a praise, worship and prayer session; and they entertained them in music and drama. Some of the children shared their testimonies and expressed their gratitude to Wells of Hope for giving them hope in life; they were thankful to the organization for the free education, care and support. Brooke engaged the children in an activity; the children were told to write down what they treasured in life. She encouraged them to hold onto their dreams and continue trusting God.
We were delighted to see Lawson, Brooke, Erik and Alana officially open the new dormitory at Wells of Hope Junior School on 8th October 2017; the children and Wells of Hope staff expressed their joy during the celebration
On 9th October 2017, the PIH Team visited three families of inmates: in one of the families they visited, a teenage girl was caring for all her siblings and cousins because the father is in prison and the mother abandoned them. The girl could not stop crying because she was; lonely, desperate, had lost hope, was starved, and was ill.
In another, a mother was caring for 10 children none of whom were getting an education.
And in the other, a family member was caring for the prisoner’s child but had just recently been stolen by an aunt; probably to be sold as a child laborer.
On 10th October 2017, despite the early morning shower, we were privileged to accompany the children to visit their parents in prison. It was a memorable day as the PIH Team joined Wells of Hope to accompany 72 children to visit their imprisoned parents in five different prisons. It was a joyful day as all the children and parents interacted with one another.
On 11th October 2017, the visitors interacted with mothers and grandmothers of children with parents in prison. The mothers and grandmothers shared their testimonies about how Wells of Hope has positively impacted their lives and were very thankful to the sponsors of the organization.
We thank the PIH Team and all our sponsors for their continued care and support for the children with parents in prison and their families
Annually, Wells of Hope (WOH) holds a Teenagers Camp for children with parents in prison as a way of helping them cope with having a parent in prison. We are glad to report that this year, the organization hosted 11 volunteers from Camp David of the Ozarks (CDO) who conducted a very interactive and educative camp for all the children under Wells of Hope care. The theme was Live Fearless; and the aim was to empower and equip the children. The camp was conducted from 23rd – 30th September 2017 at Wells of Hope Junior School. The Team from CDO was led by Benjamin (who the children preferred to call Papa Big Heart) and Grace (who the children preferred to call Mama Rose) Smith who are the founder and Director of CDO respectively. They were accompanied by 9 volunteers; 5 of whom were male and 4 were female.
On 23rd, the team from CDO interacted with the WOH team at the head office where they got to know more about Wells of Hope and what the organization does.
Benjamin and Grace later shared about Camp David of the Ozarks and how children had been positively impacted by the camps conducted back in the United States. The team expressed their enthusiasm about interacting with children with parents in prison at Wells of Hope
On 24th, the team headed to Wells of Hope High School where they interacted with the children in secondary; and then accompanied them to the Junior School which was the camp site
Upon arrival at the camp site, with glee and wide smiles on their faces, the children expressed their joy on seeing the visitors.
The visitors were guided by Francis Ssuubi Wells of Hope founder and Charles Ocoper Wells of Hope Junior School head teacher around the Junior School.
Later, the children led the visitors and Wells of Hope staff through a worship and prayer session; they expressed their joy, thanking God for the journey mercies upon the visitors and enabling them arrive in Uganda safely. The highlight of the day was that the children were gifted with backpacks which comprised items like bibles, dolls, pens, journals, pencils, sharpeners, games, soap, sponges and toothbrushes; with wide smiles on their faces and shouts of joy, the children expressed their happiness upon receiving their gifts.
From Monday 25th - 28th September 2017, the children were engaged in different classes which were conducted by the team from CDO. The classes included: Ben’s class (a counseling session), crafts, dance, team building, creation class, sling-shots and Field games. The classes were conducted in groups which included: Diamonds, Pearls, Rubies, Emeralds, Jades, Lions, Panthers and Tigers; the first 5 comprised girls and the last 3 comprised boys. The sessions were very competitive and interactive. Each group comprised two Wells of Hope staff who were counselors. The volunteers from CDO were assisted by older children who were among the support staff. The older children were engaged in picture taking as well.
In the Crafts class, the children expressed their creativeness as they designed their photo frames and jewelry boxes.
During the class, they wrote and designed appreciation letters to their counselors and teachers.
