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22/9/2014 - Spain - The Salesian Mission Office in Madrid launches the "Yo No Soy Bruja" campaign

(ANS - Madrid) - Georgette now lives at Don Bosco House at Kara in Togo. She is a girl who has been accused of witchcraft.  Her stepmother dipped her hands in boiling water. "If nothing happened, it would have meant that I was a witch; but something did happen and my hands will be scarred for life." Thousands of boys and girls like Georgette are maltreated and even killed in Africa through practices like this. Children that are a bit more lively or smarter than others, or children with disabilities or illness, are sometimes accused of witchcraft. "

To raise awareness of this fact, the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid is launching a campaign called 'Yo No Soy Bruja' (I am not a witch) to raise awareness among families, society, governments and the international community.  "The people who do this must not remain unpunished, "says Ana Muñoz, spokesperson for the organization. In 2013 alone, and only in the region of Kara, nearly 1,000 children have been accused of witchcraft, according to the regional directorate of "Acción Social".

The launch of the campaign is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday 23 September, in Madrid, at the headquarters of the Mission Office (Calle Ferraz 81), at 11.30 a.m. (local time).

A report on "Children accused of witchcraft in the region of Kara" will be presented by Patricia Rodríguez, Head of Missionary Projects at the Missions Office, and José Luis de la Fuente, a Salesian Missionary.  Patricia is very familiar with the situation, given that she has spent two years in Togo. The report lists the causes, and the impact on children in the family and in society. It describes the people involved, and offers some recommendations to help to end this phenomenon, for example, to stop talking about "harmful cultural practices" when it is a question of child abuse.

There will also be a screening of a documentary directed by Raúl de la Fuente, which tells the story of several children accused of witchcraft and of the Salesians that have to confront this ugly situation which is unfortunately on the increase.

Published 22/09/2014

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