We thank all our sponsors for their continued support for the children.
" I Never Imagined Myself Reaching This Far. Thank You Wells Of Hope" - A Farewell Party For Primary Seven Candidates
We are glad to inform you that 12 Wells of Hope children will be sitting for their Primary Leaving Examinations on Wednesday and Thursday. On 30th October 2016, we held a dedication service for the candidates. Ellen Eva Ssuubi (Wells of Hope Executive Director) encouraged the candidates to seek God's guidance and also be community changers; that they should practice what they have been taught at school.
Mr. Sam Aloci (a member on the Board of Directors for Wells of Hope) led the prayer session where he prayed for God's wisdom upon the candidates.
The children were encouraged by their teachers to be confident and put their trust in the Lord and they will excel.
As a way of congratulating the candidates for having reached this far, they were given gifts and they all cut one cake which they shared with their friends
The candidates were very happy and grateful to Wells of Hope for their support. "I thank God that I am going to do my Primary Leaving Exams. Before joining Wells of Hope, I had never imagined myself reaching this far. Thank you Wells of Hope," said one of the candidates.
We thank all our sponsors for their continued support for the children.
On 30th October 2016, we celebrated birthdays for October babies (children whose birthdays fall in the month of October). The children were very excited and this was shown by the wide smiles they wore on their faces. The babies were beautifully decorated with face paint and they wore lovely caps as a way distinguishing them from their friends.
They all cut one cake as their friends cheered them on, and later they received gifts which were handed to them by their aunties and uncles.
We thank all our sponsors for their continued support for the children.
It is always exciting to see parents bond with their children after a long time. Through Wells of Hope, children with parents in prison are able to physically interact with their parents.
On Thursday 27th October 2016, 72 children visited their parents in 5 prisons which included: Nakasongola prison, Kitalya prison, Upper prison Luzira, Women prison Luzira and Jinja prison Uganda .
The children and staff were warmly welcomed by the prison officers. The parents and children expressed happiness to see one another; with wide smiles on their faces, they warmly hugged one another. The parents could not help expressing joy on seeing their children; “Wow! Look at my lovely daughter; she has grown so big!” one of the mothers exclaimed immediately she laid her eyes upon her daughter.
Below were the highlights;
In Luzira Women prison, a mother said “words cannot express the joy I have now, seeing my little girl visiting me with her sisters, my prayers were answered, am glad now we are family.” The inmate (mother) was so happy that almost all the time she kept looking at her daughter and exclaiming how old she has grown, how smart she looked and calling her my beautiful angel; this was because she bore her in prison and thought she would lose her when she grew up.
In Nakasongola prison, the children entertained their parents in music and dance; they joyfully sung and danced for their parents. The boys skillfully played the drums and sang, while the girls danced. With a lot of excitement, the other inmates could not help joining the children’s mothers in the waiting room while others peered through the windows. The mothers and the other inmates happily applauded the children, and they later joined them; it was so breath-taking.
In all the prisons, the parents were very thrilled to see and know that their children are progressing well academically and socially. They were very thankful to Wells of Hope Ministries for their continued support in making their children’s future bright. The visit was wound up with a closing prayer which was led by Stanley, one of the inmates.
We thank all our sponsors for their continued support in reuniting families through such visits
Reaching Out To Children With Parents In Prison - Old Students Of Gombe Secondary School Visit Wells Of Hope
We are glad to inform you that 5 visitors, who are Old Students of Gombe Secondary School visited Wells of Hope on 26th October 2016. They first visited the Wells of Hope office, where they interacted with the staff, and also got know more about what Wells of Hope does.
Accompanied by a staff member, they proceeded to the Junior School where they interacted with the children. Upon arrival, they were warmly welcomed by Charles Ocoper, head teacher who then guided them around the school. The visitors interacted with the children and encouraged them to study hard and stay focused on their education. The children were happy and glad to have visitors encouraging them and showing them love.
The visitors donated items which comprised sugar, rice, soap, juice, clothes and scholastic materials
The visitors appreciated the work done by Wells of Hope.
