In Mbandaka in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Daughters of Charity look after the prisoners in the town's penitentiary centre on their own, providing them with food and working to train prisoners who want to be reintegrated into society when they leave prison.
The lack of state resources is such that the living conditions of the prisoners are disastrous and the pandemic has only accentuated the famine, insalubrity and lack of hygiene to which they are subjected.
Pascaline Biyoudi, this integration project was entirely financed thanks to donations from the Rosalie Projects platform in order to buy equipment and seeds to create and cultivate vegetable gardens within the prison. The aim was to prepare prisoners for their release from prison by enabling them to become autonomous through an income-generating activity.
Let us listen to the testimony of Mr Obed Yoka, a prisoner like all the others who nevertheless has the responsibility of leading his friends through the prison and ensuring that discipline is respected as much as possible:
"We have a feeling of gratitude towards the Daughters of Charity and all the benefactors who have thought of us; I am talking to you, I have children. If I manage to send them to school, it is thanks to the support I received from the Sisters of the Daughters of Charity, who allow me to sell my vegetables, chives and other herbs. Often, it is Sister Pascaline who helps me with my children who are outside; and soon outside the prison I will be able to take care of my boys. Thank you, for all your blessings.
In three months, the harvest has also provided the vegetable needs of the 300 prisoners.
Through this agricultural training and outdoor work, this cultivation project has finally enabled the 50 selected prisoners to prepare for their release and to alleviate their psychological fragility in detention.
Sister Pascaline adds:
"It is our duty to care for the needs of others, and it is thanks to your donations that we are able to carry out this work. In the name of the whole community and in the name of the beneficiaries, we can only express our gratitude by reiterating our thanks to you. You have shared this project with us, that of supervising and reintegrating people leaving the penitentiary. Your donation is a link in a relationship that demonstrates love for others. Thank you for everything.
Thanks to you, 50 men are ready to reintegrate and take their lives in their own hands, and prison conditions have improved thanks to the vegetables available for the 300 men in Mbandaka prison.