Inside Ghana’s Witchcraft Refugee Camps

The Witches of Gushegu: The villages offering the only sanctuary to Ghanaian women accused of witchcraft.

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In northern Ghana, an enduring belief in witchcraft has resulted in the exile of many women from their villages. Yet in the refuge camp of Gushegu, these women are offered a chance at reintegration.

Blamed for sickness and death, abused and chased out of their villages; the story is the same for hundreds of women in Ghana. Tipaa describes her ordeal: “I cannot go back to the village, my children are poor and they will harm them if I go and live with them again.” But volunteers in Gushegu care for these women and help negotiate their reintegration. “We only see them as human beings, as we are, and we work with them”, describes volunteer Zenab. “I am happy to go home, but I don’t know if everyone will be happy to see me come back”, says Budali, a woman accused of murdering her husband. By setting up educational programmes, the volunteers are working to tackle the root cause of witchcraft accusations, yet it may take generations before witch hunting in Ghana is finally halted.

Suzanne Vanhooymissen – Ref 6427

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