We thank the Old students of Gombe Secondary School for the love they showed to the children.
On 22nd and 23rd, we visited Wells of Hope children in secondary level. The aim of the visits was to follow up on the academics and social progress of the students. With wide smiles, the children welcomed the staff and they happily interacted with them. The children updated their aunties about their schools. We are glad to inform you that the children are progressing well academically and socially; they are engaged in sports like basketball and football.
The candidates are hopeful that they are going to excel in their exams. They were all very excited to receive a success card from Wells of Hope; "I am very grateful to Wells of Hope for their support and prayers. Thank you Wells of Hope for restoring our hope," said one of the candidates.
The children were all doing well and were very grateful to Wells of Hope for their continued support.
During the visits, the children were encouraged to be determined, committed, confident and not to give up on their dreams.
We thank our sponsors for their selfless, love and continued support for the children.
On 16th October 2016, Wells of Hope staff and volunteers fellowshipped with the inmates of Luzira Upper prison; they fellowshipped with the inmates of Remand, Boma and condemn sections. The staff and volunteers included: Ellen Eva Ssuubi (Wells of Hope Executive Director), Peter, Stella, Natalie, Pastor Joel and James Semakula. As always, the volunteers and the inmates were glad to share God’s word, praise and worship Him together. The day’s theme was “RUNNING THE RACE”, and was referenced from PHILLIPIANS 3:12 – 20.
Peter, Stella and Natalie, ministered to 69 men at the Remand prison where each one of them encouraged the inmates;
Peter encouraged them to let go and forget about the past convictions of the crimes they committed but rather focus on the life ahead of them. Stella encouraged the inmates to use the opportunities availed to them in prison to accomplish them. She also shared with them from the book of Psalms 103:1, where she said let them bless the Lord despite what they are going through. Natalie encouraged the inmates to pray without ceasing and trusting in God and to never lose Him for even a moment and that at the end of it all they will win the race. It was such joy seeing the inmates confessing their sins to God and seeking His forgiveness.
In Boma Section, Pr. Joel opened up the sermon with encouraging 247 inmates not to give up on their faith. He then introduced the preacher of the day, Ellen who shared about, “Running the Race” towards achieving the Goal. She shared from Philippians 3:12 – 21, where she encouraged the inmates not to lose hope but to focus on Jesus Christ to enable us run the race and we can only do this by having faith in Jesus Christ and purposing to grow in Him. “Paul had many challenges, but he purposed to run the race without fear. No situation, no storm should take us away from focusing on this race,” she added. Later, Pastor Joel ended the service in prayer.
The highlight was that 3 inmates gave their lives to the LORD.
In condemn section, James reached out to the 69 inmates in the fellowship that had gathered for the service. He encouraged them with the words of Paul in Philippians 3:12 – 21, where he encouraged the inmates to hold on to their faith without fear so that they are able to run the race and win. He gave them hope saying that for whatever situation we go through, it is part of the race and all we need is to be focused and hold on to Jesus Christ.
We thank the Lord for His journey mercies and commitment by the volunteers. We bless Him for His provision through the volunteers who donated sugar, rice, soda, soap, and facilitated for the transport.
Following a Wales / Uganda partnership that began in 2013 when HMP Parc was visited by Francis Ssuubi, founder and Director of the Wells of Hope charity, and a subsequent visit to Uganda by Corin Morgan-Armstrong Head of Family Interventions, the men on the Family Interventions Unit at Parc have raised some modest sums of money to donate to the charity, which finds, houses, and schools children of prisoners in Uganda, and now wider afield, who have been abandoned following the imprisonment of their parent or parents.
It was obvious from the start that despite the cultural differences between Uganda and Wales, the impact of a parent going to prison upon a child is fundamentally the same. Children of prisoners in both countries face a grim future dominated by the statistical probability that they will suffer limited or no education, poor physical health, mental health issues, emotional and psychological trauma, isolation, and an exposure to a lifestyle that will disproportionally propel them on a trajectory towards criminality and future incarceration.
