…At least that is what they do in Kinshasa.
Part of the benefits of my membership with the Royal African Society, is that I get journals with stories about many things that are happening in the continent my ancestors hail from, things that are less important to report by news media here in the United States (you know, gotta have time and room to talk about REAL earth shattering news, like Paris Hilton’s new boyfriend or who got kicked off American Idol…)…ANYWAY, this is an older story, but still a current reality, here is an excerpt:
“Naomi is 15 but looks 10. A horrible burn scar shrivels the skin across her chest and shoulder. She had a broken leg, now reset. But her face is calm; she speaks clearly. The physical scars are nothing compared with the trauma she has been through. She is one of the so-called child witches of Kinshasa, rejected by her family and community at six years old and left to survive on the streets. Once she had four siblings and lived with her parents across the river in Brazzaville.
Her father died and then her mother. She had to live with her grandfather and aunt, who did not want her. 'Grandfather become sick and my aunt accused me of being a witch. She said, "Why is everyone around sick? They are suffering because of you." Grandfather gave me special water to drink, but it made no difference. 'My aunt said I must leave.
The neighbours beat me and burnt me. They said either you must admit to being a witch or we will kill you. There is no place for you here. I went to the church, but they gave me water to drink that made me sick. I said to neighbours, let me sleep somewhere, even in your toilet, but they refused. I was caught by some soldiers and they said, you are a witch - we saw you flying with birds. They said they were going to kill me, but I escaped.' Naomi gives a smile as she recounts how she found another church which took her in and sent her to Kinshasa. She has ended up in a hostel run by War Child. She is lucky.
Tens of thousands of children live in the cemeteries, markets and streets of Kinshasa feeding on rubbish, begging and stealing. Most are there because of witchcraft accusations - mostly from their own families. The phenomenon is spreading, with recent cases of child abuse motivated by the belief that the child is possessed by evil spirits, showing up in London, Paris and Amsterdam.”
Man, in this day and age? What can we do about this? Honestly, not much, however, this organization “Save the Children”, in the United Kingdom is dedicated to doing things to help change laws and deal with governments about human rights abuses against children. Click the link, donate money and / or time. I know there are many, many evils like this that go on in the world, let us pray for all of these atrocities to cease and do what we can to help make that happen sooner than later.
I’m just saying…