Members of the Archdiocese of Blantyre Young Christian Workers (YCW), a Catholic youth movement, last Sunday commemorated St Joseph the Worker Day by cheering inmates at Makande Prison in Thyolo.
The day, May 1, coincidentally falls on the same day as the World Labour Day.
Over 150 youths from Phalombe, Mulanje, Thyolo, Blantyre, Neno and Mwanza districts participated in the commemoration.
During the visit, the youths attended mass, donated various items to the prisoners and also helped the prisoners in watering their vegetable garden.
Speaking during the visit, YCW vice-president for the Archdiocese, George Baluti, said the movement decided to visit the prisoners to extend the love of God to them, especially in this jubilee Year of Mercy.
“Our patron Joseph Cardin was a hard worker. As we remember him on this day, we decided to come and help the prisoners water their gardens and also donate some items which the prisoners need for their daily use.
“Pope Francis inaugurated this year as Year of Mercy, as such, we thought of reaching out to our brothers with the items,” said Baluti.
He thanked the archdiocesan youth chaplain, Father Frank Mwinganyama, and the correctional facility’s officer-in-charge (a Mr Matola), for allowing them to visit possible.
The youth chaplain commended Baluti and his members for the gesture and encouraged them to continue reaching out to other needy groups.
He also encouraged the prisoners to lead an exemplary life when released. Most importantly, he encouraged the prisoners to be prayerful.
Matola was thankful to the visitors, saying it was the first time that people who have visited them took time to work on their farm.
He also observed that since the prison was opened, it was the first time it had been visited by such a large number of people at once.
The visiting group was encouraged to hear some prisoners prayerfully recite chapters from the Bible during their interaction. The prison’s band and choir spiced up the event.
Makande Prison is a home to 250 inmates. All donations, valued at K180 000 were bought using money contributed by members of the visiting group. n