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9/6/2015 - Spain - Salesian Mission Office in Madrid to take part in Solidarity for Africa Day

(ANS - Barañáin)– Today, Tuesday 9 June, the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid will participate in the eleventh Solidarity for Africa Day in Barañáin with the screening of the documentaries Yo no soy bruja (I am not a witch) and No estoy en venta (I am not for sale). From last Wednesday until 12 June next, the NGO Africa Napukenda is organizing activities that bring the reality of the African continent to the people of the town in Navarra.

The two most recent documentaries made by the Mission Office in Madrid will be shown today at 7.30 p.m. (local time). Both were directed by Raul de la Fuente, winner of the Goya Award for Best Documentary in 2014 with Minerita. They present two realities in Africa where children's rights are violated. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion.

Yo no soy brujareveals a relatively unknown reality, but one that is growing in parts of Africa - that of children accused of witchcraft. Children who are hyper-active or intelligent, or those who are disabled or suffering from some disease, are sometimes accused of being witches or wizards. Georgette now lives at the Hogar Don Bosco run by the Salesians in Kara, Togo. Her stepmother put her hands into boiling water. "If nothing happened it meant I was a witch; but something did happen and my hands will be scarred forever," she said.

No estoy en ventagives the first-hand stories of Rachidi and Jules, two children from Benin who were sold. They both tell of how they were exploited and abused. The documentary also shows the work done by the Salesians to recover boys and girls who have been victims of trafficking and the efforts of the Missions Office in Madrid to address this problem actively. Forced work in mining or agriculture, prostitution, street vending, domestic slavery ... these are the fate awaiting some of the children and young victims of trafficking. "We have had children who have been sold for €30,” says Fr Juan José Gómez, Spanish Salesian missionary, Director of the Reception Centre in Porto Novo, Benin, which now houses thirty child-victims of trafficking.

The Salesian Missions Office in Madrid confronts these situations every day, because it wants the children who have lived through this suffering to rediscover their smile, their self-esteem, and their will to live.

Published 09/06/2015  

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