The HAWK Project

Friday, May 24, 2013

National High School Hosts HAPSTA/CRARN Science Education Promotion Team

Humanist Association for Peace and Social Tolerance Advancement (HAPSTA) and its partner, Child’s Rights and Rehabilitation Network, Eket continues to promote humanist and science education in the child-witch endemic areas of Akwa Ibom state as her members and staff visited National High School Etebi, Esit Eket on Monday 20th May 2013. The aim of the visit is to promote science and humanist education among the pupils so that they will serve as change agents in checkmating superstitious beliefs and practices.

The students were taught the principles, importance and relevance of science education that are vital in the campaign to eradicate child-witch stigmatisation. HAPSTA resource persons made the pupils to understand the evils of superstitious beliefs and obsolete taboos; and hence, encouraged the pupils to embrace and imbibe scientific and rational thinking that are antidotes to the humiliating cultural beliefs and practices. They were encouraged to in turn enlighten their parents and guardians on the need to embrace scientific worldview and reject superstitious beliefs and practices. The organisation distributed free advocacy materials such as branded T-shirts, hand bands, books and pens to the pupils who participated.

The Principal of the school, Mr. Effiong Asuquo Ekong on behalf of the pupils and the school thanked the members of the organisation for their efforts in attempt to rescue the state from destructive superstitions and belief in witchcraft. He especially thanked the organisation for making his school a beneficiary of the project.

At the end of the programme, ten pupils were selected as HSEP Ambassador (Humanist and Science Education Promotion), while project t-shirts and handbands were given to the students.

Esit-Eket Town-Hall Meeting, another Huge Success

There were indications that we are winning the war against superstitions and belief in witchcraft as a large turn-out, enthusiastic volunteers and encouraging responses from the participants underscore the success recorded at the Esit Eket Advocacy. The advocacy meeting held on Tuesday 21st May 2013 at Abighi Okpono Town Hall, Uquo, Esit Eket had an unprecedented 105 registered participants in attendance, even as 13 enlightened participants enlisted as volunteers at the end of the meeting.

The various informed responses from the town people in attendance after the presentation titled “Support Efforts to Eradicate Childwitch Belief, Witch-Hunting, Abuse and Stigmatisation” indicates that considerable progress had been made in the campaign against child-witch stigmatisation in Akwa Ibom state. For instance, Hon. Eng. Edet Upkong explained that the effort of the organisation had yielded fruits in the area but he however pleaded with the organisation not to rest on her oars in the effort to rid the state of the menace by fighting the antics of the pastors whom through their prophesies accuse and label children as witches.

In attendance at the meeting were Secretary Esit Eket Traditional Rulers Council, Chief Alan Kelvin; Esit Eket Women Leader, Chief Mrs. Asuquo Uwana-Etebi; Hon. Edet Upkong among other notable men and women. Chief Alan Kelvin in his closing remark promised that the people of Esit Eket will continue to support the effort of the organisation in her bid to make life better for the children of the state.