On the 23rd September 2016 HMP Parc hosted a unique intervention that sprang from ideas suggested by prisoners and staff, to raise awareness and some much needed sponsorship that could be transferred direct to the Wells of Hope charity.
One prisoner had a great idea that the men on the unit could ask their own children to try and get sponsorship for Wells of Hope from their schools whilst raising the issue of children affected by parental imprisonment at the same time. We then heard that Sarah Beresford, an expert in the field, was going to come and give a presentation on her experience visiting Wells of Hope as well as her time with the Scottish charity Families Outside. Momentum started to build and Wells of Hope contacted us to say they were sending over a big box of gifts that we could sell, all of which were hand made by the children and families of prisoners in the charity.
By the time the day came, we had a host of volunteers and interested parties who attended including two organisations in Wales who support and work with African refugees, and who are connected directly to the Welsh Government.
Sarah Beresford delivered an impassioned presentation to the 70+ children, families and visitors, showing pictures of her time in Uganda and stressing the importance for the families in Wales to never give up having hope. At the eleventh hour Wells of Hope sent a video blog recorded specially for the event, and which we were able to play on our big screen. It was a very emotional 10 minutes for everyone present. The message showed the Wells of Hope Children and Mrs Ellen Eva Ssuubi talking about how grateful they were to the children and families in Wales, followed by some individual children of different ages talking about their own experiences in Uganda… it was a moment I will never forget, watching the faces of the children of prisoners in Wales transfixed whilst the children of prisoners in Uganda gave them messages of hope and happiness.
The Wells of Hope children also sent a DVD they made of their school choir, and whilst they sang and danced on the big screen, the families ate together and started to purchase the handmade gifts… all of which were sold.
Another lasting memory was the presence of Zinzan Brooke, the ex-New Zealand All Black Rugby International, one of the greatest rugby professionals of all time. Mr Brooke came down for the day to show his support for children and families of prisoners, having experienced some very difficult parallel times in his own life which impacted on his family. Mr Booke had all the children and young people, and most the adults engaged for nearly an hour with various games and group activities with rugby balls, which he later signed to be auctioned locally. The highlight of this was when he taught the children how to perform the legendary New Zealand Hakka, which they then demonstrated to their parents, with Mr Brooke leading from the front! It was a surreal moment in a custodial environment, it created such positive energy in the room, to see these children of prisoners empowered, confident and roaring their defiance, that many parents and staff were reduced to tears.
It was an event that will never be forgotten by those present, children, prisoners, staff and visitors alike, truly unique.
Head of Family Interventions: Custody & Community
Giving Hope To Children With Parents In Prison - Pearl Generation Visits Wells Of Hope Junior School
We are glad to inform you that on 15th October 2016, a team of 8 members from Pearl Generation visited the children with parents in prison; Pearl Generation is an organisation that empowers youths.
The visitors were warmly welcomed by the staff and the scouts club at the school. Christopher, one of the teachers briefed the visitors about the school and later guided them around the school.
Thereafter, he (Christopher) led them to one of the classrooms where the children were anxiously waiting for them. Gloria, the program coordinator of Pearl Generation spoke on behalf of the group; she introduced her teammates and encouraged the children to be hopeful and thereafter welcomed Innocent, the Executive Director of Pearl Generation. Innocent talked about persistence; he encouraged the children by telling them that whenever they fail, they should always push on. He also encouraged the children to always share their challenges with the people they trust to get best solutions to their problems.
Sharon, one of the visitors urged the children to be content with what they have and be grateful for where they are, she shared her life story on how she did not grow up with her mother and has never experienced a mother’s love, but was always grateful to God for each step she reached in life.
After this, they sang and danced together with the children. They donated clothes to the children, and the children were very happy.
We thank Pearl Generation for their love and care for children with parents in prison.
