Archive for January, 2018

Witchcraft-related abuse in the news

More and more cases of witchcraft-related abuse are being reported in high-profile news outlets. Just this week, another case has been picked up by the BBC: a Dutch-Moroccan woman burning her son’s hands and stuffing his ears with cotton wool. With the increasing number of reports of abuse of this kind, we’re seeing a growing realisation in the west of just how endemic witchcraft-related abuse is.

The vast majority of these cases of abuse centre on a child who has been accused of witchcraft and then subjected to horrendous treatment in an attempt to exorcise him/her. Perhaps the most truly heart-breaking aspect of these stories is that the adult perpetrator so often sincerely believes they are acting in the child’s best interests; to free them from a demonic influence.

We’re delighted to be part of the Stop Child Witch Accusations coalition, and a key strand of this work is training: equipping church leaders to address false and harmful beliefs among members of their communities. Slowly but surely, we are seeing attitudes towards children change as a result.

Click here to find out more about child witch accusations and how SCWA is making a difference.

 

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Pray for Zambia

We have been contacted by Joyce Mutembu of Wukwashi, to ask us to pray for Zambia, which is currently experiencing a cholera outbreak. 50 people in Lusaka have died and schools across the nation have been closed until further notice, including Wukwashi’s own school.

Please join us in praying for Zambia. Joyce asks that we pray for an end to the cholera and also pray for the children who attend Wukwashi’s school and their families. The school gives the parents a much-needed break from the demands of caring for their disabled children, and enables them to work. Pray that each child will be well cared for, especially while the school is closed, and that God will give their parents the strength they need to care for them. Pray also that God will meet the economic needs of the families so that the children are not left home alone and neglected.

Thank you so much for standing with us in prayer. Please click here if you’d like to pray for other areas of BCT’s work.

 

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5 reasons why 2018 is going to be brilliant!

January can be a gloomy time of year. The days are short, dark and cold, a lot of us are feeling sluggish and short of cash after our seasonal indulgence, and there’s no shortage of reasons to be miserable in the news. But there are also reasons to be excited, if you look in the right places. BCT are looking forward to a brilliant year. Here’s why:

  1. Things are changing – Last year, UNAIDS announced that HIV infections amongst children have halved since 2010. 2016 saw 0.3 million fewer HIV infections than 2015. And infant mortality in DR Congo has halved since 1990. Until recently, these problems looked insurmountable, but there’s been massive progress. We’ve striven for years as part of SCWA to raise the profile of child witch accusations and to bring an end to the abuse related to the issue. And we’re now beginning to see dramatic changes in attitudes amongst the communities we’re engaging. Child witch accusations might seem as intractable as HIV or child mortality but, as with those other problems, the tide is turning.
  2. Our supporters are fantastic – We never cease to be amazed by the dedication, determination and creativity of BCT’s supporters. From the band of heroes who completed the Walk for Wukwashi to Maureen, who raises vital funds for us by making and selling cards, we have some incredible people behind us. We’re so thankful for their efforts and with this kind of support, 2018 is sure to be a great year for BCT.
  3. New projects, greater impact – It’s so exciting to see our first Transformation Resources nearing their launch. ‘The Heart of the Matter’ is going through its final edits and ‘Transform Disability’ is being piloted by our friends in Zambia, Uganda and Malawi. These resources have the potential to transform harmful beliefs about witchcraft and common negative attitudes towards children with disabilities. The impact could be huge.
  4. Existing projects growing – New projects are always exciting, but we’re also delighted by how our existing project partners are growing and developing. LVLE, our newest partner, is reaching out to street-living children in Goma, and learning from other organisations who are more experienced in this kind of work. APRECOM is becoming more involved in a school for disabled children, which adds an entire new dimension to their work. And we’re helping Wukwashi to develop relationships with new potential collaborators. So the future is bright for our partners, whether they’ve been with us for a year or for 15 years.
  5. God is faithful – Time and time again throughout BCT’s history, we’ve been reminded that our God is good, gracious and faithful. We’ve seen his provision, guidance and inspiration in even the hardest times in our journey and, as we begin 2018, we know we’re walking with the God who can do ‘immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine’ (Ephesians 3:20).

It’s going to be a great year. Come with us for the ride! Please join us in praying for our partners and the children they serve so diligently. And why not consider becoming a BCT Champion?

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