In the Dance class, the children expressed their skills in dance; the classes were motivational bringing out the children's dancing talent and "I can" attitude which boosted their self esteem. The groups merged on Thursday and displayed the skills that they had acquired during the lessons.
In the Team Building class, the children learnt that in life, everyone needs to surround themselves with people because everyone is gifted differently. Reuben Scott encouraged the children to embrace teamwork and demonstrated this using a ball game.
In the Creation class, the children shared about appreciating God’s creation and were encouraged to always seek God and his wisdom in order not to be swayed by worldly desires
The children had a counseling session which was conducted by Papa Big Heart. The session was to help the children cope with having a parent in prison.
The children were encouraged to believe in themselves and that having a parent in prison did not necessarily mean that they would end up like their parents as long they decided to trust God for their lives. During the camp, the children were engaged in field games; the children learnt and enjoyed playing together and how playing is important to their health and competing positively.
During their free time, the children played other games like football, chess, tic-tac-toe; they built puzzles; the highlight of the week was the shaving-cream battle game. The children, volunteers and the counselors were very excited as they chased one another around; smearing shaving cream to whoever crossed their paths.
The children were engaged in Sling-Shots. During the sessions, they learnt about focusing and teamwork; while some collected stones, others made shots and every bottle shot at was a success for the whole group and any failure was for the whole group as well.
On Wednesday, the children displayed their talents in music, dance, mimes and skits. During the presentations, the participants were happily cheered on by their friends, the visitors and Wells of Hope staff.
The highlight of the day was that all the children celebrated their birthdays; every group/team accompanied by their counselors cut their own cake which they later shared and every group member got a bottle of soda.
The children were gifted with birthday presents from the CDO team; and among the presents included: sunglasses, sewing kits, dolls, slippers, among others.
On Thursday, the CDO team taught the children how to make s'mores using marshmallows. As an appreciation for participating in the camp, every child was awarded a certificate.
During free time, the visitors read stories to the children.
For all the days, the children, the visitors (CDO Team) and Wells of Hope Team shared lovely meals.
Every morning and evening, the children met in their teams for Devotions; the children were empowered spiritually with God's word.
As a symbol of their dedication to follow Jesus Christ, the children were baptized. It was such an emotional session as the children freely declared their faith; for some tears of joy rolled down their cheeks as they made their declarations.
During their visit, the visitors interacted with parents of children at Luzira Upper prison and Women prison Luzira. The inmates were very happy to see the team from CDO; the visitors encouraged them to trust in God no matter what they were going through and to spread the love of Christ to other inmates.
We thank the team from Camp David of the Ozarks and everyone they worked with for the wonderful time shared with the children and for the donations given.
Wells of Hope organized a two day psychosocial support meeting for grandmothers and spouses of prisoners under the theme “A transformed Mind, A transformed Community” and a total of 32 participants attended the workshop. The training was conducted on 3rd and 4th August 2017. The aim of the workshop was to empower caretakers of children with parents in prison with HIV & AIDs information, entrepreneurship skills and parenting skills. The facilitators of the workshop where experienced and professional social workers, doctors and counselors who tackled different topics.
The day was commenced with Devotions where Susan, one of the mothers encouraged her peers to put their trust in the Lord and rely on him for everything. She referenced the study from Psalms 123. After the devotions, two participants shared their testimonies; one was so thankful for the release of her husband which greatly encouraged the rest of the caretakers and the second participant was an Ex-Prisoner who encouraged the rest of the participants to pray for their imprisoned relatives because with time they come out of prison.
Ellen Eva Ssuubi (Mrs.) Wells of Hope Executive Director gave the opening remarks; she welcomed the caregivers and thanked them for honoring the organization’s request and turn up for the workshop. She mentioned that the aim of the workshop was to bring caregivers together as a family, meet together and see how they are progressing in life and check on how the organization was performing. She explained the organization intervention model to the caregivers and the organization interventions. She availed the theme of the workshop to the caregivers as “A transformed Mind, A transformed Community.”
Mrs Ssuubi said that the topics that would be taught would change our minds; their attitude towards work, life and other issues so that they could go back in their societies and transform them.
