It’s a great pleasure to report that Wells of Hope Ministries hosted Dr Bahiyyah Muhammad and Nick Cannon from Howard University, USA. Dr Muhammad was accompanied by her husband, Muntaquim Muhammad and their children, Jian Muhammad and Jaelah Muhammad. Nick was accompanied by Jordan Crafton. The team was in the country from 30th April to 5th May 2019. Dr Muhammad is a professor from the College of Sociology and Criminology at Howard University and Nick is one of her students. The two are conducting a project about Maintaining Family Bonds With A Parent In Prison and the main aim of their visit to Wells of Hope was to learn how the organization in partnership with correctional institutions like Luzira Prisons, enhances family bonding. Through this project Dr Muhammad and Nick’s seek to highlight best practices that help to acknowledge the incarcerated, their children, families and communities that are left behind.
They interacted with the children with incarcerated parents at Wells of Hope High School and Wells of Hope Junior School, both located in Nakaseke district. The children shared their testimonies, about their life before joining Wells of Hope and after joining the organization. “when Wells of Hope Ministries took me to see my father in prison for the very first time, he could not recognize me, he asked me 3 times who I was after which he believed that I was the one. So I am glad that through Wells of Hope my relationship with my father kept on becoming better every time I visited him,” said Sarah. Her father recently passed on in prison.
During the round table discussion, the children also highlighted that through prison visits conducted by Wells of Hope, they are able to interact with their parents face-to-face and that they get ample time during the visit. Other than prison visits, the children bond with their parents through the letters they write to each other. Children share with their parents about home and during the breaks, they go back home and share with their relatives about their parents; hence bridging the gap between the inmate and his family.
Dr Muhammad and Nick were very impressed by the children’s life stories; in his own words, Nick said, “There’s so much love in this room; and the love that you have for your parents and your families. This process, school and what you’re building here should be spread around the world.”
“What I have seen today is the truth. You have mastered your stories; when you master your narrative, you become liberated. And when you’re liberated, that means you will make it to a position where you never turn back ,” said Dr Muhammad.
The visitors were hosted on 2 media houses, 91.3 Capital FM and NBS TV; they shared about their project and the plight of children with incarcerated parents. They were accompanied by Francis Ssuubi, Wells of Hope founder; who shared about how the organization intervenes in the lives of children with incarcerated parents.
Dr Muhammad and her family accompanied 90 children to visit their parents in prison on 30th April. She was impressed by the way the parents bonded with their children face-to-face; how the parents shared a lovely meal with their children and how the parents were engaged in a parent-teacher meeting. She said that through the one-on-one sessions with the child’s teacher, a parent is engaged in parenting.
During the visit, Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba got to know more about Wells of Hope Ministries and appreciated the organization for what it does to support the children with incarcerated parents.
We thank Dr Muhammad for her continued support for the work that Wells of Hope does. We thank Nick Cannon who donated funds for constructing Wells of Hope High School. We thank Gen. Muhoozi for his generosity towards the work that Wells of Hope does.