Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "I realised that prisoners needed more than just spiritual nourishment; they were living in very bad environments, and so I set up Faraja Foundation, and through the help of friends and my family, we have been able to touch the lives of inmates in a positive way", said Fr. Peter Meienberg to the Kenyan daily The Nation, that dedicated a long article to this 87-year-old Swiss Benedictine who since 1961 has been working in Africa.
Among the projects the 87-year-old Swiss clergyman has pioneered include a kindergarten for prisoners’ children at Lang’ata Women’s Prison, an ultra-modern kitchen at Kamiti Maximum Prison, a library at Industrial Area Remand and Allocation Prison, and tailor-made courses for inmates and prison wardens, among many other projects.
The religious who has been working in Kenya for 45 years, was also in other African countries such as Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. "I first came across the inhuman conditions that prisoners live under during my work with refugees from Rwanda, Burundi and D.R. Congo" recalls Fr. Peter.
Besides being in the team that recommended the current prison reforms, a 60-minute movie was shot by a Swiss company in 2008, narrating Fr. Peter’s love and passion for Kenyan prisons and prisoners.
The Prison and the Priest: Peter Meienberg in Nairobi.
Apart from prison, politics and pulpit engagements, the Benedictine Father is also very passionate about youth empowerment, a mission that saw him acquire 24 hectares of land in Isinya, where he built a high-tech training farm, Latia farm where the youth have completed a course in agricultural skills. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 23/05/2016)