Madam Evelyne Wamalwa Fluckiger serves inmates at Bungoma Prisons with fruits after their dinner on Tuesday. PHOTO / SIMIYU SIMIYU
BY SIMIYU SIMIYU | PHONE: +254711611347
There was a rare dinner at the Bungoma Prisons yesterday evening when inmates were treated to a delicious meal by a good sammaritan.
Madam Evelyne Wamalwa Fluckiger, the 44 year old slaughtered a bull on Monday evening and purchased bags of rice and other inncredients for the Christmas meal meant for appreciating and showing love and care to the convicts.
“We thought of sharing this meal with the prisoners because during this festive season, they can’t leave the walls to celebrate with their loved ones at home but they still need to feel cared for and not neglected,” said the mother of two, who has also adopted 23 other children that have now been absorbed into various professional fields including doctors and teachers.
According to the officer in charge of Training and Rehabilitation at Bungoma Prisons Chief Inspector Mukangula Karanja, it was the first time a ‘stranger’ was turning up at the institution to prepare a Christmas meal for the eight hundred inmates.
“Members of the public and organisations do send their charities inform of sugar, breads and other acceptable drinks to this destination but we have never seen anyone slaughter a bull and cook rice for these gentlemen.” Said Inspector Karanja.
“As a whole institution, we feel proud and valued by the outside community that we have not been forgotten.”
The plans started on Monday evening when a bull she had bought was slaughtered. On Tuesday, all the ingredients were in place and inmates assisted in preparing rice.
When the meal was ready, inmates cheerfully lined up to the dinning hall where Dr Evelyne served them with rice, cabbage, meat, heavy soup and fruits as they sat on the floor to enjoy the meal without any commotion, painting a picture of a well organised and displined institution.
After the meal, one of them led the congregation into a worship song before a short sermon from Chaplain Dennis Pappa who read from the book of Matthews 25:36 (…I was in prison and you visited me).
When Madam Wamalwa was invited to address the apparently humbled and disciplined gathering, she was treated to thunderous applauds from the inmates who, in their vote of thanks, challenged her to vie for an elective seat in order to ‘scoop their votes’.
But when asked by this writer to react to the inmates’ challenge, Evelyne dismissed the idea, saying her actions were purely to enjoy time with the inmates and not for political mileage.
“I don’t think this is for a particular motive. It’s just a matter of creating time to be with the less fortunate in the society just like when one visits children’s home like I did the other day at Musikoma Orphanage.” She clarified.
“However, given chance, I can work with anyone from all the grounds.”
Eating from the Floor
She also urged well wishers to donate chairs and dinning tables to the institution to avoid the prisoners sitting on a flat floor as witnessed yesterday, something she termed unhygienic.
Also a Project Co-ordinator at http://www.help-k.org/, Dr Evelyne is married to Mr Alfred Fluckiger, a Suisse, and are blessed with two children, Kelvin and Sandra.
Her drive, she says, is motivated by the desire to work ‘at home’ after serving 22 years in Switzerland at various professional capacities.
Having been born and raised from a humble background in Khachonge Village, Bungoma County, Madam Wamalwa, who also speaks fluent French, believes in the value of developing her own society where she wishes to serve.
“In Europe, everything is developed and I have nothing to prove but when it comes to my own society, there’s a lot to do and help uplift the living standard people.” She added.
Bungoma Prisons has a population of 746 inmates as per yesterday with 300 wardens.
Apart from rehabilitating the convicts, the facility also offers technical courses to the inmates.
During this year’s KCPE results, the top inmate scored 348 marks out of 500, according to Welfare officer Inspector Sylevester Githinji.
Society on inmates
However, Inspector Githinji recorded a challenge the inmates go through after serving their jail term.
“As officers, we do our best shaping these gentlemen’s path but when we finally release them to the free world, the society views them as enemies and outcasts, which should not be the case.” Githinji added.
“These are our brothers and despite messing in one way or the other, they have accepted the mistakes and learning to be more responsible men in the society. ”