After the opening remarks, the caregivers were taken through an Entrepreneurship session. This was facilitated by Esther Ndibulima (Mrs). She took the caregiver in a series of activities with different sub topics but which all were connected to financial training. The different sub topics included: I can attitude, Business idea development & Market Research and Marketing. Esther told the participants to believe in themselves, take risks in order to reach somewhere in life. She encouraged the participants to utilize every resource that was in their community because from there, business could be formed. Esther challenged them by telling them that the greatest resource was human beings; “people despise the fact the others exist, but without man they are dormant.”
Esther urged participants to do the business perfectly with interest and love, have customer care, have commitment and overcome fear. She also advised participants to always do a survey in their areas before they start up a business.
Esther said there were different categories of capital like working capital which was a raw material like owner’s equity like livestock which one could sell off and buy a machine. She also said capital could be in form of a loan from bank, money lenders and relatives. So she urged members to identify sources of capital starting within their environment.
After the session, the caregivers showed enthusiasm to go back in their communities and utilize the resources they had to start or boost their businesses.
Some of the responses from the caregivers after the workshop included;
“I am so grateful that I participated in this workshop, it’s my first time to attend this workshop, it’s been the best and I am eager to learn more the next day” said Silvano, a grandfather of 2 children under Wells of Hope.
“I want to thank Wells of Hope for loving us to teach these wonderful topics, I have indeed learnt a lot, I do weave handbags and money purses so I have learnt how to look for market, how to treat my customers and the next time I come here, I swear I will have a testimony about a change in my business” said Deborah a mother of a child under Wells of Hope.
During the devotions, Iryn a mother of a child under Wells of Hope shared about worrying. She encouraged the participants to thank God for their lives & families because not everyone had been able to stay alive. She referenced her preaching from the bible scripture Matthew 6:25-26 from which she said that if God could take care of the birds in the air, then He was more than able to do so to human beings as well. She encouraged the participants to put their trust in God, to be thankful and surrender all their sorrows to God.
After the devotions, the caregivers made a recap of what was shared and what they learnt the previous day. This session was led by Jacqueline Sekyana Wells of Hope Communications Officer. Some of the lessons included: letting go of fear & Believing in oneself.
Later, the Ellen Eva Ssuubi (Mrs) Wells of Hope Executive Director, Marjorie Lunkuse Wells of Hope Deputy Executive Director and Stella Nabajja the Projects Coordinator took the caregivers through a session on Parenting. Ellen Eva Ssuubi said that parenting involved the way people raise their children; the children could be biological or adopted. She encouraged the caregivers to be responsible parents because they were their children’s role models.
She urged participants to appreciate parenting responsibility. She also talked about the needs of children which she categorized into three groups which included: material needs (like food, shelter & security), social needs (like family, school, religion & culture) and psychological needs (like parental love, values and beliefs). She urged the participants to take up their responsibilities and meet their children’s needs.
During the session, Ellen explained the Wells of Hope Intervention Model to the caregivers.
Marjorie took the participants through appreciating a child and understanding a child’s personality. She shared a story of an inmate who was about to be executed and requested to send a letter to his mother whom he believed was the root cause of him suffering death because she didn’t discipline him while growing up.
Marjorie urged the participants to discipline their children if they did something wrong and applaud them when they did something good. She told them that good habits could be learnt if adults in children’s lives played their roles
Stella encouraged the participants to know their children, understand their needs and love them. She used emotional faces that showed different faces of emotions that children showed which included: happiness, anger, sorrow, sadness, surprise and disappointment. She told them that most children show such signs but parents never take time to understand why they are sad, sorrowful or happy
We were privileged to have facilitators from the AIDS Information Center who led the session about Health Education and HIV/AIDS awareness.
They taught the mothers the need for knowing their Sero status and how they could prevent themselves from acquiring the HIV virus. Dr. Ashiraf took the participants through an interactive session of what HIV & AIDs is, how HIV&AIDS is acquired and how we could avoid it.
Dr Ashiraf emphasized the need to test for HIV because it helps to keep one safe from acquiring the HIV virus and keeps one’s consciousness clear; not worried if they had or didn’t have it. Out of the 32 participants 26 tested for HIV & AIDs. He also taught about cervical cancer where he said cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) virus. Other causes included having many sexual partners, smoking, taking birth control pills, and engaging in early sexual contact. He said that HPV infection could cause cervical dysplasia, or abnormal growth of cervical cells.
