About 4 weeks ago when I first arrived in Uganda, I met my law colleague, Faith. She is about to complete her law degree from Uganda Christian University, the place where I am living and doing most of my work. I am very excited to be working with her. She is so much fun, and our different perspectives and personalities will really shape each of us as better advocates. She has a great attitude, and she has introduced me to many of her friends. Thus far I have had interesting conversations about the law, social work, and foreign aid coming to Uganda. As an American, I get asked many random and deeply political questions by eager students wanting to see change.
I have now completed all of my coursework in East African law and Human Rights in East Africa, and I am beginning to work with Kyampisi against child sacrifice.
The organization I am working for is so wonderful! They are simple people but very hard workers. I admire them already. There work is mostly involved in community development in the villages on the outskirts of Kampala, but because so many children in their community have fallen victim to child sacrifice, they started addressing the issue by becoming involved in advocacy initiatives against child sacrifice. Faith and I are their first legal interns; however, they have been involved with other organizations that have helped right policy briefs and research reports on the issue. Much of the work we were hoping to do has already been partially done by other organizations, so we are praying for the Lord’s direction as we walk forward. While there are many organizations fighting child sacrifice, they are all very scattered, and information is nearly impossible to come by without knocking on office doors. My prayer is that whatever we can do to help will be fruitful for the fight.
Last week, I had a meeting with a high ranking police officer, who is about to leave for South Sudan. He is a Christian lawyer and has an intense passion for child protection. He has been working on the child sacrifice issue for some time and really encouraged me to fight hard for these children. We also met with the Deputy of the Criminal Investigations Division in our town and with the officer at the Magistrates Court to gather known cases of child sacrifice. Unfortunately, I think we had more information on the cases that we were seeking that the records officer wanted to give us. He has graciously offered to find the cases we requested. The Lord has really helped us thus far. At this point, I think our direction has narrowed itself to analyzing the current process of child sacrifice from start to finish, through the reporting, investigations, prosecution and follow-up. Please pray the Lord continues to give us favor!
Heather Pate, 3L