Jamyel Jenifer

Jamyel Jenifer (Uganda): Jamyel graduated In 2006 from Spelman College in Atlanta, where she majored in French with a concentration in Pre-Medicine. As an undergraduate student, Jamyel also participated in a semester domestic exchange program at Wellesley College and a summer French Immersion program in Martinique. She then worked as a Pre-Service Assistant in the Office of Medical Services of Peace Corps and went on to serve for two years as the Health Education Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, West Africa where she worked on women’s reproductive rights. At the time of her AP fellowship, Jamyel was studying for a Masters degree in International Development and Social Change at Clark University in Worcester. After her fellowship Jaymel wrote: "[I] learned about how grassroots organizations function and about the effectiveness of using radio."

First Week in Soroti, Uganda

16 Jun

When I arrived in Uganda on June 1st, I was kindly met at the airport by Santos Labeja, the executive director of the Gideon Foundation. We then met his colleague, a teacher who lives in Kampala who is also driven to end child sacrifice, Pascal Bogaert (he is also featured in SACRIFICED). They are trying to coordinate a visit to Parliament for the end of August where they can discuss the need for a law specifically against child sacrifice to lawmakers. After a night in Kampala where I stayed with a very kind classmate of mine from Clark University, I then travelled to Soroti. Santos hopped on my bus while it stopped in the town of Mbale as he had a meeting there that morning.

My first week in Soroti was spent getting settled and I also went to a Catholic church service, a funeral, became acquainted with the office of the Gideon Foundation and its staff, purchased some DVDs on human rituals and witchcraft (which are available at many video stores in Uganda) and began mapping out a workplan with Santos and the other staff members of the Gideon Foundation. I also interviewed Santos and his wife, Leah, and had the pleasure of hearing Santos give a sermon at a Pentecostal church in a neighboring community: (will insert photo soon)

My workplan includes interviewing families affected by child sacrifice, cultural leaders, district officials, police officers and, if possible, reformed witchdoctors and people in prison who have committed acts of child sacrifice. Also, if possible, I would like to conducted some of these interviews in Mukono, a district in Uganda located near Kampala, where child sacrifice is heavily practiced. My workplan also includes helping the staff of the Gideon Foundation in their sensitization efforts in the neighboring communities. My role with the Gideon Foundation during these next 10-12 weeks is to raise awareness and support to their efforts to end child sacrifice.

Posted By Jamyel Jenifer

Posted Jun 16th, 2011

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