Forty-three years ago, on 16th June 1976, ten thousand black South African students took to the streets, marching as a symbol of protest because of the poor quality of their education.Two years before, in 1974,… More
Francis Ssuubi, Wells of Hope founder was hosted as a guest speaker during the fellowship held by Rotary Club of Wandegeya on 2nd April 2019. He shared about the impact of parental imprisonment on the mental health of children. He shared some of the necessities for children’s proper growth; and these included: play, shelter, food, sleep, among others
At Wells of Hope, inmates are at the heart of all the work we do. Through interventions like Prison evangelism, their hope is restored; they come to believe that prison is not their final destiny but a transition. Through evangelism, we reach out to the inmates with the word of God and fellowship together. One of the ways we conduct evangelism is through Easter In Prison, an annual event which is conducted by 104.1 Power FM in partnership with Wells of Hope Ministries.
This year around, the event was held on 13th April 2019 and it was held at Murchison Bay prison, Luzira. A team of 12 from 104.1 Power FM were accompanied by Marjorie Lunkuse, Wells of Hope Deputy Executive Director and Lucy Namakula, Wells of Hope Assistant Communications Officer. The team was warmly welcomed by the prison staff and the inmates.
Despite the cloudy weather, the inmates and the visitors were overjoyed during the event. The event was commenced by a heartwarming praise and worship session; the visitors and the inmates expressed their excitement through wide smiles and loud applause.
Ronald Tumwesigye, one of the visitors shared his testimony; he encouraged the inmates by saying that the fact that God turned his life around for the better, He would do the same for them. “God has a plan foreveryone here,” he said.
The Officer in Charge of Murchison Bay prison thanked 104.1 Power FM and Wells of Hope Ministries for extending love to the inmates by celebrating the festive season with them. He encouraged everyone to utilize the lent season and commune more with God.
Henry Katongole, 104.1 Power FM’s Sales and Marketing Head encouraged the inmates to embrace a transformed life through Christ. He encouraged those who were wrongly accused to forgive those who wronged them; and those who were rightly put in prison, to use their time in prison to allow God to transform them for the better. Henry encouraged the inmates to embrace Christ’s love and quoted 1John 3:1, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!…” In his own words, Henry said, “If God loved us so much that he sent his only son to die for us, then what won’t he do for us when we ask him?”
The main highlight of the day was that 95 inmates gave their lives to Christ!
During the event, the inmates shared a delicious cake which was donated by 104.1 Power FM.
104.1 Power FM also donated items among which included: football jerseys, footballs, a trophy, jerrycans, buckets, soap, soda, food, among others.
We thank 104.1 Power FM for their continued support to the inmates.
It’s with such great joy to report that Wells of Hope was privileged to host Troy Williams on recommendation from Susan Burton back in USA. Troy is the founder of Restorative Media, an NGO based in USA; whose mission is to develop transformative stories for social change. On 18th May 2019, he interacted with the children with incarcerated parents at Wells of Hope Junior School and some of the formerly incarcerated women.
He encouraged the children to focus on their dreams and always be hopeful. “Having a parent in prison should never stop you from achieving your dream,” said Troy.
The formerly incarcerated women happily shared their stories with Troy. He encouraged them to always tell their stories for they do not know the power that they hold and how far they (their stories) can take them. Troy shared his own story which helped the ladies to get more confidence about what stories mean to the world.
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.
One of the ways Wells of Hope Ministries enhances family bonding is through children’s prison visits. On 30th April 2019, 90 children visited their parents in 6 prisons which included: Upper Prison Luzira, Murchison Bay, Women Prison Luzira, Kitalya prison, Nakasongola prison and Jinja prison. They were accompanied by Dr Bahiyyah Muhammad, from Howard University, USA; Muntaquim Muhammad, her husband and their children; Jian Muhammad and Jaelah Muhammad.
The Wells of Hope children were extremely overjoyed during the visit most especially 11 children who were visiting their parents for the very first time. It was such a joy to see the parents and children reunite and bond.
Upon arrival at the correctional centers, the Wells of Hope team was warmly welcomed by the prison officers. The children and parents were overjoyed to meet again for the very first time in 2019. During the visit, the children expressed immense joy; the younger children were seen carried by their fathers and mothers, on their laps as the older children engaged their mothers in harmonious conversation.
Below were some of the main highlights:
- 11 children met their parents for the very first time.
- Prisca (5 years) and Joseph (3 years)’s father was shocked to see his children as he had left Prisca a baby and Joseph not yet born. He couldn’t identify them and asked for guidance to identify them.it was exasperating to watch them reunite after a very long time. “I left when Joseph was still in her mother’s womb and Prisca was just a year; thank you Wells of Hope for enabling me to meet my children again!” he exclaimed.
- Agnes (10 years old) and Paul (5 years)’s dad on seeing his children, he couldn’t hold his tears because he couldn’t apprehend how fast they had grown. The children told him how life back at home is and how they wish he could go back.
- Parents expressed a lot of enthusiasm as they interacted with the teachers. The parents discussed with the teacher about their children’s academic and social well-being. “You’re my hope right now; all I pray for is that through Wells of Hope, you will be able to attain education, something I was not able to,” a mother was heard encouraging her daughter.
- “Please remember me in your prayers as I prepare to face judgment soon; I still want to experience this moment with my children,” David (not real name) told his 4 children. The children were crestfallen; Angella, the oldest said, “Daddy I hope to see you again.”
Dr Bahiyyah Muhammad expressed her sincere gratitude to Wells of Hope Ministries for facilitating children to visit their parents so that they can bond with them; and for engaging parents in parenting through parent-teacher sessions. She was also impressed by the fact that the parents were able to prepare a sumptuous meal which they happily shared with their children.
We thank Grace Fellowship Duarte who facilitated this visit.