Since the Cameroon congress we have had the following regional activities:
Unfortunately the work plan has not been achieved due to lack of funds for training and support for local prison Pastoral Care programs.
Africa is a continent with a total of 52 nations all of which are self independent. Due to its low level of economic development a number of challenges are uniform and rime is equally high as people eke to live and survive in the continent.
It is with this in momind that a number of governments have established corrections facilities to deal with those who break law and order. The offenders are either put in for punishment or for rehabilitation.
It is at this point that a number of people and institutions step in to assist the offender to change his behaviour and live an honourable life again.
Chaplaincy is one of the major instruments that prison regimes use to reform the offenders serving prison time because of past crimes committed.
Chaplains are allowed to operate in prisons either as paid up prison officers of government or as volunteers offering free services supported by their church communities. They offer spiritual and psychological counselling to inmates for rehabilitation.
Our vision is driven by the believe that we are all created in the image and likeness of God and the crime committed only distorts the original intention of God for man to live a perfect and holy life. The role of the chaplains therefore is to reclaim this lost image and enable the offender to reclaim his lost dignity.
Chaplains also do sensitisation within church communities through outreach programs and as they accompany released inmates back to their homes in order to ease reintegration.
We facilitate family reunion where possible and connect those who are ready to organisations that can offer them credit facilities for startup businesses or give them tools to start workshops.
Though the governments may avail opportunities for formal and vocational training there is always the challenges of stationery so the chaplaincy in many countries subsidises by donating the hardwares and exam fees for their training. Such rehabilitative skills include tailoring, bakery, weaving, gardening, shoe mending etc.
In some countries medical care and prescribed meals to sick inmates is also subsidised by the volunteer chaplains and medics who work in the chaplaincy.
Due to poor conditions in prisons some chaplaincy work include construction of toilets and other sanitary amenities for prisoners.
Chapels in the prisons have also been availed through the good will of donors who come into the prison through the chaplaincy and this has provided conducive environment for evangelisation and administration of sacraments and other rites.
We also facilitate free legal representation for inmates who can't afford lawyers by pleading with Catholic lawyers to offer probono services.
Fr. Peter Kimani - ICCPPC AFRICA