Comprehension Exercise – 29

Comprehension Exercise – 29

Creative Writing – 84

Read the article and answer the questions that follow

Article sourced from ‘TIME’

Justice is 7 years old. She’s besotted with Frozen’s Princess Elsa and knows all the words to the film’s hit song “Let It Go.” Every morning, she collects the frangipani flowers that have fallen into her guardian’s yard in the Papua New Guinea capital Port Moresby and turns them into floral brooches, poking the central stem through each snowy petal. When Justice laughs, which is often, her smile beams so wide it seems to stretch her face to breaking point.

It’s hard to imagine how anyone would consider this little girl the encapsulation of pure evil. Yet in November 2017, the population of her village convinced themselves Justice was a witch. That’s why a mob imprisoned and tortured Justice for five days. It’s why they strung her up by her wrists and ankles and began flaying her with heated machetes. It’s why they screamed at her to recant the black magic they accused her of using to strike down another youngster. “They came to my house and wanted to kill me,” Justice tells TIME matter-of-factly. “They got a big knife and put it in the fire and then hurt my feet.”

Justice, whose real name TIME agreed not to use for fear of reprisals, was eventually rescued by the Papua New Guinea Tribal Foundation, an NGO based in Port Moresby that provides education, health care and humanitarian assistance in Papa New Guinea’s remotest communities. Justice has since been cared for by the organization’s director of operations, Ruth J. Kissam, who is now her legal guardian. TIME met Justice and Kissam for a play-date in Port Moresby, where she has lived since her flight from Papa New Guinea’s arcane Highlands.

No child should have to describe such heinous cruelty. But Kissam, who became a community activist after being forced to drop out of law school to care for her ailing mother and three younger siblings, has spent her life battling the sorcery-related violence that increasingly blights this southwest Pacific country of 8 million. Kissam allowed TIME to meet with Justice because she says the child will only reconcile her ordeal by talking about it. But there is also a far grimmer reason. “We are talking now to raise awareness because we are seeing a lot more kids just like her coming into our system,” says Kissam, whose work earned her the Westpac Outstanding Woman of 2018 Award, which celebrates Papua New Guinea’s most dedicated female talent.

Belief in sorcery, known locally as sanguma, exists across the Pacific and especially in Papua New Guinea or PNG, a country just off the northern coast of Australia incorporating half the island of Guinea, plus some 600 other islands. Eighty percent of the population live in far-flung villages without access to electricity, running water or health care. Its clans speak over 800 distinct languages. Many aspects of sanguma are entirely benign, part of a folk religion that stretches back millennia. Hunters may collect a tendon from a dead relative’s body to rub on their bows while hunting, believing the spirit helps guide the arrow home. Colds and other ailments are ascribed to the meddling of capricious spirits. Surprisingly, sanguma and Christianity — introduced mainly by Western missionaries — are often revered side-by-side.

But PNG is experiencing a spike in lynching of suspected witches, as uneven development means ever more people leave their villages looking for work. Without established village chiefs or time-honored tribal justice systems in place for addressing sanguma accusations, these swelling communities of economic migrants become more vulnerable to hotheads instigating violence. And because most people who live in PNG lack education and proper healthcare, when a sudden death or illness strikes — a growing scourge as junk food and drugs make previously unknown conditions like diabetes and HIV/Aids more prevalent — angry mobs often go looking for a scapegoat. “There are people who go to different communities and say, ‘If you pay me 1,000 kina [$300], I’ll tell you who is a sorcerer,” says Gary Bustin, director of the Tribal Foundation. 


1. What does the 7-year-old Justice do in the morning?
2. What is her favorite song?
3. Why were the villagers angry with Justice?
4. Make sentences with besotted, machete, flay, and recant.
5. What did the crowd did to Justice?
6. Under whose care Justice presently lives?
7. Make sentences with reprisal, arcane, sorcery, blight.
8. How has been the life of Kissam before she joined the Foundation?
9. What are the reasons for Kissam allowing TIME representative to meet Justice?
10. Describe the terrain of Papua New Guinea.
11. What are the benefits of  Sorcery or Suguma?
12. Make sentences with .. benign, Mmeddle, capricious.
13. Why there has been an increase in sorcery or sanguma cases in recent years?
14. How has junk food and drugs worsened the lynching problem?
15. Make sentences with Scourge, Scapegoat.

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