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"witch" Children Of Nigeria, How Can We Help Them?

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On this page you will be able to read the stories of some of the children at the camp,

Mary's head shows scars from hot caustic soda burn

Mary's Story

Mary Sunday Dan, 11 years, hails from Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. She is the only child in the camp whose parents are living together. Her father is an Evangelist in a Pentecostal church and the mother is a Deconess.

Mary was found alongside five other children searching for food from a stinking garbage mount in a market. On interviewing her, she voluntarily told CRARN the following story:

" My parents took me to the church for a Tarry Night (Watch and Pray Night) in January 2003. It was here that one of the prophetess pronounced that I was a witch, along with two other children. Since then my parents began to hate and kept a close watch on me. They accused me and my brother, Elijah of spiritually destabilising their economic progress and killing our 3 month old sister. Elijah was later forced to drink caustic soda. He became ill and vomited blood and died later.

They also forced me to drink hot soda one midnight but I refused. They poured it on my head and body instead. I started screaming and crying. My father at once took me on a motor bike claiming we were going to the hospital. He rather dropped me in a far away forest. After 4 days, a man found me and took back home. The villagers who saw my situation became alarmed. They forced my parents out of the village accusing them of practising real witchcraft. My father took me on a bike and dropped me in a distant city where I roamed the street and met many other street children in a big market.

Every day at midnight a gang of boys would come and molest us several times and ask our boys to enter people's stores to steal for them.

Udoh, showing brocken arm with open wound emitting maggots

Helen 5 and Precilia 3 are sisters found in the bush

Friday, February 22, 2008

Pictures & Stories of the Children

Rev Mrs Philis Sortor of the Free Methodist Church, USA, presenting a wheel chair to Akpan Samuel who was picked by the Nigeria Navy, Ibaka Mbo, Oron Axis having been dropped by fleeing traffickers, but now in the CRARN Children Center.

Akpan Samuel who is undergoing TB treatment, in his new wheel chair donated by Rev Mrs Philis Sortor of the free Methodist Church, USA.

150 kids in the CRARN CHILDREN CENTER

CRARN's Children's Academy

Miss Enobong Samuel Charles Presenting a petition signed by more than 1000 people and more than 30 countries to Governor Godswill Akpabio to stop the stigmatisation and killing of children as witches. This petition was put up by Kelli Stowe, Califonia, USA.

Jane Ikpe Essien whose mother used saw to cut her face then bannished her to live and fed by a mad woman, having been identified as witch. She is expressing her joy and bitterness at the UNICEF/NAPTIP workshop at Uyo-Nigeria.

'Reunification of children with family' shows Mr Sam Ikpe Itauma President of CRARN paying an unscheduled visit to a family at Oron to ascertain the fate of a reunited child, Good news.

Children protesting to the Governor: Almost 200 stigmatised children prosting their innocence as witches to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio and demanding the Childs Right Act to be passed into law.

These are some of the many street children yet to be rescured from the streets. They are currently camping at the Eket Sport Stadium and the Mobil Petrol Station (Mobil Mart)

Comfort Bassey who was burnt by the Brother using petrol.

Uduak Eyo who never new her father from Adam and the mother travelled to Lagos while she was 7. She was taken care of the grand mother. Uduak aunt, Rachael was seek, got swollen stomach; a witch child (Abednego) was brought to screen Uduak if she was a witch. He confirmed Uduak a witch. Since then Uduak began to face torture. She was 'tied with rope on her leg and hanged upside down for weeks in Bible Believers Church in Esit Eket, ' where the rope injured her severely.

Jane Ikpe whom the mother used saw and cut her claiming for making her to lost her husband and causing the poverty in the house. She was abandoned at 6.

A child who was attacked and ran to CRARN. And the resurrected Michael who was beaten to a state of coma in Eyobia, Oron, bundled and dumped at Ikot Ubo, Nsit Ubium when presuming him death.

Children who escaped death and took refuge at the Forward Operation Base (FOB) Nigerian Navy, Ibaka Mbo LGA - Oron axis having watched as their colleagues were pierced hot pokers into their anus by adults and they died.

A girl (Happiness),9, opposite Exxon-Mobil Terminal Ibeno, soothing her broken bones. She was picked to the CRARN Centre through a distress call from one passionate Capt Nat Ovuerherhe of the Mobil Aviation Dept who started, and was willing to fund her medical bill. She was later taken to the Commissioner of Women Affairs & Social Welfare, Akwa Ibom State at the instance of Dr Eleanor Nwadinobi, a UNICEF Consultant who visited CRARN on the way forward of these children's issue.

And the other picture is Edidiong Affia, still in CRARN who was tortured by the father and step-mother claiming she has taken all their belongings to witcraft coven and caused them to poor.

A child rescued by the Nigerian Navy, Forward Operation Based (FOB) Ibaka Mbo L.G.A and issue a distress call to CRARN.

Richard who is bleeding profusely from injury deliberately inflicted on him by a colleague in their carpentry workshop outside CRARN.

