It sounds barbaric but right now, a witchdoctor could be hunting a child in rural Uganda. These children are tortured and often murdered as part of a spiritual sacrifice. Violent men masquerading as witchdoctors, promise blessings of prosperity or cures for illness. The practice is obviously unlawful, but due to extreme poverty, ignorance and fear, it is persisting. Fortunately, there’s hope because our partner, Peter Michael Sewakiryanga, and his organisation Kyampisi Childcare Ministries (KCM), are stamping out this evil practice and bringing healing to these children.
Peter and his team work strategically to capture and convict child sacrifice offenders, advocate for change at a policy level and care for the survivors and their families. The rehabilitation home for child sacrifice survivors is just one part of a master plan to make Kyampisi a safe place for children. Here, they can be children again – playing, learning and eating together while recovering from the horrific trauma they’ve endured.
Peter, his wife Joeline and their incredibly committed staff, are tireless advocates for criminalising child sacrifice in Uganda. Their days are busy. The phone never stops ringing. As well as pastoring a church, managing a school, advocating internationally for justice and working closely with the police, Peter is passionate about building a brighter future for every child in their care.
Many children who escape child sacrifice are maimed for life – their genitals have been removed, their skulls sliced or their spines severed. St Paul’s offers a safe place for these children to be rehabilitated. Onsite managers and helpers care for the children as if they were their own – feeding them, playing with them and gently tending to their needs. Tragically, many of the children have been rejected by their own villages. At St Paul’s however, they receive all the love and care they deserve.
Child trafficking and child sacrifice are tragic and growing human rights problems in Uganda. Coordinated efforts at official levels are lacking, so KCM is taking a small-scale but effective approach to stopping the practices:
Awareness – Education programs to reduce the demand for child sacrifice.
Legal – Partnerships with the police and District Public Prosecutor to improve investigations and the follow-through to successful prosecution.
Rescue – Survivors are provided with medical support including reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation. KCM also helps survivors to integrate back into the community and if integration is not safe, accommodation is provided.
Lobbying and Advocacy – KCM raise awareness amongst policymakers, government and the international community.
An estimated 70% of families in the communities around Kyampisi cannot afford to send their children to school. KCM provide the most vulnerable with free, sponsored education at the Rock Hill School. This school is now so widely respected that parents from Kampala, an hour and half’s drive away, are bringing their children there.
KCM wants to help families to escape poverty by empowering them to generate their own incomes.
Establishing microfinance savings groups
The Destiny Woman project
Running a maize mill to support local producers and help sustain KCM services.
In 2015, KCM built the Weema Clinic to offer affordable and accessible care to new mothers and members of the community. The aim is also to reduce the high mortality rates of infants. The bright and welcoming clinic is complete and we are now establishing a maize mill to generate ongoing income to pay for doctors and nurses.
Communities around Kyampisi do not have access to clean water, so KCM has provided bore holes and wells together with educational programs.
to support Kyampisi Childcare Ministries and give children the care they need.