Witch-hunt Victims Empowerment Project

An aid project by “Hilfe für Hexenjagdflüchtlinge” (F. Riedel) in Gushiegu, Ghana

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F. Riedel (Project Manager)

F. Riedel
We assist those who survived witch-hunts in Ghana. Our project combines 20 years of practical experience with witch-hunt victims and 10 years of scientific research into modern witch-hunting.

Witchcraft beliefs permeate sub-Saharan Africa. They are prevalent in all sectors of societies and all confessions. Most often, sickness and death are attributed to witchcraft. Accusations are often triggered by envy and jealousy. Often, shrines mitigate accusations, sometimes exonerating the accused, sometimes also extracting confessions by force.

Gushiegu, Nabule und Kpatinga (Northern Region, Ghana) provide shelter for a total of 200 female witch-hunt victims. About 500 are located in five other sanctuaries within 200 km. There are few projects that tackle the problem. The catholic church in Yendi supports two sanctuaries with boreholes and strucutres. Some other organisations try to create the impression that they would cover all the sanctuaries on their own. As we are present in all camps on a regular base, we witness the limited range of their efforts and counterproductive activism. We can assure anybody, that the Witch-hunt Victims Empowerment Project is the most effective and most professional project concerned with witch-hunt victims in Ghana.

Simon Ngota, our director, has reintegrated more than 500 women throughout the past 20 years. He is key figure in two books (Karen Palmer "Spellbound", Gerhard Haase-Hindenberg "Die Hexe von Gushiegu") and in one documentary (Yaba Badoe: "The Witches of Gambaga"). He dedicated his whole life for social work with outcasts, and as an agric engineer he also knows how to organize farmwork.

What we do today:
- Daily visits in one of the Sanctuaries.
- Education on health issues and hygiene through nurses.
- Farming (purchase of 3 ha land in Gushiegu, annual provision of seeds, tractors and fertilizer)
- Small income Generation (Soap, Beads)
- Drama-Groups on market places to educate the villagers around.
- Workshops with Chiefs to unify them against witch-hunts. Most often, the chiefs are bystanders or opponents of accusations, lynchings are perpetrated by the youth.
- Peer-group counseling in any way.

Our Website:

More information:

Location: Gushiegu, Ghana

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