As we are all trying to adjust to the new normal (of COVID-19), we are glad that through your support we continue to restore hope to them especially during this time.
Yesterday, we conducted our first workshop with the caregivers of children with imprisoned parents. This time around the theme was; Armed And Equipped: To Parent, Be Financially Stable And Lead A Healthy Life. During the Workshop, the caregivers shared some of the lessons they have learnt from COVID, some of which included: they have developed better saving skills in order to prepare for the future and uncertainties; they have learnt to spend wisely; and they have got to know their children better. They were encouraged to not to lose hope despite the prevailing circumstances of COVID-19.
Mrs Marjorie Lunkuse Lwanga, the Deputy Executive Director encouraged the caregivers to always carry out their responsibilities as parents towards the children entrusted to them.
During the workshop, Mrs Esther Ssembatya of Wezesha Impact facilitated about marketing and financial literacy. She urged the caregivers to consider a good price when buying items for their businesses; to know their competitors; and to know how to sell off their products.
She also encouraged them to consider the demand and supply of a commodity or service before starting any business.
The caregivers were also engaged in a very interactive session about HIV and AIDS which was facilitated by friends from the AIDS Information Centre.
They were urged to always do HIV tests in order to know their status; to stay faithful to their partners; and to adhere to treatment for healthy positive living. They were enlightened about the use of PrEP and PEP medication as well.
Today we were privileged to participate in a very interactive training about communication, leadership and management. The training was conducted by Richard Egesa and Sydney Walusimbi from Purpose Uganda.
During the Communication session, Sydney facilitated about the modes of communication; importance of communication; and barriers of communication. Some of the principles of communication he facilitated about included: relaying feedback; timely responses; and listening.
He encouraged the team to be assertive while communicating with one another. He also emphasized the use of “I feel” statements while communicating.
Richard facilitated about leadership and management. He shared that the difference between leadership and management is that good leaders influence behavior while managers handle systems or processes. He urged the team to embrace growth, have goals and belong.
He emphasized the need for teamwork; growth (both individually and as an organisation) and the importance of having goals. He urged the team to carry the lid; not to settle but to always aim higher. He also urged the team to be good mentors.
Prison outreach is the core of our work. With the help of volunteers, the organization is able to reach out to the inmates through Health & Psychosocial support. Yesterday, a refresher training was conducted; and the team was reminded about the prison DOs & DONTs as well as the organisation statement of faith.
During the opening remarks, Ellen Eva Ssuubi, Wells of Hope’s Executive Director shared an overview about the organisation; she explained the organisation vision, mission, goals and programs.
She encouraged staff to be more more compassionate as they reach out to inmates and their families. During the session, she quoted Isaiah 61:1 and she encouraged team by saying that it is their role to take good news to people in prison in fulfilment of the great commission. She also quoted Matthew 25:36 (“…I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.“) and she emphasized that the above scriptures guide evangelists when they go to prison to preach the gospel; and when talking to caregivers. She urged the team to be compassionate to that vision.
Apostle Sunday Kafeero, Wells of Hope volunteer in the Programs Department shared the organisational statement of faith. He shared his personal life of how he joined the organisation. He went on to share his experience of going to prison; he shared that he went to Upper prison Luzira for the very first time when his father was in prison and the second time he went back was to preach gospel to inmates.
Apostle Sunday’s major aim in life is to win souls of those who are oppressed. He thanked Wells of Hope for giving him the opportunity to serve God. He encouraged the team to believe God in everything they do; to be true Christians in the eyes of God; to be self-driven; to be independent; to be accountable; to always stand together as one body, which is the church.
Marjorie Lunkuse Lwanga, Wells of Hope’s Deputy Executive Director shared the prison DOs and DONTs with the team. She shared that going to prison is a blessing especially when we see lives changing. She urged the team to be obedient and abide by the prison rules and regulations at all times.
Yesterday was a fun filled day as we celebrated Women’s Day with the formerly incarcerated women. The women were extremely happy as they interacted with one another; they had a manicure and pedicure treat; and they shared a lovely meal.
We were honored to have Ms Samalie Wakholi, Head of Sexual Gender Violence Department at the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who graced the occasion as the Guest of Honor. The women interacted with her and shared their concerns and pleas which included: while sentencing, court should differentiate punishments given to first time offenders from those given to those who have been to prison before; court should consider expectant mothers and women imprisoned with their babies; and among other issues.
Samalie encouraged the women to always speak the truth; that they shouldn’t be convinced by the manipulative lawyers to plead guilty when they are innocent as a pretext of getting lenient sentences; that they should avoid giving bribes to police officers and those that promise them to get over the case.
Instead, they should try to get lawyers to represent them; try as much as possible to sensitize women that are challenged with the law, especially those in prison to try as much as possible and write to the DPP’s office to attend to their files just like the men do because they often receive more requests from incarcerated men than those from incarcerated women. “When faced with a bad experience, we should use it to learn rather than to curse.” she added.
During the celebrations, the women were extremely happy to interact with Ms Susan Burton. Founder of A New Way of Life USA.
Labor exportation is undeniably one of the most sought-after source of income for Ugandans at the moment, however Parents who migrate from Uganda to other countries in pursuit of work often do not consider the effect this has on the children that are left behind. In most cases the children are neither consulted nor informed about the decisions of their parents but instead are left with relatives, friends or in institutions and are subjected to growing up without proper parental love that they ought to receive from their primary caregivers who in this case are their biological parents. This is an infringement on their human rights.
Wells of Hope has as thus conducted a pilot research to assess the impact of Labor migration to the children in Uganda. Click here to read Our report called “Children in the Dark” which we believe is a voice for these children has recommendations we hope can be considered to increase positive outcomes for these children.
Our goal and hope is that people, local and international institutions, and government departments working on issues of Children in Uganda will use this report to ensure that this group of children that has been ignored since time immemorial is able to enjoy their full human rights.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts about the report and suggestions about what can be done to ensure that migrant workers’ children in Uganda are not kept in the dark. Reach us on +256-772-650-787 or email us on email@example.com