A child who suffered assault on the street now receive treatment at the Immanuuel General hospital Eket.

A child of about 12 years lying down in her urine at Ibaka Market in Mbo L.G.A. She sub-conscious at the moment I (Sam Ikpe-Itauma, President of CRARN) just picked her to the hospital. A Naval Officer at forward Operation Base Ibaka yester sent a distress called on her behalf for CRARN to come and rescue. She has wounds all over her body and cannot eat solid food at the moment.

Arrival of Sam Ikpe-Itauma, President of CRARN

and the yet-to-be identified child from Ibaka Market

Beach, Mbo to the CRARN Children Camp.

UNICEF Chief, 'A' Field Office, Enugu Zone

Mrs Pelucy Ntambirweki presenting food items,

TV, DVD and other items to the CRARN children she is in

company of Mrs Nneka Oguagha and other staff.

UNICEF crew and the CRARN children

and some members and volunteers.

UNICEF AND CRARN

Twin boys Itohowo and Kufre stand surrounded by angry villagers who believe they are bringing evil to their lives

Photograph: Robin Hammond/The Observer

Eleven-year-old Mbet was abandoned by her mother when she was six after being accused of being a witch

Photograph: Robin Hammond/The Observer

Mary Sudnad is 10. She was seven when her mother poured scalding water and caustic soda over her in a bid to cleanse her of witchcraft

Photograph: Robin Hammond/The Observer

A large nail was driven into this girl’s head. Nwaeka is about 16, and now badly brain damaged

Photograph: Robin Hammond/The Observer

Gerry is eight. His father spat petrol over him and set him alight - he blamed Gerry’s sorcery for the loss of his job

Photograph: Robin Hammond/The Observer

Angry villagers set upon Udo, 12, with a machete, accusing him of being a witch. His arm was nearly severed

Photograph: Robin Hammond/The Observer

Ekemini Abia is 13. Her father tied her to a tree by her ankles and left her there. She was found, half-starved, over a week later

Photograph: Robin Hammond/The Observer

Nails were driven in around the top of Etido’s head - he is about nine and rarely speaks

Sisters Victoria, four, and Helen, seven. They were left alone in an old shack and survived by eating leaves and grass

Photograph: The Observer

Twin brothers Utomobong and Mbotidem are 11. They were blamed for their parents' separation, beaten and thrown out of their home

Photograph: Robin Hammond/The Observer

Siblings Samuel, 11, Esther, 14, and Sarah, 10, were all abandoned by their parents to a life on the streets after a ‘prophetess’ - female preacher - said they were witches

Photograph: Robin Hammond /The Observer

Twelve-year-old William was abandoned after being labeled a witch

Photograph: Robin Hammond/The Observe

Twelve-year-old William was abandoned after being labeled a witch

Photograph: Robin Hammond/The Observe

Posted by Kelli at 12:45 PM

Reactions:

1 comments:

bbysunnyD said,

WOW,,

This old world, can be cruel sometimes,when your looking for ans you can't seem to find,No one understands, what your going through, but you just have to be strong,i know it may be hard to believe, but it gets better, Have faith kids. If i could i would take you ALL in. Trust me. juust have faith. I love you all! <3

October 21, 2008 7:38 AM

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WRITTEN BY:

EJIRO OTIVE-IGBUZOR, COUNTRY DIRECTOR, CEDPA, NIGERIA

Senator Emem Ekaette Must Hear This!

Published in July 28th, 2008

Posted by admin in Uncategorized

While conducting a Needs Assessment in Akwa Ibom State two years ago, my team stumbled on a group of marginalized people. Thrown out by their families and rejected by society, they roam the streets during the day half-Unclad or clad in dirty, smelly clothes, living as scavengers – searching through waste bins and drinking from pools of water by the roadside, for they have no one to provide food or clean water for them. They sleep on bare floor at fuel stations at night because they dare not go anywhere near home. Many are sent to untimely graves by cold, hunger or disease. Some are simply washed away in the gutters when it rains heavily. Meet the Street Children!

In life, some stories are simply unbelievable. This couldn’t be happening in 21st century Nigeria. I am familiar with the plight of Street Kids in Northern Nigeria but this is a different kind of situation. I’m told that the street kids of Eket cannot mix with real people. Some parents threatened to withdraw their children from school when a kind-hearted proprietor mentioned that he would give the street kids scholarship. Are they lepers, HIV infected or crazy? No! This time, it is a different kind of stigma – these children are perceived as witches and wizards! Some of them were accused in church. How ridiculous! If indeed these children are witches, whose job is it to deliver them from the stronghold of satan? Can’t these parents see that the so-called ministers of God have failed in their duties? Oh! The things that people do in the Name of Christ!

