LOCAL INITIATIVE

Gilbert Djofin is head of the foundation “ PABEEB” , which focuses on the protection of children in Benin and is employed by the government.

The problem of children in voodoo convents kept him occupied for years. However, fearing the power of the voodoo made him refrain from taking any action. Finally, in 2014, he contacted the president of the voodoo chiefs in Couffo: Mama Hounza Tognon. It appeared that the voodoo chiefs considered the years of living in convents of the children a huge problem too.

Consultations amongst the chiefs of the convents and between the leaders of voodoo and the secular leaders led to a declaration of intent which was signed by all parties involved on October 2015. The starting point was that the stay of children in convents would not last more than three months.

               

In order to have free entrance to the convents and to gain the trusts of the leaders, Gilbert Djofin has himself been initialized. Together with Modeste, son of president Mama Hounza, he negotiates the ceremonies that have to be executed to please the Gods. Thanks to his efforts more than a thousand children have already been able to leave the convents.