Poverty And Illiteracy Are Causes To Witch Accusation In Africa

 

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Emotional picture of the little-neglected child accused of witchcraft taking some water from Anja

Africa literacy facts reveal more than 1 in 3 adults cannot read.  182 million adults are unable to read and write and 48 million youths (ages 15-24) are illiterate. 22% of primary aged children are not in school, adding up to about 30 million primary aged children out of school.

With such a high rate of illiteracy, coupled with poverty, Africa is much influenced by superstition. Till now many societies in Africa are often immersed in beliefs such as witchcraft, ghosts, spirits etc, putting the lives of many people, including children and old women in danger.

The story of this innocent starved, naked little boy, went viral when accused of being a witch in Nigeria and was shunned by the community as a result. His story has come to light after a picture of a Danish woman  Anja Ringgren Lovén feeding the little boy, now named Hope, went viral.

Anja is the founder of the African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation, which attempts to save ‘witch children’ and change attitudes of Nigerian communities towards this archaic and cruel practice.

                         When a child is accused of being a witch by any member of the village, with many times accusations coming from the child’s parents themselves, they are often tortured or killed.
Parents risk being killed if they let their child stay after an accusation. Anja’s foundation is working hard to help educate the local communities, many of which are poor and uneducated, which keeps this practice alive. When she posted this photo of Hope on her     Facebook, she accompanied it with a powerful message.
                       “Thousands of children are being accused of being witches and we’ve both seen the torture of children, dead children, and frightened children. This footage shows why I fight. Why I sold everything I own. Why I’m moving out in uncharted territory,” she said. “I have chosen to call the boy Hope for right now, we all hope that he survives.”
                        Today he is doing well, with daily blood transfusions and a loving group of volunteers taking care of him.
                          Last year, seven people in the East African country of Tanzania were killed following accusations of witchcraft. They were attacked and burnt to death by a mob of villagers who accused them of engaging in witchcraft.
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Hope, the new name of the child saved by Anja recovering.

A Special Interview With The Idi Amin Of Belgium, King Leopold II

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Journalist and author Joel Savage, interviews the White Idi Amin of Belgium, King Leopold II

I believe everyone knows or heard of King Leopold II. He was one of Belgium’s greediest and bloodthirstiest kings, who killed and maimed over ten million Africans, including children, during the colonial era in Congo. Despite that there isn’t any statue of Adolf Hitler for killing six million Jews, Belgium built a statue and named streets after this lunatic. So I took a trip to the Neo-Gothic Church of our Lady in Laeken, Brussels, where all the monarchs, including Leopold II, are buried, for this exclusive interview.

Joel: King Leopold, how do you feel about this interview?

Leopold: I need peace in my grave. How can you interview a dead man?

Joel: If the Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (The Mormons) could baptize the dead, then I could possibly interview a dead man.

Leopold: Please allow me to sleep peacefully in my grave. Why are you disturbing me?

Joel: You know what you did. You rendered thousands of villagers homeless, by putting fire into their huts, amputated the hands and limbs of children, mutilated the genitals of fathers and killed wives of husbands, for the greed of rubber and the desire to be the world’s richest king, yet your country praised and applauded your crimes and named streets after you. That’s not the end; you have a statue in addition. Are you happy in your grave for such horrendous crimes you committed?

Leopold: Even if I am not happy at all in my grave, I wasn’t the one responsible for my statue, because I didn’t ask anyone to build my statue and named streets after me.

Joel: Who are you trying to shift the blame to? For remembrance and honor, wreaths are laid at cemeteries for people, including soldiers that sacrificed their lives for your country, but the innocent blood of Africans you shed and the children you murdered are being mocked with your statue. Black Lives Matter, do you think Belgium can mock the dead and be a happy country?

Leopold: I want to repeat it once again if you didn’t hear me. I didn’t tell my country to build statue and name streets after me. They did it out of ignorance and foolish pride. They should be intelligent enough to know that I don’t deserve such statue.

Joel: Many believe you are not human, because during that time span, greed and power propelled you to commit the most serious crimes you deserve to go down the gallows, but nobody gave a damn for what you were doing because everybody else did almost the same. African soil was cut into pieces and confiscated by the foreigners. The way of thinking at that time was black people can be used for everything as a resource and as a disposable and Africa is ours. So who is the ignorant or the one who lacks wisdom, when you wore a sheep’s clothing deceiving the world as a good king, yet on a killing spree?

Leopold: Don’t let me start scratching my head when there isn’t any itching. I have had enough in my grave, tell my people to break down my statue and denounce the name of the streets named after me, because I can feel that my country is doomed because of this evil thing they did.

Joel: Your country is stubborn like a He-goat. They are confused because it’s one of the divided and difficult countries to rule in the world. Their confusion is very deep that they can’t even differentiate good from evil.  They have thousands of journalists but none has written about this because they are not Africans. They don’t care.

Leopold: You have said the right thing, but be careful, else you will be an enemy. I know my people; they are pretenders and bad just like me.

Joel: I want to be an enemy Leopold because that makes me an important person. When you are not important no one hates you in the society.

Joel: I have two questions from my mentor, Professor Johan Dongen for you. The first question is: You killed over ten million Africans, including children. Do you think there will be enough Africans left to kill by your grandchildren?

Leopold: Don’t bring my family into this. I did all those evil things alone.

Joel: I need to bring your family into this, because wickedness and evil acts can be inherited by family, including grandchildren.

Joel: Professor Dongen’s second question is: You always carry a sword on your statues and portraits. He may like see it. Will you give it to him if it’s in your grave?

Leopold: That sword is cursed, because of the evil things I did with it. If I give it to anyone, it will bring more disaster upon Belgium.

