Prisoners in Tanzania forced to work barefoot in maize fields may be getting rubber boots with the help of two prison chaplains. And they may also have a more comfortable stay in jail.
Fr Moses Juhudi and Fr Bonavemture Chinyala are chaplains in two different areas of the country. Both were disturbed at the condition of the prisoners in their care, about 1,200 in all. As well as working hard during the day, many prisoners have no beds but sleep on mats or even on the floor. Fr Juhudi is hoping to obtain mattresses for the prisoners to sleep on and gumboots to protect them from snakebite, cuts and possible infection when working in the stony fields.
Fr Chinyala has encouraged his parishioners to visit the nearby Idete prison four times a year and is hoping to provide prisoners with towels, soap and razors.
Both priests have appealed for help to the British Catholic charity Spicma - Special Projects in Christian Missionary Areas. For more than 55 years Spicma has helped small local projects, mainly in Africa. It is run and staffed entirely by volunteers.
This project is "very practical and limited in scope which is something we like," said Cathy Forman, the charity's director. "But it's the first time we've been asked to support prisoners in this way," she added "and I hope it will be well supported by our donors."
Donations can be sent to the website below, or PO Box 299, Cirencester GL7 9FP.