Wells of Hope Children Participate In The Commemoration Of The 14th World Day Against The Death Penalty
On 10th October 2016, Wells of Hope represented by 10 children and 4 staff members participated in commemorating the World Day against the Death Penalty, at the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (F.H.R.I) offices in Nsambya. The children were given an opportunity to share their plight
The meeting started off with Welcome remarks from Lucy Peace Nantume, the Manager of the death penalty, who welcomed all the participants, the dignitaries and members of the civil service and the media together with the ex-prisoners in attendance.
Livingstone Sewanyana, the Executive director FHRI gave his opening remarks reminding that Uganda even though has not agreed to join the rest of the countries to join and abolish the death penalty, it has been lenient and less people are being sentenced to death, and it has been since 2003 when the last civilian execution took place in Uganda which was a good sign. He then welcomed the guest of honor, H.E Kristian Schmidt, Head of Delegation of the European Commission to Uganda, to give his remarks.
H.E Kristian, addressed the rest of the guests by suing that the European Union (EU) holds a strong and principled position against the death penalty. “We are the only international actor to actively pursue abolition of the death penalty as a policy goal across the world,” he said. He added by saying that the EU is firmly convinced that the abolition of the death penalty contributes to the enhancement of human dignity and society’s development. All EU Member States of the European Union have abolished the death penalty. Abolition is a clear precondition for accession to the European Union. He encouraged Ugandans to embrace this social progress. Not just out of mercy for the criminals, but because death penalty is wrong and “does not work”. It does not deter crime. It does not relieve the pain of the families of the victims. And in Pope Francis’ words: it is “unacceptable” to kill hope itself. After all, Uganda’s motto is “For God and My country”. He ended his speech wishing that Uganda will join the international trend and abolish the death penalty and the European Commission will support all organizations working towards this change.
The next speaker was the French delegate to Uganda, Mr. Lionel Vignacq, charge d’affairs of France. In his speech, he emphasized that the death penalty was not humane and so Uganda is working very hard to ensure that they abolish it. There after it was stated that in France the death penalty was abolished in the 60’s and Uganda should also ensure that they also work towards the abolition of the death penalty.
The Next Speaker was the Member of Parliament of Uganda, Hon Jova Kamateka. She said that the 10th parliament was together with FHRI in this fight for the abolition of the death penalty and that they will work very hard to ensure that the parliament passes the bill to abolish the death penalty in Uganda.
The next speaker invited was Ellen Eva Ssuubi, Executive Director Wells of Hope Ministries. In her speech, she informed about the plight of children whose parents are on death row, the sadness that surrounds the children and how it is at times hard to explain to the children what to be sentenced to the death row means. And so removing the death penalty will be good for the children who are the forgotten victims.
A presentation of the poem by the Wells of Hope children in primary was shared for the whole audience which was entitled “I am Innocent” which depicts the life that these children go through after their parents have been imprisoned and how they suffer and only wish people would support them.
After, one of the children whose father is in prison on death row gave a testimony and his plea to the government to abolish the death penalty by saying that when their fathers are imprisoned the children lose hope.
Later, there were some testimonies from different ex inmates from prison.
We thank Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (F.HR.I) for their continued support for children with parents in prison.
On 6th October 2016, Watoto Children’s Church represented by Pastor Bernard conducted a bible study at Wells of Hope Junior School. This started with devotions which were led by the children.
Pastor Bernard prayed for the children and ushered them into the word of God. He taught the children about Attitude and Gratitude which was the theme of the session. He took a reading from the book of John 3:16.He said as per the scripture, God has given us a free gift but we have rejected it in most cases which he said was attitude.
He talked about gratitude as a blessing and attitude as more of complaining and being unappreciative. He then told children to embrace gratitude by loving each other because they are children of GOD; they ought to have a heart of gratitude through appreciating what God has given unto us than have an attitude of complaining all time for what is missing in their lives. He urged the children on loving God and Thinking about Him or His word more often as they do think about the people they love and God loves us the most.
The children read the day’s memory verse from 2Corinthians 1:20 where they were told to create an object of their choice writing on the verse and the relevance of the word attitude and gratitude in it.
We thank Watoto Children's Church for their continued support for the children.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.