Leopold: Before I leave, please ask God to forgive me and let the same God touch the heart of my people that I don’t deserve those statues and streets named after me. If they are wise enough, then they should break down the statue or keep it, because the chicken always comes back home to roost.

Joel: Are you sure you know God King Leopold and you did this? Anyway, thank you for granting me this interview.

Leopold: You are welcome.

The Magic Of China, Can They Give Africa One-Tenth Of It?

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Football fan Xu Cong and his friends built a field on the top of a two-storey office building in Zhengzhou, capital of Central China’s Henan province.

“It’s amazing to see China, decades ago, as one of the poorest countries in Asia, now on top of the world, leaving Africa far behind in technology and development. How did China made it? This question should be on the lips of all Third World Country leaders, including African leaders, with inspiration to develop Africa, because development doesn’t miraculously come from heaven. May be African leaders need to sponsor the education of some African students to pursue higher education in China, towards the continent’s development.” – Joel Savage

How China plans to eliminate poverty by 2020

By . Credit to GMA News.
NANNING, China – There is a folk tale among the Yao people of China that goes: The Han people got up early, so they farm on the plains and the Zhuang people got up second, so they plant along the mountains. The Yao people woke up last and so they have nowhere to grow crops but on the mountaintops.

This is less true for 90 Yao and Zhuang households in Du’an County in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China who have been relocated to flatter ground that is closer to the roads of Daxing Township. The move, part of China’s poverty reduction plan, is meant to give residents access to power, water, and markets for their crops and handicrafts.

         According to the poverty reduction office of Guangxi province, the terrain in some parts of the province is too hilly, making it more efficient to relocate the people than to build roads and power lines to reach them.
          Relocation also gave the families an extra source of livelihood. “The flat land is for people and the hilly part is for animals,” the chief of Chihua village says, pointing at animal pens built up a slope outside the small settlement. He said they keep chickens and goats in the pens while corn, sugarcane, walnuts, and traditional medicinal herbs are planted in plots outside their houses.
           The 84-sq.m homes were the last part of the relocation, which included creating a comprehensive plan to support the villagers after the move, designing uniform homes for the villagers, and having the villagers build the homes themselves with the help of a one-time subsidy from the government.
           Part of the comprehensive plan is the government taking responsibility for acquiring the goods from the village and bringing them to the markets.
          “Most of the people support the move from the mountain place to the flat place,” the chief said through an interpreter. He said the relocation in 2010 not only gave them access to roads, power, and water, but also to a health center.
           In nearby Hua Kang, village chief Meng Shaokun said he is “very happy” about the move because “basically, I am out of poverty.”
          The Chinese government sets its poverty line at an annual income of 2,300 yuan (around P16,100) and average income in Hua Kang is from 18,000-20,000 yuan (around P126,000 to P140,000) a year from produce and from subsidies from the government.
Poverty elimination by 2020
        The relocation in Daxing Township is just part of a 120 million-yuan plan to move 100,000 people from the mountains to a “more developed area,” a plan that is also just a part of the poverty reduction plan of Guanxi province, where the average annual income for farmers is 6,971 yuan (P48,797) and around 6.34 million people live in poverty.
        The province has an annual budget of 690 billion yuan for poverty reduction from the central government, private companies, and non-government organizations to eliminate poverty there by 2020.
         Most of the money goes to infrastructure projects. “Roads and electricity and improvement of living conditions. Things like that,” Mo Yanshi, deputy director of the provincial poverty reduction, said.
         The poverty reduction program plan also includes assistance through seeds, fertilizer, and livelihood assistance to increase incomes throughout the province and, because the program is being implemented nationwide, throughout China.
Education subsidies
            The most important aspect of the poverty reduction program is subsidies in education to encourage the youth to pursue higher education.
            The first nine years of school are free and students get yearly subsidies of 1,000 RMB (around P7,000) a year for two years of vocational school and 2,000 RMB a year for two years of university. The central government gives another 1,500 yuan a year for students in vocational schools. With university tuition costing around 6,000 yuan a year, this is a big help for poor families, a student interpreter with Mo said.
No handouts
          Despite the subsidies, an official with China’s foreign ministry made clear that the program is not a cash dole-out scheme. “If we give currency to the people directly, that is not a good way to do it,” the official, who declined to be named for lack of authority to speak on the matter, said.
           China gives subsidies of 200 yuan a year to persons with disabilities and those who cannot work but the rest are expected to work with the tools and help that the government gives them.
         They do not have to do it alone, though. Government agencies are assigned partner communities where they send personnel to conduct surveys and help residents plan the development of their areas. Private companies are also given tax breaks in exchange for helping with the poverty reduction program.
          In some villages, like those near the Tengwang Woven Products Co., residents can earn from cottage industries like basketmaking which the privately-owned company buys from them and sells to foreign companies like US-based Wal-Mart.
        The company, which provides livelihood for around 3,000 families in Duan, Guangxi province sells around 27.1 million RMB of products a year and pays villagers for products made from materials grown in their own backyard.
Progress
         Mo said the poverty reduction program has made a lot of progress in the 30 years since it was launched. Ten years ago, he said, 10 percent of China’s poor came from Guangxi. In 2013, only seven percent of around 100 million poor Chinese came from the province.
         Hua Kang chief Meng Shaokun said that although he is already wealthier than he was when he lived in the mountains—a recent-model Mazda sedan was parked in front of his house—that is only part of the “Chinese dream.”
        His so-called Chinese dream is this: “The improvement of our life, then make much more contributions to society.”  — ELR/KG/VC, GMA News

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Pedestrian Over Bridge Front of Financial Department Beijing, China.