It is yet another interesting moment to share with you some progress made in promoting the rights of persons accused of witchcraft in northern Ghana.
This quarter, Songtaba wants to thank it cherish donors for their continuous supports over the years to end human rights abuses against allege witches. It is yet another end of quarter where Songtaba is delight to share the progress of it work in ending human rights violation especially women accuse of witch crafty. Songtaba continue it work on sanitizing various communities to help change their attitude, traditions and perception on witch craft accusations.
As part of ensuring that women rights are protected to avoid any form of harassment and maltreatment, Songtaba has held series of community level sensitization on gender based violence and its effects on victim. The outcome of these sensitization is quite enormous and has achieved a lot of impacts through the reduction in new cases or banishment of accused persons for some period now. As part of the process officers from the human rights and administrative justice and social welfare department were invited as the state mandated institutions to educate the communities , chief priest and chiefs who are the custodians of these communities on the need to protect the rights of everybody including the allege witches. The chiefs however have made a lot of commitment to protect the life and dignity of women who are accused or banished. During the sensitization one of the men shared how it changed his attitude towards women accuse of witchcraft Alhassan Initially I never thought beating up or causing physical harm to an accused person is violation of the person rights because of my believe that the accused persons also cause harm to people, I have learn a lot today that everybody devoid of gender or sex has rights, which will positively change my perception towards human rights violations. There are laws to regulate our way of behaviour and that people must not take the laws into their hands.
Songtaba shall continue to organised these community level engagements as well holding dialogue meetings with key duty bearers including the district authorities, traditional leaders and religious leaders to develop strategies to stop these rights violations. discussions have been held with religious leader to develop topical sermons to educate their congregation to change their attitude and practice.
Songtaba brings greetings from Ghana and want to extend it sincere gratitude to it cherishes donors for their continuous support to End Human Rights Violations. This quarter SONGTABA wants to share interesting stories on their routine monitoring of the 19 reintegrated women (the women were 20, unfortunately we lost one person.) who were supported with grants after their reintegration to do livelihood activities to support their income at home.
As reported earlier, some of the women are into petty trading whiles others are doing peasant farming among others. SONGTABA monitoring has revealed that the majority of the reintegrated women are doing quite well and healthy. They are still continuing with petty trading and some are doing diversification of their farms, this has help them to be a bit food sufficient to feed themselves. Some of them are able to sell their produce for additional income.
Abiba 65 from waribugu community was supported with grants through the help of SONGTABA and Global giving share her stories.” I sincerely thank all those who supported my reintegration and the grant support given to me. I have been able to go in to peasant farming and I cultivate different kind of crops such as maize and beans on my one hector of land for the past two years. Last year I was able to harvest 6 bags of maize from my one hector of land and I was able to have enough food to feed on for the whole year. Now I have seen a lot more significant improvement in my live in terms of my basic needs especially food and health. What interest me most is how the donors support has brought back a smile in face and the restoration of my dignity as a woman.”
Songtaba wish to extend it sincere appreciation to it loyal donors for their kind and continuous support to End Human Rights Violations. The quarter has been very interesting and SONGTABA wish to share with it donors how some of the reintegrated women who were supported financially are now economically empowered to restored back their dignity.
During the quarter under review SONGTABA continue it routine monitoring of reintegrated allege witches and came out with interesting stories. These women in 2018 were supported financially to enable them do petty trading after being reintegrated. It is worth reporting that 16 out of 20 women that were re-integrated and supported with business capital have significantly increased their monies through diversification. Majority of them went in to petty trading and are able to increase their household and the community economy. This has helped these women to become more economically independent without asking of support from their families.
One of the women Fatima 49 years old from Tindan community shares her experiences after the support she received from SONGTABA. Thank you for the support, I have been able to invest to expand the grant income into buying and selling of maize after two years of doing petty trading. I started with only two bags of maize but currently the number of bags has increased from 2 bags to five bags. Now I have been able to used part of the interest I get from my business to pay for my grandchild school fees who was staying with at the camp and have also reserved three bowls of maize as seeds to plant on my 1 acre plot of land this year.
My life has really improved after leaving the camp. I have started living a normal life of dignity and fealing more secured because Songtaba constantly visits me.
It has been another interesting moment to highlight the cause of our work where we present to our dear readers various updates. Songtaba however wants to extend it sincere appreciation to it cherish donors for their continuous support to End Human rights Abuses against Alleged Witches and also restoring back smiles and dignity of reintegrated women who have lived alleged witches camps for several years. Indeed it has been a long journey to freedom
During the quarter under review, Songtaba continued it community level sensitisation to educate traditional leaders and community members on rights of women more especially those who are accused of been witches and to reduce the prevalence of fresh accusation and torture. It is exciting to report that Songtaba had a successful collaboration with one of the key state institution with the mandate to investigate human rights issues in Ghana, the commission on human rights and administrative justice to sensitize 15 additional communities’on human rights violations and its consequences. This was necessary because of the recent upsurge of accusations in Tamale and other surrounding communities. This recent accusations called for Songtaba project management team to meet and to strategize and intensify sensitisations both at the community level and through the radio.
It is part of our plans this years do engage more of the communities with the use of role plays and dramas on the dangers of these practice; how it rubs our society from the very human resource that we need champion our development agenda. Songtaba will be collaborating with number development organisations to build a more sustainable and effective strategy to significantly reduce this culture of dehumanising aged women based on suspicion and allegation. Plans are far advance in working decentralised local authorities to legislate on the matter in the form of bye-laws to be implemented in the communities.
This is long journey and requires the support of every body in Ghana whether it is happening in your region or not, you are needed on board this journey. Due this Songtaba take advantage of every key moment to talk about this abuse that is happening in the northern region that government is fully aware of but turning a deaf on.on the recently international women's day was a clear oppotunity that we used to creat more awareness around the situation of women in the region and what they go through.
An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us every where
It has been another interesting and exciting period of our work where we present you with updates. Songtaba during the quarter under review is happy to share with you that project beneficiaries are all fine and doing great. This report is focused on the joint monitoring visits to beneficiary communities and beneficiaries themselves by the GlobalGiving Evaluation Team and Songtaba.
After three days of intensive capacity building training by the GlobalGiving team to Songtaba staff on a number of areas identified by Songtaba to improve our work, the final day was a visit to the field to monitor progress of work and establish facts and evidence of project implementation.
Kukuo alleged witches camp was the first place to visit. From morning till mid-day the team met and interacted with the all the remaining women at the camp. The team listen to their individual stories of how they came to leave in the camp and also their plans going forward. The alleged witches shared their working experiences with Songtaba to the GlobalGiving team.
After the Kukuo camp, the team then visited some of the women who were re-integrated through the project to assess their conditions and on how they are faring at their new home now. The GlobalGiving evaluation team was excited to realize that the re-integration programmes was possible and that Songtaba coordinated it so well that the women themselves believed in the process and felt safe because all necessary stakeholders were engaged and that guaranteed their safety.
The five days visit by the GlobalGiving team was a success and the training received from the team has also significantly improve Songtaba's work especially the aspects of communication and fundraising.
Thank you for your support through the GlobalGiving platform and we assure you of a effecient use of the financial and non-financial resources we receive from you.
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