Kigo Prison: Another day in prison

Kigo Thomas I am by name Thomas [not his real name] born in December 1985 in Uganda. I am the fourth born amongst seven children. I was raised in Jinja and I attended a Primary School and later Secondary School, from which I proceeded to Makarere College for my advanced certificate. I was still coordinating my family business and volunteering in youth non-government organisations. I am still single, but with one kid from whom I do hope that upon my release I will go back to my family.

When I was arrested it was a very tough day for me, since it was my first time, but on the contrary it was real and happening. This was September 2008 when I entered prison on charges of possessing a firearm without valid papers for it. I stayed on remand for some time until later pleaded guilty and was sentence to eight years of which am remaining with four. It was hard to handle after my date of conviction, but I gained strength and hope that at the end of every dark cloud there is a silver lining.

Of course prison is prison, it's nobody's house where one will want to wake up and make his own rules or orders. That is why it is regarded as the last option in reforming a person positively. A day's life in prison begins with general counting of inmates, having porridge for breakfast and later going to the shambas (fields) to work. Prison is a changed arm of government aiming at reforming a person. By 3 pm prisoners come out of the shambas, proceeding back to prison. We do have our supper at 4 or 5 pm and general lock up is taken so that by 7 pm we are in a world where outside people take us to be failures, therefore, getting little support from them except from prison itself and its own programmes of rehabilitation prisoners. Generally it is not a hectic day in prison as people do believe and we take it as it is.

I have been able to refresh my brains through the advanced class that has been set off and do hope to change my life positively. I am sorry to say but thank God for my being in prison, because I have learnt a lot, i.e. sharing the little I have, to be tolerant, and above all getting holy confirmation in prison. Sincerely this has been big for me at the moment and please thumbs up for the officer in charge and staff of Kigo Prison for their big role in reforming me and my fellow inmates. For I see a bright future, a future of a reformed, changed and responsible citizen who will benefit my family, my nation, and the world as a whole, with God being my helper.

Second Chance Support is like the holy spirit which was sent by God to strengthen Jesus' disciples, i.e. it means a lot to me as a prisoner because it has given me the hope, courage and go ahead signal along the path I am taking to reformation and other prisoners as a whole. I do say that this is a good spirit and I also ask Second Chance Support to introduce debate- and drama groups in prisons as this is one of the ways a prisoner can express his/her inner feelings on certain issues. And lastly I thank the whole team that has taken up this task in prisons an also thank the sponsors for their unconditional love for prisoners. Let me say: keep the spirit, passion you have for us and may the almighty God reward you abundantly. For God and my country.