Thursday, November 15, 2007

Child "Witches" in Angola

Picture of "witch" orphan from New York Times

In today's New York Times there is an article about the troubling and disturbing practice of labeling children as witches. Sadly, this is very commong in Angola. Witches are a big deal here, as I've mentioned before. Even in Lobito, a large city, I hear stories about witches. They aren't as horrible as the ones mentioned in the article, but they show that such notions persist even in urban areas.
The worst thing is that these children are simply poor and often times their families can't (or won't) care for them:
But officials attribute the surge in persecutions of children to war — 27 years in Angola, ending in 2002, and near constant strife in Congo. The conflicts orphaned many children, while leaving other families intact but too destitute to feed themselves.
“The witches situation started when fathers became unable to care for the children,” said Ana Silva, who is in charge of child protection for the children’s institute. “So they started seeking any justification to expel them from the family.”

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