January 12, 2017 By Arthur Ben Tucker
Prison Ministry, a women’s wing of the United Methodist Church on Friday December 23, 2016, donated cooked food, assorted food items and Christmas packages to inmates at the Female Correctional Centre-former Special Court complex in Freetown.
They started with their charity work in the morning with a visit to the female prison, donating assorted food items and Christmas packages to female inmates in the presence of the prison’s authority.
Delivering her keynote address, the Regional Missionary, Mrs. Finda Queuwah, reiterated the ministry’s commitment to the female prisoners and the juvenile at the Remand Home, Kingtom in Freetown.
She stated that they have various ministries within the Church, adding that the Prison Ministry was one of the agents of the church that have been involved in preaching the gospel and also providing psychosocial support to women behind bars.
“We are also involved in feeding programmes and distribution of needed items to the female prisoners including those at the Remand Home, Kingtom. Also, we deem it necessary to always be in constant touch with women in detention,” she noted, stating that they were moving into their fifth year in a successful charity mission.
Mrs. Queuwah disclosed that they were in consultation with stakeholders of the UMC to extend their charity programme to all Districts across the country. She further said with support from her colleagues and their Bishop, they were working relentlessly to ensure that women behind bars were not left alone.
According to her, they have been able to reintegrate and rehabilitate most of the female inmates released from detention over the years, hoping that those still in prison would one day be freed and seen as agent of change in their societies.
She, however, stressed that they have been very instrumental in empowering female inmates to take the lead in development interventions in their localities, maintaining that they have been equally advocating for the release of those pre-trial detainees.
“With support from our agency, we’re here today to celebrate with these inmates so that they can feel relieve in the absence of their relatives,” she said, adding that they have also been providing prayers and skill training to the women.
From the female prison, Prison Ministry continued its generosity at the Remand Home-Kingtom, where dozens of juvenile inmates had gathered for the Christmas feeding programme.
During the feeding programme the inmates, who were in a happy mood despite been detained, gladly received the items. Some explained how the Prison Ministry has been very supportive to them.
On his part, the officer in charge at the Remand Home, David Conteh heaped praised on the Prison Ministry and acknowledged the support the UMC women have been providing for the children.
He stated that they have 40 children at the Home, out of which 39 were boys and a girl. “No one has been convicted among the prisoners here.They are still standing trials in court.”
Mr. Conteh called on other organisation to follow the footstep of Prison Ministry in helping the home.