Peter Kisirinya devises rational approach towards witchcraft challenge

Here is the latest message from Peter Kisirinya, Director of the Isaac Newton Schools, on how he has been working hard to fight the threat from evil spirit rumours at the Humanist School at Mbute.

The situation has calmed down and since the incident reported in the previous post.

I have been sleeping at the school, on the floor of the kitchen storeroom* to demonstrate that there are no evil spirits to fear. The concern goes back many years when Mbute Hill used to be the site where witch craft and rituals were performed – long before the school was built.

I have had several meetings with parents, students, teachers and local government leaders of the area. They have shown a lot of support for the school and we have set up a committee headed by the PTA chairman to visit the homes of our students to reassure families.

childsacrificeWe have invited the local community to an open meeting on Friday next week. At this meeting they will have talks from lecturers in Psychology from Kyambogo University school of Education. The Education Department at the university has set up a team to allay the fears of the general public on issues such as witch craft and exorcism in Ugandan schools and to share research findings. In some parts of Uganda there are still instances of children being abducted from schools and taken away for ritual sacrifice. The government is fighting a national campaign against such practices (see campaign poster).

The meeting will be attended by the Mpigi District Inspector of schools and the Head of the CID at Kammengo Police. Moses Kamya, from Mustard Seed School, will also come to give his support by speaking about the rational and caring philosophy of Humanist schools.

Now the school is well fenced there is little worry about security. However, I am proposing that as a matter of priority we seek funds from supporters to construct some teachers’ housing on the school site. Having people sleeping on the site will reassure local people that evil spirits are not still in the place.”

*When sleeping on the floor of the kitchen with no bed net, Peter was badly pestered by mosquitoes and he is currently suffering from malaria.