OS talks to pupils about his work with Jubilee Campaign - uncovering child sacrifice in Uganda
Phil Leonard (OS08) returned to Stonyhurst on the first day of term to talk to pupils about his work with Jubilee Campaign – a registered charity campaigning at the highest levels of international government on behalf of children at risk worldwide, and for those persecuted for their beliefs or humanitarian actions. Phil worked undercover in Uganda with award winning television journalist Chris Rogers to expose the shocking reality of child sacrifice. The film they made recently shown by the BBC.
Phil explained how he came to spend his summer in this way: “I was talking to Lord Alton about his human rights work and he told me about the work of Jubilee Campaign, which he launched in parliament in 1987 with Danny Smith. Everything happened very quickly from that discussion and the day after my last university exam I was on a plane to Uganda!”
There, he and Chris found that child sacrifice was far more common than anyone knew and that, worryingly, it seemed to be increasing. “Jubilee Campaign’s research gives several reasons for this” said Phil: “the desire for wealth and prosperity which sacrifice is believed to bring; the growth of a Ugandan middle class (more people wanting to secure success for their businesses, buildings or factories); police inadequacy and lack of regulation; exploitation and trickery by witch doctors, and superstition combined with lack of education.” Jubilee Campaign is trying to eradicate the practice through re-education, campaigning for changes in the law in Uganda, raising awareness (partly through the All-Party Parliamentary Uganda Group chaired by Bill Cash, OS), and offering practical and financial help for surviving victims and their families. This year, the Stonyhurst pupil-lead charity ‘Learning to Care’, is supporting Jubilee Campaign and other charities connected with international child welfare.
Phil is in his third year at Edinburgh, reading History, and is considering a career in journalism
More information can be found on the charity’s website: www.jubileecampaign.co.uk.
(Photograph shows Phil Leonard with Mr Warrilow and some of the Syntaxians who attended the talk.)