Who We Are...
In 2010, qualified Social Worker Godfrey Kule found himself in prison for 70 days after he was falsely accused of theft. He managed to get himself bailed, which is something many prisoners have little concept of, and once he was out of prison he was able to prove his innocence. During this time he lost everything he possessed and almost lost his life. However, the experience changed his life and he made a commitment to God that he would work to improve the lives of prisoners, many of whom are innocent, like him, but on remand waiting for a day in court to plead their case.
Centre for Hope and Life in and After Prison Initiative Uganda - CHALAPI-UG
A Voice for Social Justice
The Centre for Hope and Life in and After Prison Initiative Uganda - CHALAPI-UG is a Non Government Organisation based in Kasese Uganda. Founded and directed by Godfrey Kule and a team of board members, we are committed helping people who find themselves in prison and their families and also those who have been released from prison, by various interventions designed to educate, support and encourage.
Please read on to find out more about our work and learn how you can make a difference by supporting this life and community changing Initiative.
...and What We Do
Godfrey set up the Centre for Hope and Life In and After Prison Initiative, or CHALAPI for short, once he was cleared of all the accusations, and it has had a huge impact on the local population, both in and outside prison.
CHALAPI have a number of Board members, ably and generously lead by our Chairman Epafura Masereka, who is a respected local pharmacist. The Board are accountable for decisions made, and members of staff include a Pastor, nurses and an ex-prisoner too. All staff, including our Chairman and Godfrey, work voluntarily and receive NO regular income from CHALAPI.
Registered Nurse Jo Blaker from the UK met Godfrey in 2013, and has supported his work until 2021, including visiting yearly to catch up with his numerous activities and to work with him mainly in health education within the local Prisons.
Supporting detainees through the legal process, informing them of their rights and how to present themselves in court.
CHALAPI will approach court officials if an injustice or oversight appears to have been made.
If the rights of a prisoner have been violated CHALAPI will get involved, and will actively protect prisoners from any mistreatment.
A successful small claims court has been established, due to intervention from CHALAPI, to help those with a small debt stay out of prison, so that they can earn money and pay the debt off.
Godfrey is always available and ready to support anyone who contacts him, and offer advice should anyone need it.
Educating Prison Officers, Village Health Teams, Community Workers, Teachers, Pastors etc in Compassionate Whole Person Healthcare - the importance of the health of the body, mind, spirit and family when caring for a prisoner, patient or family member. It includes teaching on how this care can help sick people when medicines are limited, which is common in remote prisons and in mountainous areas.
This work is done in partnership with PRiME International
Improving the health of Prisoners with, among many other initiatives, medical outreaches to identify and treat communicable diseases, the installation of hand washing stations in the prisons to reduce the spread of diseases, cleaning and painting of prisons and police station cells to improve physical and mental health, installing solar panels to give light in the evenings to reduce fear and anxiety, and putting fresh water tanks in the cells to allow prisoners to access clean drinking water when they are locked in.
CHALAPI also get involved in Disaster relief work, for example providing Whole Person Health support, advice and practical help during floods in the area in 2020 (see June 2020 Newsletter).
Godfrey has received training in Disaster Management from the International Red Cross.
Medical Outreaches to Prisons
Once a month a team of wonderful nurses from Kagando Hospital with support from CHALAPI, conduct a medical outreach to the prison nearby to assess and treat any people who are sick or injured, mentally or physically. A health education talk is given at each outreach to teach the prisoners and staff about a variety of health issues.
Improving Conditions in Prisons
Improving conditions in Prisons by providing blankets, solar panels, clean drinking water, paint and anti-insect mesh at the windows to protect prisoners from mosquitos that carry malaria
Improving relations between family members by installing telephones in the prisons so families can keep in touch and encouraging families to visit, assisting them financially if necessary.
Improving community relationships by paying the school fees for children of prisoners who are struggling financially to reduce the cycle of offending, providing pigs as an income for vulnerable families (see below), supporting good communication between courts, prisons and police and organising community projects for ex-prisoners to take part in.
Restorative justice and counselling for newly released prisoners to help them integrate back into society successfully are future plans.
Godfrey is an active and respected member of the Ugandan Human Rights Commission.
Providing breeding pigs for the children of people in prison, to enable them to learn pig breeding and sell piglets when they are born. Many children now have junior bank accounts to help them provide for themselves.
Radio Talk Shows
Radio Talk Shows that can reach thousands of listeners, raising awareness of prisoners and their needs. These talk shows are also used to give information on health matters, including Ebola advice when necessary
Strengthening Family Ties
Encouraging families to visit loved ones in prison to keep relationships strong
Strengthening Community Ties
Once or twice a year CHALAPI organises for ex-prisoners to pick up rubbish and generally clean the town of Kasese, encouraging good relations between them and the local community
Our Future Plans
Breaking ground for the proposed CHALAPI Rehabilitation Centre
CHALAPI have very generously been given some ground to build a Rehabilitation Centre on, and would like to build somewhere where people who are newly released from prison can go, as a half way house, before returning to their communities. This centre would aim to prepare them for life outside prison by offering education in a skill, such as carpentry, shoe making and tailoring. It also plans to offer counselling and the opportunity for Restorative Justice.
Proposed plan for the ex-prisoner and victims of torture rehabilitation and skills development centre, Kasese Uganda
This ambitious plan is going to cost a lot of money. If you would like to make a life changing difference and are able to help us, please contact us for more information. We promise every penny you donate will be spent on this project, we are all volunteers.
We are using the CHALAPI facebook page to keep people updated on the latest news.
+447779973938 for UK and +256783661509 for Uganda
It is said that no-one truly knows a nation until one has been inside it's jails. A nation should not be judged on how it treats it's highest citizens but it's lowest ones
If you feel moved by the causes Centre for Hope and Life in and After Prison Initiative Uganda - CHALAPI-UG promotes, we would very much appreciate your support. Set up your donation to Centre for Hope and Life in and After Prison Initiative Uganda - CHALAPI-UG today. It’s easy and most importantly, it will make a major difference in the lives of so many who are in need of help. Contact us today to learn more.
Are you looking to support Centre for Hope and Life in and After Prison Initiative Uganda - CHALAPI-UG? We’d love to receive your help, and so will the community we provide for. Contact us to learn about donation opportunities. However you are able to help, we can assure you that it will have a major impact on the lives of many.
Want to learn more about ways you can get involved? Please get in touch.
Jo Blaker sadly passed away from cancer in December 2021. Matt Ford is a point of contact for people in the UK to keep in touch with the work of CHALAPI.