The Prison Directors

L-R: Gheorghe Chirll, Adjutant Director of Moldova Prisons, Natalia Alcazi, Senior Inspector of Prisons - Ministry of Justice, Father Bill Haymaker, Veaceslav Toncoglaz, Director of Prisons.
Mr Toncoglaz was particularly keen for me to see anything I cared to see in the prison system. He said his "heart was heavy" over the fact that he knew he had to help the prisoners, but he could not find the funds to do what needed to be done. He was a sincere man with pride in his country. He wanted to demonstrate to me that all of them were trying very hard to bring about change. I felt sorry for them, because I understood how desperately they were trying. There was no arrogance or sense of self-importance from any of them, only a true desire to find help for the prisons. Natalia asked me if I knew of any religious groups that I could bring to help them because she felt that the prison and the guards needed to learn about their spiritual lives. Posted by Hello


Anonymous said...

Father thank you for posting this site of awareness. I was struck by the paradox of caring staff but a lack of funds. The result: a willingness to care just isn't enough. Politics and the need for change is a heavy wheel to move when the will is absent.

Why I care? It's personal. I have a penpal and friend near Chisinau. She has a large family ranging from young to older. Her husband is in Chisinau Prison and will be for a number of years still. She has very little support and needs to do 'anything' to help her family. I try to help when I can. The state gives ha few dollars a month and if she worked the 200 dollars/month would only just put food on the table and pay the bills. She is sometimes verbally abused for what she has to do, but I admire her for her strength and love for her family.

Where is the State in all this?

Thank you again for what you have written because it helps me understand my friend's plight a bit more.

Brian Joyce

Father Bill Haymaker said...

Thank you for your kind comments. Moldova’s prison system, just as with the rest of the government, is struggling to rise above levels of poverty. I have no condemnation of the government, whatsoever, as I’m acutely aware of the frighteningly small pot of resources it has to cover the vast needs of the nation. But sadly, this is where the paradox lies. Any government run project becomes strangled by its inability to resource even the most fundamental needs. Moldova has made remarkable positive strides over the past few years, however, the need for national and local investment remains crucial for its development. It is thanks to numerous NGO’s and private volunteers that changes are happening and awareness is growing. I can say, with hand on heart, one of the greatest motivators for me is the fact that the people of Moldova demonstrate a unique pride and determination to effect change in their communities. Unlike some countries who have relied upon donations and hand-outs for years, the advancements in Moldova, combined with the work-ethic and national pride serve as a continual catalyst for positive change.

Please forgive my delay in responding. I have had some health challenges recently and volunteers have set aside mail for me to read.