---- Reunifies Two Boys With Families
The members of Humanist Association for Peace and Social Tolerance Advancement (HAPSTA) bring joy and smiles to the Asuquo and Okon families when two boys Asuquo Ita Asuquo and Okon Ita Okon who were stigmatised and abandoned to the streets as a result of witchcraft accusation were reunified with their families on Tuesday 20th August 2013 at their various home towns.
Asuquo, a 16-year old who had been at the HAPSTA/CRARN Transit Centre, Eket since 27th September 2011 was reunified with his family at Edikor Village, Udung Uko Local Government of Akwa Ibom. His father, Mr. Ita Asuquo Effiong who received Asuquo said the members of his family are very happy to welcome him back into the family after staying at the Transit Centre for 24 months.
In Oron where Okon was reunited with his maternal family at No. 12, Eyulo Street, his mother Mrs. Ini Okon Adatong appreciated all the organisation did for the boy since he was rescued. She promised to take good care of the boy and protect him from the stigma of the accusation. Asuquo had been in the care of the organisation since 29th April 2012.
HAPSTA with its partner Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) through the Stigmatised Child Rights Project (SCRIP), funded by HAMU, Norway, had since 2008 been fighting for the rights of children accused and labeled as witches; rescuing them from brutality of their accusers and taking them to custody. The SCRIP Project Manager, Mr. Ayobami Ojedokun speaking during the reunification said more children at the Transit Centre whose families and accusers had been reoriented and are suitable for reunification will soon be reunited with their families. He said the organisation will not relent in its efforts to protect and care for the stigmatised children, and most importantly reunify them with their families because the family is still the best place for child development.