Accused of witchcraft, unwelcome everywhere: A Report on Annabel


Leo Igwe’s ongoing project to support and protect those accused of witchcraft was the recipient of a small grant from Foundation Beyond Belief last quarter. (Igwe’s project is also our featured Human Rights beneficiary for the second quarter of 2014.) In the story below, Leo Igwe shares the story of a victim of witchcraft accusation and how the small grant from FBB is providing for her basic needs.

Annabel is a 14-year-old girl who is a victim of witchcraft accusation and was rescued from the streets by Basic Rights Counsel Initiative on October 3, 2013. She was physically abused by her cousin and thrown out of the house by her maternal uncle after she was accused of being a witch by the uncle’s pastor. Annabel was then placed in a home but because of her relating her dreams, paranormal and superstitious episodes to the other children, and given the fact that she has revealed to the children that she was accused of witchcraft, she was sent out of the home because the other children were scared of her. We were faced with serious challenges in trying to get another home for her even when we got the Ministry of Social Welfare to be involved. Finding alternative care for abused children has been our major challenge, among other challenges.

After being rejected by two other institutions, she has finally been placed in a home managed by a retired journalist. When we rescued her we provided food, bedding, medical support, and clothes. We have continued to provide these supports. However one of her basic need was education, which this fund would address.

Learn more about Leo Igwe’s work here, and see him speak at the first annual Humanism at Work conference this July.