• Saving the cursed children of Ghana

    In remote parts of Ghana, some children (in particular those born with deformities) are believed to be possessed by evil spirits, and therefore sacrificed. AfriKids is bringing an end to this practice

    In this part of Ghana, the killing of a child, though illegal, can be arranged for four fowls and a goat (three fowls and a goat for a girl). The killer – the ‘concoction man’ – is treated like a guru, both revered and feared. A child’s fate is decided by the flip of a chicken; if it lands one side, then the child is a witch and must die, if it lands the other side, the child is free to live.

    Afrikids is a charity that aims to challenge these traditions and save the lives of these branded children by working with local communities and speaking with witch doctors.

    ‘There are too many children here,’ Kumah murmurs, as we survey a vast vista of people digging and sifting at a new gold mine that has sprung up in Tarkwa, in the Talensi-Nabdam district, a 90-minute drive from Bolgatanga. This surface mine seems to be a free-for-all, started by someone who got lucky.

    Mamma Laadi is a local hero to many children. She saved Mercy, (age 5) who sits on her bunk bed and plays with her favorite toy dinosaur as we talk. Five years ago, her grandmother was declared a witch and beaten to death. ‘Many people were dying in her house,’ Laadi explains, ‘probably of cholera or malaria, but they consulted locals who seemed to say the grandmother was the cause.’

    Soon after, Mercy’s mother was also beaten and died two weeks later.
    Tipped off by locals, Laadi found Mercy, aged one month, lying face down in a cot. ‘There were family in the house, but they believed it’s better to let a child die rather than nurse up a witch.’ Laadi explained that she was taking Mercy away. ‘They were happy because they were now free from her crying.’.

  • Gold mine
    Gold mine
    Children work on an overground gold mine to escape being labelled spirit or witch children
  • Ray - Afri kids worker
    Ray - Afri kids worker
    Afri kids works to educate communities and prevent the slaughtering of the spirit children of Ghana
  • School fees
    School fees
    A young boy has a rare lucky find. This gold will easily pay for his fees for the year at school
  • A new gold mine in Tarkwa, in the Talensi-Nabdam district
    A new gold mine in Tarkwa, in the Talensi-Nabdam district
    Workers dig and carry soil to sift
  • Rest
    Rest
    Workers take a break in the heat at a new gold mine in Tarkwa, in the Talensi-Nabdam district
  • A new gold mine in Tarkwa, in the Talensi-Nabdam district
    A new gold mine in Tarkwa, in the Talensi-Nabdam district
    Of the many challenges that face AfriKids, child labour is one of the toughest to crack. The charity has been targeting this gold mining district since 2007.
  • A new gold mine in Tarkwa, in the Talensi-Nabdam district
    A new gold mine in Tarkwa, in the Talensi-Nabdam district
    Workers carry soil to sift
  • A new gold mine in Tarkwa, in the Talensi-Nabdam district
    A new gold mine in Tarkwa, in the Talensi-Nabdam district
    The charity has been targeting this gold mining district since 2007 where child labour is high.
  • The local village concoction man and his children
    The local village concoction man and his children
    Asayaba Adonga with two of his five children. Until 2005 he was a 'concoction man’, whose job it was to kill children born with deformities – 'spirit children. He formed a diagnoses by flipping a chicken. If the chicken lands on one side the child lives and if it lands on the other he would slaughter the child in his cave.
  • Aposia Nsohbila with her daughter Angela
    Aposia Nsohbila with her daughter Angela
    Aposia Nsohbila with her daughter Angela, who was born with missing feet. AfriKids helped save Angela from being labelled a 'spirit child’ and killed
  • A young child at The Mama Laadi foster home in Bolgatanga
    A young child at The Mama Laadi foster home in Bolgatanga
    A young child at Mama Laadi foster home in Bolgatanga which saves children from slaughtering.
  • Young children study at a school that saves those at risk
    Young children study at a school that saves those at risk
    Young children study at a school that saves those at risk
  • The best
    The best 'spot' at ' The garage'
    Two boys show us the 'spot' at a local carpark which is deemed the best place to sleep at night. Amongst the huge amount of young homeless children it is tough fight to secure a decent sleeping place and this is only given to those at the highest rank of the pecking order.
  • 'The garage'
    Local carpark which is deemed the best place to sleep at night. Amongst the huge amount of young homeless children it is tough fight to secure a decent sleeping place and this is only given to those at the highest rank of the pecking order.
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