You can help Every Child Ministries work to liberate slave children in Togo and Benin.
Freeing "Vudusi"--Children given to Voodoo idol gods
(French spelling Vodunsi)
In Togo and especially in Benin, Voodoo is widespread. (Voodoo is the English spelling. It is commonly spelled Vodoun there. The final n is silent in French, and the word is pronounced much the same as in English, so the French spelling is Vodounsi). Voodoo is not only the practice of magical powers through spirit entities, but is also used to refer to the spirits or gods themselves and to the idols or images in which the spirits reside. In fact, Voodoo in the Caribbean and in the southern United States actually came from Benin originally.
Where voodoo is practiced, unnumbered thousands of children--usually little virgin girls-- are given to the voodoo idol gods. It is like the girls become devotees, wives, and slaves of the gods--all rolled into one. The word devotee is used only in the outward, formal sense of the word. The children have no choice or say in that matter, being given into that practice by their parents or other family members, and are often horrified at the duties they are forced to perform for these "gods". These children are called vudusi or voodoosi, meaning wives or slaves of the gods. Vudusi is a horrendous form of child slavery.
Vudusi are known to number in the many thousands, but no attempt has ever been made to survey them. Indeed, such an attempt would be difficult, for voodoo shrines are normally highly secretive. None of the vudusi have yet been liberated, as have some of their counterparts, the trokosi and other shrine slaves in Ghana. What differences may exist between the practices of voodoo shrines in Togo and Benin and other shrines of traditional religion in Ghana remain to be seen. Such information normally comes from interviews with former shrine slaves after they are freed and is almost impossible to get even preliminary interviews while they are still under the influence of and subject to the discipline of the shrine. It is initially evident that the vudusi are held in a system that can only be called slavery, and that their rights to religious freedom are not observed in the shrines.
In 2003, ECM's partner organization International Needs Ghana held an informational workshop with participants from the three countries to begin drawing attention to the voodoosi problem. In December 2005, a team from Every Child Ministries did an evaluatory trip to Togo and Benin to learn firsthand about the Voodoosi and to evaluate how Every Child Ministries might get involved to help the voodoosi. As a result, the Board decided to take several initiatives. The first of these began in 2007, with teacher training, further research, and awareness raising in Togo. The same began in Benin in 2008. ECM has also put up a website in French called "Esclavage Modern"--modern slavery.
Liberating Vudusi children is a very hard proposition, but not one that is too hard for God. We at ECM are pledging ourselves to do all we can to free vudusi children and give them an opportunity to hear the Gospel that brings both liberation from sin and the power of God's Spirit within. With God's grace and guidance and your prayers and support, we believe the voodoosi can be freed.
You can help, first by praying (see specific prayer points below), and also by giving as generously as you can to this project.
Let's pray for the liberation of the vudusi:
- Pray for effective, Spirit-led planning for the totality of this initiative.
- Pray for the voodoosi themselves, that God would prepare their hearts for freedom and to receive His Word.
- Pray for God's appointed contacts in Togo and Benin, and for influential government and community leaders to work towards abolishing the practice.
- Pray that the public in Togo and Benin will have a change of heart toward the practice of voodoosi, so that they will no longer see it as an acceptable cultural practice.
If you speak French, Ewe or Fon and English fluently and would like to participate in this initiative, click here to request further information.
Donate toward this project,
and designate your gift--"Slave Children--Vudusi".
Back to Slave Child Main Page
Back to ECM Home Page
Contact ECM about serving in Togo or Benin as a long-term missionary.
Go to ECM's French website on Modern Slavery: Esclavage Modern (www.esclavagemodern.com)
|Every Child Ministries is a Christian mission and an anti-slavery group that is totally dedicated to winning freedom for African slave children and eradicating the practice of slavery no matter what it may be called. No more children forced into a life of religious prostitution through ritual servitude! Voodoosi has to go! Here at Every Child Ministries, we believe that every child is created in the image of God according to Gen. 1:27, and is therefore endued with certain inalienable rights, dignity and value. No human tradition is higher than these God-given rights. No human institution has the right to take away what God has given. No child should be a slave. We ask people of good will everywhere to join us in the fight. Click here to sign up for our email prayer updates, and/or send us your mailing address to get our quarterly AFRICAN JEWELS magazine (US addresses only). THANK YOU!|