It is another exciting moment at Songtaba as we bring to you updates on our work on ending violence against persons accused of witchcraft.
Every year between 25th November to 10th December, human rights organisations and individuals across the globe engage in serious advocacy to champion the end to all forms of violence including gender based violence. This year Songtaba as a women and child rights organisation joined the rest of the world to mark the 16 days of activism highlighting the wide spread of witchcraft accusation in the northern part of Ghana.
As part of the activities to mark this year's 16 days of activism, Songtaba organised visits to the alleged witches camps with the media to interveiw some of the women telling their stories for publication. The intention was to showcase these stories as compelling evidence for key stakeholder including government to speed up process to disband these camps.
beyond this community level actions, Songtaba also organised a national level key stakeholder dialogue to discuss the roadmap to ending this age long phenomenon. The national dialogue had both state institutions and civil society orgnaisations participating and making significant contributions to put an end to this phenomenon.
on a recently case were a 90 years old women was accused of being a witch and eventually lynched, Songtaba was the first organisation through a press conference to call for the arrest of the perpetrators of this crime. Some arrest was indeed made and subsequently grabted bail but arranged to court. Songtaba is still monitoing the case to ensure that the famility of this old women gets justice and also to serve as a lesson to prevent other future occurrences.
The journey has been a very difficult one but it is important to indicate that some positive progress has been made. There appear to be a rudction in the frenquent occurence of the accusations and the also there has been a significant number of the women that have been re-integrated.
SONGTABA is please to highlight the course of our work where we present to our dear readers various updates and the progress made in ending violence against persons accused of witchcraft. In doing this, Songtaba however wants to extend it profound appreciation to it cherish donors for their continuous support to End Abuses against Alleged Witches and also restore back their smiles and dignity they have lost for many decades. Last quarter SONGTABA continued it work on community level sensitization on alleged witch craft accusation in some feeder communities who are known to be feeding most of these allege witches’ camps especially the kukuo camp until sometime where we had to suspend our activities due to the restrictions that were imposed as a result of COVID 19
During the quarter under review, Songtaba visited 2 reintegrated women to see how they were ferrying in the midst of COVID 19 pandemic and also took the opportunity to educate them on the various protocols to observe and supported them with some personal protective equipment and like nose mask, bar soap and alcohol based hand sanitizer. Also in addition were some food relief items including a mini bag of rice and one liter oil. They were taking through what COVID 19 is all about, the mode of transmission such as through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person through coughing and sneezing, and touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and also its symptoms which include fever, cough and shortness of breath. They were also taking through the various methods of prevention such as regular washing of hands, wearing of nose mask, using of sanitizers and if possible stay at home/self-quarantine.
One of the women Fusheina shared her happiness to the team that visited her. Am very happy for the kind of education offered to me, today has been one of the interesting moments in my life because I now know what the virus is all about, the various causes and its preventive measures. The nose marks and the soap will go a long way support me in fighting the virus. Initially I used not take COVID19 seriously but now, the kind of education I have received will help me to change my perception towards the pandemic.
I want to say a very big thank you to all those who has made it possible for this kind of education and the PPEs. But I want to assure you that, I will impact the knowledge gain to my family and friends.
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.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
Get Reports via Email
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.
Give the gift of stability in a time of instability. Set up an automatic, monthly gift now and get matched at 100%—because the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt us all, and it will take all of us to overcome it. Terms and conditions apply.
Monthly giving is as easy, safe, and as inexpensive as a Netflix subscription. Start a monthly donation to Songtaba today and get matched at 100%. Terms and conditions apply.