February 25, 2017 - Women prisoners released in Africa

In January 2016 when I joined Fr Fidelis O.M.I. for Mass at Langata Women's Prison in Nairobi, Kenya, I met a husbandless mother of four who had served seven months of her six year sentence. In Kenya a fine can replace a prison sentence, but this woman had no family or friends to pay her fine of US$2,000 ....so she was facing six long years in prison...while a relative struggled to care for her four children. 

So I emailed Hong Kong, borrowed the money from a kind friend  ...money was sent by Western Union...(... later donated by another kind friend).  I gave the money to Fr Fidelis and he arranged the woman's release in early March 2016.  Woman is the one on left in orange top:


That was 2016.

In January 2017 in Lesotho I joined another Oblate prison chaplain, Fr Tanti O.M.I. for Masses at Maseru Central Correctional Institution - one Mass in the men's section, and one in the women's section. At the end of the women's Mass when Fr Tanti invited me to say a few words, while speaking I suddenly remembered what happened the year before ...and as I thought to myself "oh oh, here we go again" I told the Jan 2016 release story and said I could give Fr Tanti US$2,000 to help secure the release of one or two women....preferably women with health issues (60% of female inmates in Lesotho are HIV positive) and with several children. Thanks to the kindness of kind HK friends, I was in a position to make the donation straight away.

The Good News message below from Fr Tanti tells the rest of the story: SEVEN women released! God is good! And so are the kind people in HK who made this story possible.


February 23, 2017:

Dear  Fr. John

i am very happy to realize that you have come to the end of your trip to Africa and Dubai. i have also watched the SABC Prograrme from the link you send me. its really challenging to see how serious South Africa has taken your campaign.


we have at last finalized the payments of the fines for the female inmates in Lesotho. your donation of 26 thousand rand was able to pay for 7 inmates. they were very happy and emotional about that act of charity. they were all from three districts, 3 from Maseru, 2 from Mohaleshoek and 1 from mafeteng . so the process took time be course i had to made the payments to a district office where the inmate comes from. that means i had to travel to other districts to make the payments.

i, on their behalf would like to express our sincere gratitude to you and to the people of Hong-Kong for this donation. may the Good Lord bless the hand that gives. we will continue to pray for you. we hope you will continue to assists in the many challenges that we have in regard to Lesotho prisoners especially boys and girls who would need some funding for their studies after their release from the prisons.


please find attached copies of letters expressing thanks from the officer commanding and inmates themselves.

wishing you all the best in your ministry


Fr. Tanki Mosenye