Facts About exploited children in Ghana
An estimated 35.8 million people are enslaved worldwide and over 21,000 children are currently being exploited as child labor in the Lake Volta region of Ghana. This high concentration of trafficked children is startling to see on the largest man-made lake in the world.
When the lake was completed in 1965-1966, the waters flooded the river valley of the Volta Region, once a beautiful and prosperous agrarian society full of small villages and farms. Without warning, hundreds of people were displaced by the flood. Many were killed. Today, all the communities around the lake have economies gripped by poverty. Lake Volta, now overfished, is the only source of income for most communities along the shores.
Because of the extreme poverty in lake communities and the lack of education, many families feel that they have no choice but to sell their children to fishermen. Sometimes, deceived by the fishing masters, they believe that their sons and daughters are learning a trade; it becomes an apprenticeship of sorts. Yet the lives that these children live once trafficked can be called nothing but slavery.
Vulnerable & Exploited Children
Lake Volta is not the only area in Ghana where children are exploited. Over the past two years, Touch A Life has deepened our partnership with the Ghanaian Department of Social Welfare, looking to provide support for their most vulnerable children. Through this partnership we have learned of children who spend their days forced to work in other dangerous conditions with no access to school or medical care. We have also become aware of children who are not currently in a forced labor situation, but have been abandoned or are in vulnerable situations. These children are not in school, have little to no family support, and are prime candidates for the evil of exploitation.
How Can I Help?
Touch A Life Foundation is the first non-governmental organization in Ghana to provide long-term housing, education and care to victims of child labor and exploitation. Because we provide long-term care, we are invested in the success of each child, their welfare, education, medical care, and psychosocial development. There are some simple ways that you and your school can get involved in making a difference. Your class or school can join our Quarters For A Cause campaign and help fund higher education for a Touch A Life, or you can host your own event to help raise awareness and resources for other projects at Touch A Life.