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."

Interview 1 with Family Affected by Child Sacrifice

16 Jun

Photo: the late Francis

On June 11, 2011, Dorothy and I interviewed a family who lost their little boy to child sacrifice in the village of Serere, which is located right outside of Soroti. I conducted the interview while Dorothy translated as the family was more familiar with the local language, Atesso. Both Dorothy and her husband Fred are from Serere and Fred was visiting home for other business so I joined in on the ride as this family lives only a few feet away from the house of Fred’s family. The persons we interviewed were the grandfather, grandmother and aunt of the person who was murdered.

The boy’s name was Francis and he was 4 years old when he was kidnapped, murdered and sacrificed in 2007. On the day we visited them, the mother of Francis had just left the compound to run an errand but it was the grandparents who really looked after him. The family explained how Francis was playing in his compound with his little brother. The grandfather was out in the fields but was not too far away. The grandmother had just left for church. They said that before Francis went missing they could hear him laughing and that it was the kind of laugh that was caused by someone else. Thus they think that the man was playing was hiding in the fields and was playing with Francis from afar. He then lured Francis away using peanuts. Francis was missing for 4 days and the family searched extensively for him, even searching in the pit latrines. They called the police, who came out, but they just told the family that the boy would turn up. The family searched and searched. One day the mother of Francis became really upset and threw all of Francis’ clothes into the field behind the compound because she said there was no need for them as no one knows where her little boy is. She was the first person to see his body as it was lying in that very field behind their compound. The family thinks that the body was just placed there because there weren’t any flies on his body. The family explained how Francis’ upper and lower jaws were removed, along with a piece of his throat and an organ from his stomach. His eyes were also pricked which the family thinks was a way to destroy any evidence because they said that police use the eyes to try and track the culprit. The police came and the family said it costs money to investigate and so the boy’s killer was never captured. But the family knows who the killer is. In fact he still lives in Serere and owns a store there.

When asked how they are coping, the family said that it’s in God’s hands and that one day the man who did this will get his. They said this man always wanted riches. They also said that the man had went to a witchdoctor to find out how he can obtain riches. The witchdoctor then told him to kill his own son but instead the man killed Francis. When the man took Francis’ body to the witchdoctor, he/she said that he couldn’t accept this body because it wasn’t his own son. The family said that’s when he dumped Francis’ body in the field behind the compound. The family buried Francis behind the compound and planted a flower in the spot where his body was found.

During the interview they spoke of how Francis was a happy and good-looking kid.

Posted By Jamyel Jenifer

Posted Jun 16th, 2011

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