Adding Value to Women in Prison in Kenya through the GLS
In Lang’ata Women’s Remand Prison in Kenya, 110 women awaiting judgement on their court cases experienced their first GLS event. The 700 women incarcerated in the prison’s maximum security area will soon experience a GLS as well.
Kenya has come a long way in regards to prison reform and fair justice in the court system. When prison reforms began happening in Kenya, women prisoners were eventually allowed to stay with their babies up to the age of four. This prison has a daycare, kindergarten and nursery school. This prison also offers activities for the women, including farming, baking, tailoring, hairdressing, etc. They are encouraged to occupy their time enhancing their skills so when they have served their time, they are equipped to work and take care of themselves and their families.
The GLS event was introduced to these women at a critical time in their lives, when a single message has the potential to change the trajectory of their future.
“When we showed the John Maxwell talk from 2016 and the Christine Caine talk from 2010, the ladies were shouting ‘God values people!’ and ‘God values me!’,” says Miriam Chumbi, key leader for the GLS in Kenya.
“They also repeated, ‘God values people I don’t like.’”
The event continued with a local leader and facilitator, Rev. Grace Bukachi, who shared a story about when she was in Bible College, and how God challenged her to value people no matter where they are. “She talked about how she met a pastor at the prison, and was moved by God to regularly connect with three ladies in prison who were in great need and in a hopeless situation,” Miriam explains. “The women were on death row, and had been told they’d never to be released. But she visited and prayed with them until God did the impossible. These condemned women were released in subsequent years. One lady had been imprisoned for over 20 years!” And now these women, Kawira, Pauline and Anastasia, know both physical freedom and freedom in Jesus because Rev. Grace chose to value people, no matter where they are.
When the event was over, the women sang a song in Kiswahili, that translates to:
Be blessed. Be more blessed. Come back again, come again more, and when you come again, may you not find us.
They hope to be released and return to their lives as free women, using the GLS lessons they learned to embark on a new future, adding value to everyone around them.