Upon arrival, Quniana expressed her happiness to have come to Uganda and was looking forward to getting to learn more about Wells of Hope and the work we do with children with parents in prison.
On Monday, Quniana interacted with some members of the National Children’s Authority (NCA) and Girl Child Network (GCN), Wells of Hope partners. She was accompanied by Wells of Hope staff who included: Ellen Eva Ssuubi Wells of Hope Executive Director, Marjorie Lunkuse Wells of Hope Deputy Executive Director and Jacqueline Sekyana Wells of Hope Communications Officer.
Mr. Kizza, the Executive Director for NCA talked about the transition of the NCA from the National Council for Children (NCC). They are responsible for carrying out independent Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) on issues about children.
Quniana interacted with the inmates under Wells of Hope care in Upper prison Luzira and Women prison Luzira. The visit was commenced by a meeting with David Okiling, the Welfare Officer at Upper prison Luzira, who praised the work that Wells of Hope is doing in prison especially the food supplements for the elderly and sick in prison as the prison only supplies one meal a day and so the supplements are very much appreciated. He went on to say that the prison does not have the capacity to support the prisoners’ families and they can only do such through the support of organizations like Wells of Hope that can reach out to the families and support them.
Quniana and the Wells of Hope team interacted with inmates on death row and those serving long sentences whose children are under Wells of Hope care. The inmates shared some testimonies about the work that Wells of Hope has done for them, which included educating their children, providing good welfare support to their children, among others. The highlight of the visit was that one parent stood up and shared about how his daughter came to visit him and he asked her to pray but she said to pray in English; though he could not speak the language, he was very impressed that she could pray in English and was very proud of her.
Quniana encouraged the inmates that their children love them very much and did not expect anything from them expect to just be there for them and always remember that there is nothing they could do that could stop their children from loving them. She went on to encourage them to always stay in touch with their children as that is all they need and not money. She encouraged them to keep the faith strong and they will one day be victorious.
Quniana visited the children with parents in prison at Wells of Hope Junior School.
Quniana accompanied by some Wells of Hope team members were hosted by Gloria Nanfuka, a presenter on the mid-morning show at 104.1 Power FM and later interacted with the children with parents in prison at Wells of Hope High School.
At the radio station the team talked about the effects of parental imprisonment on children and how the Uganda prison system is not supporting children with parents in prison.
In the afternoon, the team went to Wells of Hope High school. They were welcomed with a group of girls doing a traditional dance with drums, Quniana was so excited and very happy.
The children presented a short play about effects of parental imprisonment. Peter 17 years and Mary 17 years shared their testimonies about how their lives positively changed when they joined Wells of Hope. One child said he had never seen shoes or even so many books in his life until when he joined Wells of Hope.
Quniana was accompanied by Wells of Hope team members to visit two of the families of children under Wells of Hope care. With warm hugs, the family members of both families welcomed Quniana and the Wells of Hope team.
In the first family to be visited, Benaletta a grandmother of David 5 years and Annet 7 years (both at Wells of Hope Junior School) said that at first, she was scared of letting go of her grandchildren to Wells of Hope, but with the stories the children share with her during holidays, she became calm and accepted that the children were in good hands. Silivano, the children's grandfather was grateful for the help; he said that their grandchildren got shoes and eat well. “Ever since the imprisonment of our son, our family has been struggling financially & emotionally but with the intervention of Wells of Hope Ministries, we believe life will get better now that the burden of these 2 children has been reduced” said the grandparents.
The last day of the study week was full of emotions and a lot of love from the group, Quniana was very excited and happy that the week had come to an end and that she had learnt so much.
The team shared some of their highlights of the week and Quniana thanked the team for being so professional and very caring and loving towards her and that she looked forward to the time she would come back to visit.
She was very happy that Wells of Hope encourages counseling as the children need it very much and Wells of Hope should always remind children that they are special and beautiful and that they are important.
We thank Quniana Futrell and everyone she worked with to ensure that she attends this memorable week at Wells of Hope Ministries. We thank National Children's Authority, Girl Child Network and Uganda Prisons Service for their continued support.