He heard stories. Horrific stories.
Stories of mothers who could no longer hold their babies. Of parents who were waiting for their children to walk through the door, but they never came home.
It was these stories that compelled Peter Michael to do something. To bring change to his village called Kyampisi.
It’s a place known as the capital of witchcraft in Uganda, where children are abducted by witch doctors, their body parts used during spiritual rituals. These children are tortured – sometimes their genitals are mutilated or their skulls are sliced – and they are often left to die.
Even though Peter Michael was an accountant and pastor, with no experience in medicine or not-for-profit work, he knew he had to do something to stop this practice.
Together with a small group of friends, he started Kyampisi Childcare Ministries (KCM) to bring hope and empower vulnerable children through education and justice. One area of KCM’s work is to eradicate child sacrifice and rehabilitate children who have been mutilated.
Peter Michael says Kyampisi is changing. “It is becoming a place full of life and witchcraft is gradually being eradicated,” he says.
When you ask Peter Michael which child has had the greatest impact on his life, he’ll tell you it’s Hope.
She was just one year old when she was abducted and given to a witchdoctor. Hope was held captive in his shrine for more than a year – her teeth were pulled out, her tongue cut, and her blood regularly drained for rituals. Hope was dumped in a basket, left to die in a swamp. But a passer-by found her, barely alive. Left with permanent brain damage, she can’t walk or talk, and needs full-time care.
Hope is kept safe and cared for at St Paul’s, which is KCM’s safe house and rehabilitation centre for victims and survivors of such abuse.
“Hope has changed me,” Peter Michael says.
“We prayed that one day she would be walk and talk again, but it seems that she will not. Her life is an inspiration to me. She is so full of joy even in her situation. Justice was eventually delivered; it took a long time but it shows that God is always fighting to bring justice,” he says.
Peter Michael is compelled by Isaiah 1:17:
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
Progress can be so slow at times, but Peter Michael clings on to the hope that change is on its way. “I once was pushy but I now realise some things take a lot of time. Everything happens in God’s timing. Even when it is slow, God is still working.”
Thank you for supporting Peter Michael, our partner in Kyampisi! Click here for more information about his projects.