Dr. Ashur also said that uncircumcised men could cause cervical cancer to their female partners. He said that the body has the cells to fight it but if it over grows the body becomes weak; the virus affects the cervix, in most cases the uterus has to be removed or surgical operation has to be done to cut off the diseased part if the cancer is detected early.
Dr Ashur encouraged the female participants to test since the screening was free as was being provided by Wells of Hope and it was being brought nearer to them. He said that in most hospitals, such screening was at a fee which in most cases was not affordable for low income earners so such an opportunity ought to be utilized. Seven clients turned for breast and cervical cancer screening, five of them were negative with no signs and no one with posture signs for breast cancer, two female clients turned out with positive signs and were referred for further investigation; he noted that the two clients with positive signs on screening didn’t have cancer simply they have positive signs on their cervix.
After such an amazing and educative workshop, the participants received donations from Woolworth Uganda who are friends and supporters of Wells of Hope; the caregivers expressed their gratitude for the continued support from Woolworths Uganda.
Stella gave closing remarks by thanking the participants for attending and participating in the 2 days workshop. She concluded by urging the participants to practice what they had learnt and assured them that Wells of Hope would carry out follow ups to assess whether what they were taught had created a great impact.
All throughout the workshop, the sessions were interactive. The caregivers were refreshed with a appetizing breakfast and lunch. The day was concluded with a closing prayer from a participant after which participants departed to their different areas of residences.
We are glad to report that on 27th July 2017, 82 children visited their parents in prison; 5 prisons; 16 of these were visited their parents for the first time. The children were so happy to meet their parents and the parents too were overwhelmed with joy upon meeting their children. They visited Women Prison Luzira, Luzira Upper Prison, Kitalya Prison, Jinja Prison and Nakasongola prison. The children were accompanied by Wells Of Hope volunteers.
11 children visited in Women Prison Luzira, 53 children visited in Luzira Upper Prison, 3 children in Kitalya Prison, 7 children in Jinja Prison and 8 children in Nakasongola prison.
Below were the highlights of what transpired in the different prisons;
Women Prison Luzira: The mothers had prepared a lovely meal for their children and they tried to provide scholastic materials along with some basic needs for them like plates. The most life awakening moments at a time the inmates met their children after a long time. As the children waited for their mothers in the waiting room, Frank 8 years one of the children who was visiting his mother for the first time said that his father had tried to explain to him how his mother looked like, but he wasn’t sure of what he looked like. When his mother came, tears of joy rolled down her cheeks; she couldn’t believe that she had finally met her son. Florence 15 years and Rachel 14 years were also in great amusement that they visited their mother after 7 years; they had a great moment to get together again. Their mother was amazed at how fast they had grown. Maria 9 years and William 14 years visited their mother for the first time as well; on seeing Maria and William, the beatific look in her eyes would not hide the joy she felt even though it was going to be short lived, the brooding face also made it clear that seeing her children alive, was another miracle. She said that Maria and William were going to be murdered at the time she committed the crime. Patrick (7 years) and Edith (7 years)’s mother was overwhelmed to see her children too; she kept on saying that her children were going to die because the community wanted to take revenge on her. She cried when her children sang and danced for her.
Upper Prison Luzira; 2 sections were visited that is BOMA and CONDEMN
In Boma section, the children found their usual spots where they usually interact with their parents as they started practicing their special presentation for the parents. There was a lot of anticipation as the children waited for their parents who later joined them. There was a lot of excitement as the parents hugged their children, others were seen engaging in an opening prayer with their fathers and were deeply engrossed in conversations. Parents later started serving their children the meals they had prepared, it felt like ‘home away from home’; they were all in high spirit with look in their eyes.
Nusula 5 years and Juma 10 years also met their father for the first time; they were quiet at first but with time they caught up and started chatting with their father, he was extremely happy to see his children and encouraged them to study hard. John, Mary Agono (17 years)’s father said, “ I am glad that my daughter is different from the other girls of her age I left in the village; she would be with 3 children by now, but because of Wells of Hope she is still in school. She challenges me, the fact that she speaks English so well.” Faith 10 years and Tendo 7 years also visited their father for the first time, the girls were very happy as they ran to meet and hug him. Ismail their father said “I am very happy to see my daughters; they are all grown up and beautiful, thank you Wells of Hope for taking care of them.”
