In December of 2006, the Touch A Life team partnered with Ghanaian abolitionists to rescue seven children from the slavery of child labor along the shores, and in the waters of, Lake Volta in Ghana, West Africa. Our hearts broke for the thousands of children we saw along those banks, forced to untangle nets, dive into deep, murky water, and work all day without compensation or schooling.
For the next seven years, our team in Ghana focused on securing a safe and healing place for any child who could be freed from this life and had no family to care for them. Over 90 children were rescued off the lake through Touch A Life, and 47 came to live long term at the Care Center built in Kumasi, Ghana. Since 2006, our Ghanaian and US-based staff has had ears to the ground, searching for ways to end the cycle of child labor in Ghana. It is through this process that we have seen how the influence of forced labor stretches far beyond Lake Volta.
In the past year, 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 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.
As we see the depth of these needs, we have in turn broadened our vision to provide long-term, holistic care and education to any vulnerable or exploited child that we can. Our three newest additions at the Touch A Life Care Center do not come from the Lake Volta area, but they needed our help nonetheless. Mary, an eight-year-old girl, was forced to sell water on the street, and was brought to us this year. Prince and Collins were abandoned by their father and mother and left with an impoverished, elderly grandmother who had no means to provide them with basic care or education. We see hope for children like Mary, Prince, and Collins, as well as the other children thriving on our campus in Kumasi.
Thank you for supporting us as we grow. Your encouragement and generosity makes this vital work possible.