Children’s Prison Visits is one of the major interventions through which Wells of Hope Ministries helps to bring families closer.
On 21st April 2016, 82 children visited their parents in five different prison which included; Luzira Upper Prison, Luzira Women Prison, Nakasongola Prison, Jinja Prison and Kitalya Prison. As always, the children were accompanied by Wells of Hope staff.
All the children under Wells of Hope care (both primary and secondary) merged at the head office from where they departed to the prisons. As always, the children were very excited; they could not wait to tell their parents what had transpired during their holidays and at school. “I cannot wait to see my father after three years, thank you so much Wells of Hope” said Swaum Nakyanzi (in secondary) who last saw her father in 2013. 6 children were visiting their parents for the very first time.
Below are some of the reports from the different prisons:
In Luzira Upper Prison, the parents were prepared for the children; they had laid mats and blankets for their children to be comfortable, each inmate with a “demarcated” area for his family!!! The parents were deeply engaged in conversation with their children. On many occasions, waves of laughter filled the air in the room. The parents attentively listened to their children as they told them about their holidays: Grace Mukebezi was heard telling the father, “jajja fell off a boda-boda, but she is now doing well.”
One child, Akram Matovu visited his father for the very first time. His father, Abdu was overjoyed when he saw him with his brother Hassan Matovu; “it is so amazing for me to hear my children speak English, I thought that they were going to end up like me who did not go to school. Thank you Wells of Hope for taking up my children.”
“It is Christmas again, for the children are here to see us!” exclaimed Emmanuel, one of the inmates. “Every time the children visit us, to us we call it Christmas because it is a very special day to us,” he added. Catherine, one of the new children said, “I am happy because I now know what my father looks like, he even resembles my brother Fred.” James, an inmate said “it is like a dream come true. When I was imprisoned, Harriet was a baby, a real baby, but now she has grown into a beautiful girl, oohhh thank you Wells of Hope, because I did not think that I would ever see my children; the mother does not have transport to bring them to visit me, in fact she last visited in 2014, but now I have hope that this is not the last time, there will be second term, third term, I am happy, words can’t express my inner feelings…”
In Jinja Prison, three children visited their parents for the first time. Denis, father of 8 year old Angela Nawangi at first failed to recognize his daughter: after a while, he recognized a family resemblance and could not believe that she was the baby he left a week old. With excitement, he warmly hugged her and immediately started dressing her up with bracelets he had made; it was such a great moment. “I left when Angela was just a week old but now she is old and also knows how to speak English,” said Denis.
In Kitalya Prison, as soon as Stephen (Betty Nabulondera’s father) set his eyes on the team from Wells of Hope, with a wide smile on his face he said, “Am very happy and filled with joy.”
“I thank God that my father’s sentence is now short and that he is no longer doing a lot of manual work but is now a supervisor of fellow inmates,” said Betty.
In Nakasongola Prison, Bonny, Marias Owomugisha’s (primary two) mother happily exclaimed, “Oh my God! you can now write a letter, I am very proud of you!”
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