Gertrude* has epilepsy. Her family initially rejoiced when she was born, but that soon changed. Three months after her birth, Gertrude started having epileptic seizures.
When her family realized her condition, they abandoned her and her mother because in their village, epilepsy is considered a curse.
In Adaboukope, Togo, where they live, nearly 80 percent of the population is animist.
They love Voodoo statues made with their own hands. When people there are overwhelmed, they resort to these gods.
Many times, Gertrude’s grandmother brought her to the sanctuary of these gods for ceremonies, yet she was not healed. Her grandmother almost gave up.
When the Assemblies of God Church Adaboukope opened, Gertrude was one of the first children to join the center.
A few months after registration, Gertrude began treatment for the epilepsy, and gradually her seizures have reduced.
Her family members started visiting her and no longer consider her a curse. She spends time with her family without being rejected.
Gertrude is overjoyed at starting school this year.
Voodoo is a major part of Togo’s culture. The Akodessewa Fetish Market is world’s largest fetish market and can be found in Lome, the capital of Togo.
You can also view The World’s Largest Voodoo Market on YouTube.
*Not her real name.