My curiosity took me to a place called IKot Afaha in Eket LGA where a group of young people under the auspices of an NGO called Child’s Rights and Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) are providing shelter for these kids. As we drive into the premises, a multitude of bright eyed, beautiful and lively children – numbering about a hundred, troop out excitedly and surround us. The younger ones (some less than 3 years old), hungry for a mother’s love hold my hands and my legs and smile lovingly into my eyes. Those tiny beautiful eyes bear a passionate plea. Love me. I deserve some love, they seem to be saying. I fight back the tears. Ejiro, be strong! You have not come to increase their sorrows. Some of my team members hide their faces. We can’t afford to let these children see us cry. CRARN has given them hope. So we put up a bold face.

Ifiok is a handsome, intelligent boy of about 9. I’m told that this boy can draw anything and everything. According to Sam, the CRARN coordinator, his mother, a graduate of English Language abandoned him because there was a prophecy in church that the child was a wizard. Listening to the mother’s recorded voice, I felt a sharp pain in my heart. I have tolerated him enough! I don’t ever want him again in Jesus Name!! She screamed. Even as I write this, the tears are welling up again.

Denis is a handsome boy of about 8. When we met him, he was well dressed in jeans and boots. He looked really auspicious compared with the other kids. I suspect that he is from a rich background. Why would anyone abandon this lovely boy? His father had brought

him to CRARN on one fateful day and signed that he never wanted this boy again. The boy’s offence? He is a wizard! How did the father confirm this? Cockroaches and spiders have invaded his home and the man thinks that Dennis is responsible for it. Hmm! Clean up your house man!!

Eti was picked up from the street. He had a nail as well as several cuts. In addition, he had burns on his leg and had been in the gutters for two weeks without food. Someone dragged him out and left him on the roadside opposite Mobil Housing Estate, Marina Road, Eket.

Inyang is mentally ill. A young man was clearing the gutter and he made an accidental discovery. It was a boy’s head covered with grass. On pulling him out, he was found to be alive. This boy needs medical attention urgently.

Inyang is not the only mentally sick child in the home. Nwaeka was picked with a nail in her head. Her body was covered with a church banner bearing the inscription – I am safe! The point where the nail was taken off healed badly, leaving keloids. This girl of 16 is mentally ill. Here is a typical case of man’s inhumanity to man. She badly needs a psychiatrist.

Another little girl, May had also suffered a similar fate. She had deep scars on her face. Her mother poured hot caustic soda on her and threw her into the bush to perish. A hunter found her and brought her back to the village. The villagers at Efoi frowned at the assault and banished her parents from the village.

Two sisters, Abi and Ela (5 and 3 respectively) were abandoned by their father. They were picked by CRARN and now live at the home. Priscilla is 3 and half years old. She and her sister were abandoned at the market in Esit Eket. They previously lived in Cameroon where their father died.

Upon relocation to Nigeria, their mother married another man. This man did not want the children and so they were thrown out to perish.

Listen dear friend, these are not tales from Nollywood. I would never have believed that such cruelty existed anywhere in Nigeria had I not gone to Itok Afaha to see for myself. With a sharp pain in my heart, I summoned courage to ask Mary and Magdalene if they would love to be re-united with their families.

May: [immediately becomes jittery] No. They will kill me! I had to reassure her that I hadn’t come to take her home.

Meg: [Eyes lowered] No. They will pursue me!

Well! Well!! Well!!! This is what I call the shame of a nation. That nation comprises you and me who pretend that nothing is wrong. It is indeed by a stroke of luck that we were not born to such wicked parents. Can you imagine seeing cockroaches and claiming that a child is responsible for that?

It is painful that while these children are dying, plus the fact that Nigeria has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world, a Senator from this same Akwa Ibom State is more concerned about legislating on dress code. Madam Senator, could you please channel your energy towards saving these children from the grips of death?

Sam Ikpe Itotuma is the coordinator of the Child’s Rights Rehabilitation Network (CRARN). He, along with two other friends founded the centre 3 years ago. They now have 15 members. The government donated buildings to them to house these children. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has donated a Girls’ Hostel for which the Church paid a three-year rent and provided 15 double bunks, mattresses, blankets and bedsheets. An NGO – Stepping Stones picks almost 50% of CRARN’s bills. Private individuals also donate food and money. There is no sustained funding and they sometimes run out of food. Sam says it costs N150, 000.00 (One Hundred and fifty Thousand naira) to feed the children every month. This may be a lot of money to CRARN but chicken feet if we all join hands to give these children a future. Do you want to write your name in gold by making a commitment to CRARN? Call Sam Itauma on +2348026693099 or +248050547730.

"But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 19:14"

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5 answers

by petitioning the government to hold all witch hunters accountable. churches that encourage witch hunting should be shut down,and their leaders fined and jailed.movies that promote witch hunting should be prohibited and labeled illegal.

the judicial system needs to step to the table and save these poors nigerian children

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Help them through UPCINN, www.upcinn.com.

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Is it witch children that are draining the finances of this country on the daily?Is it witch children that attempted bombing an airplane on american soil?Our people and superstitions.They will leave what's important and focus on the abstract.

Lord have mercy!

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I saw a documentary on this and these parents are very heartless.

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