On 13th September, a welcome home party for the residents was held at the Women Safe Home. It was such an exciting day that showered them with love. In attendance were the formerly incarcerated women who congratulated them upon being released and gave them a brief of how to resettle easily back in their communities, Friends of the home, and volunteers at the safe home. The residents applauded the Safe Home for taking them in and for encouraging them while still in prison as they had not figured out how they would easily encounter life outside prison. They were happy for the love shown to them and prayed for blessings upon each and everyone involved in this work and specifically Susan Burton for thinking about them and caring for their well-being.
They shared various stories of their lives, ranging from their growing up, how they lived their lives before arrest, matters that led to their arrest, prison life, and their experience of living at the safe home. It was a fun moment for each and every one. They cut cake and shared picture moments with everyone.
From the stories told, the ladies embraced story telling as a way of relieving stress and easily forgetting the past instances to embrace the new life ahead. They were interviewed one at a time about their life experiences especially about their life in prison and living at the safe home. We anticipate doing it as an ongoing activity at the home.
The residents also had a dinner at one of the top restaurants in town; Café Javas sponsored by Mama Joann Dolan Martin one of our friends. This was also a welcome party for a resident that missed out on the general welcome party; who was welcomed with a cake and a congratulatory song by the restaurant staff for the troubles she had been managed to encounter during her one and a half years’ stay in prison. She shed tears of joy and later shared that she had been treated as a queen. The residents were delighted and concluded that they had never been to such a place or even tasted such food and had no dreams of ever eating that food. They applauded Wells of Hope for loving them so much considering that they had been out of prison and expected to be stigmatised which was not the case when they reached out to the safe home. One of them said that even her own family could not treat her with a portion of the love she felt she was receiving at the time.