In April 2017, after storming into a woman's house and not finding her at home, angry villagers dragged her 14 year old daughter from her home to a nearby field and burned her alive. Since the girl was close to her mother, a "known witch," the villagers were certain that she had joined her mother in the witchcraft that had allegedly killed a relative.
As a result of this tragedy, ACN has partnered with REFEADE, a locally registered non-profit, to assist girls aged 9-14 who have been accused by villagers as witches in Makobola, a collection of villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
When Mrs. Apendeki, Network Coordinator for REFEADE and ACN Country Representative, asked these girls about the discrimination leveled against them, they all agreed that if villagers stopped falsely accusing them, they could focus on studies and later assume positions where they could help other children facing false accusations.
ACN is initially assisting REFEADE with an awareness building campaign against "street justice." The campaign is being led by Makobola's chief and many of the area's most prominent citizens. After the campaign 32 young girls will receive counseling and eventually return to school (the school ACN reconstructed), where they will be on ACN scholarships. Every year they will earn their scholarships as all other ACN scholarship recipients must: through academic achievement, academic improvement, and acts of kindness.