We have some exciting news! Sixteen children have been rescued from forced labor trafficking in the Yeji region of Ghana by the Ghanaian Department of Social Welfare in partnership with Touch A Life. Eleven girls and five boys ranging from six to 11 years of age were found separated from their families and enslaved as fishing and domestic workers on the banks of Lake Volta. Now rescued, all 16 children have been placed at Touch A Life’s Care Center in Kumasi, Ghana, to receive long-term rehabilitative care specific to the trafficked child. The rescued children were accompanied by the Yeji Social Welfare Director and police escort and were brought to the Touch A Life Care Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Touch A Life team in Ghana is committed to the holistic care of each child survivor. Bernard, our Ghana Country Director, will begin crafting their individualized care plans, and for the first year after rescue the children will receive private tutoring in a small group setting to determine their educational and rehabilitative needs. These 16 new children will also have access to Connor Creative Art Center throughout the day.
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. Impoverished parents sell their children to fishing masters who lead parents to believe that their children will be gaining experience as apprentices. In reality these children are forced to work long hours under brutal conditions with no access to education. We are grateful that we have the space on our Care Center campus to welcome these 16 beautiful children. The 11 young girls will be living in Zachary’s house and the five boys will be living in our boys dorm.