FIRST AID STATION IN KENGE PRISON
First aid station in kenge prison
In 2006 Chiara wrote:
Both the two visit I paid in Kenge prison, I’ve found juvenile prisoners.
First time he was an orphan from Kibengele. He ignored his age, but he didn’t show any evidence of sexual development: from a physical point of view he was a child. Kibengele is a village in Kimbau parish, so, asking him question about the last ten years happening, I was sure that the boy, analphabet, was no more than 14. Unlikely a starveling Congolese boy at this age get started sexual development.
The boy was taken into custody for rape, when it was physiologically impossible for him to commit the crime he was charged with.
Thanks the presence of a young priest, who is presently studying canonical right and Human Rights in Munich, I was able to address toward the best legal instrument to face the situation.
I asked and obtained to visit him separately, and I was able to produce a medical evidence where I stated the absence of sexual maturity and the incompatibility of the rape charge.
After some months and pressing by the bishop and mine the boy was eventually cleared, and exit the jail without paying any bribe.
And I wander if he could go out uncharged in the same way, in case we accepted to pay the bribe."
Thanks to professor Alba Monti, anthropologist and Chiara’s good friend, we are able to report the detailed description of present Kenge prison situation.
“Built by the Belgian in 1955, Kenge prison hosts today about seventy persons, among young men, women and children. I’ve met all of them, with each one I stayed to talk, or simpler to share a sip of water or some cassava.
Then, during my last visit, before my leaving to Italy, I shared the few things I had with me, which were so mach for them.
Because here the government doesn’t supply any food, or water, or anything to the prisoners.
No Matt 25 requested me to do it, because “To ransom the captive” is part of my job since twenty years: when in Lecce I go in prison every day, to teach.
As soon as I left to Italy, Chiara Castellan sent at once two nurses to the prison, to immunize two small girls, five and thirty months old.
At September the 15th, official date of school year beginning, she e-mailed to me she put the older in the nursery school; it is the same class of the nurse’s daughter, and every morning the nurse brings boot the girls to school.
Who provides the birds of the sky and the lilies of the field, will be able to find a scholarship to pay the fare….
However doc Chiara is doing more: about every Sunday she comes to jail to visit the ailing; among the women and men there are many diseases, all severe. Many inmates are HIV-positive, many are affected by malaria, almost everybody is undernourished.
At November beginning the doctor was able to admit to care center a tuberculous prisoner; in a few days a young woman, lately arrested, could give birth there, on the ground, under the eyes of the 70 others…
Now Chiara waits for many medicines and medical devices from our side, which cannot be subtracted from the health center stock, already meager.
In those prison, where 70 persons share two unsupplied room, where there is only an inner court, and a common pit latrine, scraped walls, and pitted roofs, and dust, insects, mugginess, starvation and thirst, Chiara would create a small medical centre.
A lot more we have to do: the man and women and their four small children cannot eat unless sometime on Sunday, thanks a local voluntary group, the “Prison friends”.
But an only weekly meal cannot be enough to make survive those who don’t have a family able to supply cassava and some protein.
Their longing and desire is to have something to eat.
Our desire is to ensure them a second weekly meal. One euro per person is enough for a nourishing food (a cassava and fish portion), and a mug of water. Water, in 1,5 liter bottle, costs almost an euro, since at the fountain, at 1 hour walk, costs no more than 50 cents every 20 liters.
A small medical centre, the nursery scholl for the elder girl, a weekly meal aren’t too big a dream for seventy persons, many of them very young, “sentenced” to starve.
We are looking especially for somebody to care for this project in site, because, as bitterly acknowledged by the prison Director, after deprive them of freedom, we cannot deprive them of life.”
Due to Professor Monti statement, and Chiara experience, we decided to expand our purpose to Kenge prison inside, committing, as firs target, to the medical centre realization.