Juliet 13 years and Jenifer 10 years, visited their father for the first time; he said, “I cant remember Juliet because when I was imprisoned she was light skinned and now she is dark skinned, I have to closely look at them because it has been a very long time.”
Later, parents assessed their children’s reports and encouraged them to read hard, they also had some food stuffs prepared for the children to take back with as they went back to school; it was a great thing to see parents provide for their children school necessities like basins, sandals, books, pens and pencils.
In Condemn section; the parents were very happy to see their children and expressed their gratitude towards Wells of Hope for taking care of their children.
The teacher who had accompanied the children assessed the children’s academic progress with the parents and they were very glad on seeing how greatly the children had progressed; they encouraged their children to read very hard and make sure that they balance their studies and other activities.
The highlight of the day was when all parents gathered and the children in lower primary made music presentations for them; it was very amazing because the solicitors were children who were rather quiet but were confident and they sang with very good English.
Jinja prison; The Prison Wardens were welcoming and they helped in calling the inmates (parents) who were undoubtedly expecting the children. After a few minutes, the inmates came in; they expressed their joy on seeing their children. Later, the fathers served a lovely meal which they had prepared for their little princes and princesses.
Ben the teacher who accompanied the children briefed the fathers about their children’s academic performance and shared their reports to which the parents cheered their children; and where poor performance was observed, the parents encouraged their children to perform even better.
The inmates said that they were so grateful to Wells of Hope for the great work; “we are seeing our children after 10 months and they have grown and look so healthy!” they exclaimed.
The children happily and with bouncy faces shared their well colored letters which were also a special moment, some asked their little ones to read their letters to them, which was so touching!
The Highlight of the day was when Angel Nawangi 7 years read her letter to her dad while she sat on his lap. The smiles that cut across her face made him sob a little, Angel’s dad later shared that he was arrested when Angel was only seven months and then to see her looking so beautiful and reading her own hand written letter to him was very astounding! He said that he had no exact words of how to thank Wells of Hope! He is hopeful that he will be released soon.
The children expressed joy and excitement all the way to Nakasongola prison.
At the prison, the children and staff who had accompanied them were warmly welcomed by the prison Officers who ushered them to the waiting areas in the two prison sections. In the men section, the fathers were delighted to see their children; they expressed their joy with hugs. They expressed their gratitude towards Wells of Hope for the support rendered to their children; and were later engaged in deep conversations with their children. The laughter and smiles on the children and their parents’ faces showed that they all enjoyed one another’s company. The parents reviewed their children’s academic progress and encouraged them not to give up on their dreams; “My son, continue trusting in God and he will definitely help you,” a parent was heard telling his son.
In the women section, the mothers welcomed their children with shouts of joy; with ecstatic gaze on their faces, they hugged their children and were astonished by their growth. They were later engaged in deep and very interactive conversations with their children. During the visit, they shared a lovely meal which the mothers had prepared.
The highlight of the day was a mother who encouraged all the children to always have a Godly character and be well-disciplined because these are a key to their success. “Thank you Wells of Hope for being parents to our children; before joining Wells of Hope, we were not sure how they would turn out but now, we are at peace.” another mother remarked. Annet Kampi, Wells of Hope staff member reviewed the children’s academic progress with the mothers. They encouraged their children to fully rely on God for wisdom so that He would guide them through their studies. The mothers expressed gratitude towards Wells of Hope for the initiative the organization took on to look after their children. The mothers joined by their friends shared a prayer with their children and then bade them farewell.
KITALYA PRISON: The children accompanied by Wells of Hope volunteers reached the prison safely and were warmly received by the prison officers. The inmates and the children shared snacks and encouraged the children to read hard. The Welfare Officer thanked Wells of Hope Ministries for all efforts made to have the visit but also most importantly for taking care of children the ministry has no attachment to.
We thank Mavuno Cloud 9 Cell from Mavuno Church for donating the funds for the prison visit; we thank them for their continued support for children with parents in prison.
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