Wells of Hope Ministries was founded in 2002 in Murchison bay Prison Luzira, Kampala by Francis Ssuubi where he was an inmate on remand for a period of 68 days. He was later acquitted after the charges were dropped.

Francis had a vocational school he had started, it was called Institute of Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering (IEEC). He would later leave the institute and started another one called Realine Polytechnic. His former partners in IEEC were annoyed and wanted to fail him, so they accused him falsely to not have paid for the institutes examination centre yet he had and bribed the police to have him imprisoned.

Francis was cast into prison, by then getting bail was difficult, but while in prison he had an encounter he says, that made him question God why he was in prison, he says he got a revelation that the reason was to do his will, and from that God revealed to him to start Wells of Hope.

While in prison, he wrote the Wells of Hope concept and constitution. During imprisonment, he discovered the inmates’ biggest worry is the situation of their families that they left behind especially their children. Francis saw families suffer, his Mother suffered a lot, something that affected her health, which deteriorated leading to her demise 8 months after Francis’s release from prison. So Francis learnt first-hand that Families pay a bigger price when their loved ones go to prison!
Francis, accompanied by some volunteers then started going to prison to preach; they used to praise and worship God. They started by preaching to inmates in Luzira Upper prison.  Through the sessions they shared with the inmates, the inmates’ hope was restored. They had hope in God that their families would be taken care of and that they would reunite with their loved ones one day.

In 2003 while reaching out to inmates on death row, life imprisonment and serving long sentences, Francis at Christmas time requested the inmates to give directions to their homes where they had left their families, then Francis and the volunteers went tracing for their children to give them Christmas gifts on behalf of their parents in prison. Indeed, when they would find these children, they celebrated them as “hidden treasures.” Most of the children had been told that their parents had passed away or they would never see them again.

In 2004 Francis and the volunteers started gathering these children from their homes, take them to one venue and celebrate Christmas parties with them. They would do this with support from friends. The children would together celebrate this day; they used to sing, dance, play together, get gifts and cut cake, something their parents could not afford to do for them behind bars.

However much the children celebrated Christmas, the volunteers realized that the children were out of school the whole year because their caregivers were not able to raise funds for the school fees. “Since the father of these 3 children was incarcerated, I am not able to cater for their welfare and also provide school fees for them through the hair plaiting that I do,” a mother of 3 children narrated. “So I usually take them to a school at the beginning of the term and after 3 weeks they chase them away for lack of school fees. What I do, I take them to another school; they study for 2 or 3 weeks and when they are chased away, they never go back to the same schools the whole year. So now I am stuck with no school fees for them to continue studying,” she added. Most of the mothers and grandmothers had almost the same stories.

Wells of Hope Ministries was officially launched on the 25th November 2005 by Hon. Timothy Lwanga , the Minister for Ethics and Integrity then.

In 2007, Wells of Hope Ministries started by paying school fees for the children. The children were studying from schools in their communities which were near their homes. This was possible with support from Wells of Hope friends who were touched by the need to educate children with parents in prison.

In 2010, Wells of Hope Ministries rented a facility which served as a school for the children. 53 children were brought from their homes where the situation was appalling with an aim of collectively providing them with a holistic education, counseling, shelter, food, clothing, medical treatment and above all, take them to visit their parents in prison of whom some had never met since they were born or they had been told that they had passed on. The children got to know that they are also loved and cherished like any other child and they share the same child rights.

In December 2011, the Wells of Hope Ministries purchased land in Kyajinjja, Semuto -Wakiso district. Construction work kicked off and at the moment, the ministry has a school called Wells of Hope Junior School which is a primary school. The school provides education and welfare support to children with parents in prison and has attracted a number of children from the community as well. The children are taken care of by a well-trained Teaching and Non-teaching staff. The organisation is renting premises in Semuto-Nakaseke District where Wells of Hope High School is located. It is a secondary school where children from Wells of Hope Junior School proceed for secondary education; after they have graduated from primary level.  The organisation also has children supported in vocational institutions. As a way of enhancing family bonding, the children visit their parents thrice a year (once every school term).

The ministry supports families of prisoners through projects which they embrace as a livelihood to sustain their families.
With a qualified and committed team, Wells of Hope is able to reach out to more prisoners and their families. Wells of Hope gets its support from partners and friends.

In 2018, Wells of Hope started Wells of Hope Safe Home, which is a Home where women that are being released from prison and cannot immediately go back to their communities can find shelter. It is a half way home where women are provided with accommodation facilities free of charge, are given meals, counselling services and get to acquire a skill that can enable them as they reintegrate into their communities after serving their prison sentence. They are also provided a start package that can help them start a new life.

In 2019, Wells of Hope started Family Based Care program which aims at ensuring that children with a parent in prison are raised in families. Generally, Children upon the arrest of their parents become homeless and lose the opportunity to be raised in a family where they can receive love and care. Through this program, we work in harmony with the Government alternative care guidelines where we place children under the care of foster care parents; we arrive at this after we have exhausted the possibility of either Parental or next of Kin care.

The ministry supports families of prisoners through projects which they embrace as a livelihood to sustain their families.

With a qualified and committed team, Wells of Hope is able to reach out to more prisoners and their families. Wells of Hope gets its support from partners and friends.