How I was accused of witchcraft
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Hello, my name is Noellia*, I am 12 years old and I currently live in the ORPER** centre in Kinshasa.
A few days ago, I completed the training on the Rights of the Child and I understood that my right to protection had been violated according to Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. I want to tell you my story because I believe that some children are in very dangerous situations and risk dying if we do not take action.
I am the youngest child in my family. My mother’s family does not like me because they say that I am responsible for killing my mother. I was still a baby when she died. I was deprived of food, sometimes I even slept outside the plot. When my grandmother got sick, they said that I had put a curse on her.
One day, they called a pastor to pray for me. The pastor asked me many questions and asked me to tell him what my purpose in this family was. He threatened me by saying that if I did not tell him, I would die. I was terrified and since they also suspected my uncle of being a witchdoctor, I lied about my uncle and said that he was the one who sent me to lay curses on people.
There was a mother on the avenue that saw everything that happened in our home. She offered to take me to an orphanage and I accepted. I was welcomed, I started to study.
Today, I am in the sixth year of primary school and I am a child reporter. When I finish my studies, I will become a journalist.
Original version (in French) of this article and many more on
Po na Bana
Po na Bana, The Blog of Unicef Team and Children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
*Name has been changed
** Oeuvre de Reclassement et de Protection des Enfants de la Rue (Effort for the Relocation and Protection of Street Children)
Photo: UNICEF RDC / Adrien Majourel /2014