TEAMS has an important Prison Outreach Programme and is one of the few NGO’s in Uganda to have authorisation from the government to work in Uganda’s prisons. Prison governors claim that since we have started our programme of Ministry and support, violence within prisons has decreased dramatically. Life in any prison is difficult, but Uganda prisons offer zero comfort and minimal facilities.
TEAMS has established churches inside some of the larger prisons and have 71 pastor volunteers serving the north of the country who regularly visit and minister to inmates. When possible we also provide basic toiletries and run adult literacy and vocational training courses. We also provide assistance to help with resettlement within their communities when the times comes for release!
Recently, our chairman his wife (who is also a TEAMS Board member) and their daughter and son in law visited Gulu main and ladies prisons, where there are 1,500 inmates. They were able to meet and talk with many of those serving time or simply on remand awaiting trial. Supporters from the UK had contributed toothbrushes and money (to purchase toothpaste) which, with the warden’s consent, were distributed.
They were allowed rare access to the sick bay and also to the TB ward. Conditions are extremely poor with many people crammed into a windowless room with “beds” being thin mattresses on the floor. The fact that people from “outside” took the time and trouble to visit them and bring a small practical gift was greatly appreciated.
Neither cameras nor mobile phones are allowed inside so we cannot show you any pictures other than what it looks like from the outside. Shades of a colonial past……
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