Bringing hope to Uganda’s prisons
When William and Everest were imprisoned in a Uganda prison in the 1980s, both of them experienced a powerful conversion as they came to know about the hope and new life available through Jesus. With a new dedication and commitment to follow Christ, William and Everest were eager to serve the Lord when they were released from prison in the 1990s.
They felt a strong calling to return to the prisons to minister to the prisoners and their families. They had firsthand knowledge of the many challenges that prisoners face, both during their prison term as well as when they are released and have to try to find work and support themselves and their families. It is not only the prisoners themselves who face steep challenges; wives and children of prisoners often face huge challenges in financial provision and getting the children through school when their husbands and fathers are in prison.
William and Everest’s vision to reach out to prisoners gave birth to a ministry called Hope Prison Foundation, which has been an MCC partner since 2005. Hope Prisons engages in various activities to support prisoners and their families in the Kampala area:
|Everest, back left, and William, far right, with several of the children sponsored by Hope Prisons|
– They make frequent visits to the prisons to provide spiritual teaching, counseling, and mentorship to current prisoners
– They sponsor 48 children of prisoners to attend primary schools, which is funded by MCC’s Global Families program
– They have a revolving fund which is currently benefiting 50 women, where they give out small grants for wives of prisoners to begin small businesses.
– They offer support and encouragement for prisoners to reintegrate into society and reunite with their families when they are released from prison. In the upcoming months, they will be beginning a brick making project to provide employment opportunities for ex prisoners.
Muigai and I have really enjoyed getting to know William and Everest, and we have been inspired by their strong faith and their commitment to prisoners and their families. Next week I will share a story of one of many people who have been assisted through Hope Prisons.