“Young Women in Africa Serve Prisoners,” Ensign, Mar. 2007, 80
Gathered together in a bush camp in Africa without modern conveniences such as running water, 160 young women worked together to give more than 200 people they had never met something those people didn’t have.
Inspired by their camp theme, “Let us all arise and shine forth that our light may be a standard to the nation” (see D&C 115:5), the young women of the Harare Zimbabwe Stake decided to share their light with the women of the Chikurubi Women’s Prison by putting together hygiene kits for them.
“The theme for the camp … made the young women decide that they would like the light to be felt in the prison,” said Margaret Ignatius, Harare Zimbabwe Stake Young Women president. “When people are locked up, they are isolated from the world. So the young women wanted them to know and feel their love.”
Just as the young women had hoped, the residents of the prison were very happy and grateful. “They have never received such gifts,” Sister Ignatius said, “and they wanted to know more about the Church and the Book of Mormon.”
Although the young women could not go to the facility to personally deliver the kits, Sister Ignatius had the opportunity to take the kits to the women, an experience she is grateful for.
“I felt the Spirit of the Lord, and I was humbled to see the women who were in prison singing and praising the Lord,” Sister Ignatius said. “They had gratitude even in the difficult situation they were in, which made me reflect and be thankful for the blessings I have.”
In addition to the service performed at the prison, the young women and their leaders hope to continue serving the community, as they often do in homes and hospitals.
“It was a very good and uplifting experience; we wish for more opportunities to do it,” Sister Ignatius said.