By OLIVE SUKUN
FEMALE inmate Madline Yari thanked a group of bank employees who donated gifts to female prisoners at Bomana yesterday, saying the items would assist them.
“Thank you for visiting us. Your contribution will help us, especially the five children we have in here with us,” Yari told the staff members of the Bank South Pacific.
“When you come (here), don’t think you come to visit us. You come to visit God.”
Yari, in prison for six years, is among the 47 housed at the women’s prison wing. Thirty of them are convicted prisoners and 17 are on remand.
Staff members of the bank’s lending support division handed over gifts and children’s items.
Five prisoners are living with their babies who are between the ages of nine months and three years.
BSP lending division head George Barratt said it was a privilege and my honor to be there.
“This is a small contribution from Team BSP. I wish it was more,” he said.
“The way I see it, this is just the hurdle in life. There are things outside. This is our way of saying people still love you. Just don’t forget that.”
The bank staff members were supported by City Pharmacy Limited, Edai Town Development and Bernal No.8 Limited. Items donated included kitchen utensils, baby toiletries, clothes, fans, volleyball balls and nets. They were items requested by the inmates during a similar visit last year.
The five women with their babies received bags with clothes and baby items inside.
Bomana Correctional Institution acting commanding officer Superintendent Yelly Oiufa said such contributions helped the institution too.
The number of inmates in Bomana increased from 500 in 2013 to 721 this year. “The funds we get is mostly spent on food for the inmates,” Oiufa said.
“Almost K150,000 is spent on rations alone in one month. So funds to manage the facility or facilitate skills programmes for the inmates is a problem.”
By OLIVE SUKUN