1. Establish Relationships
Building trust and relationships with the Ghanaian fishermen is an essential part of our process – much of which takes place in village meetings under a mango tree. We believe in the need to work together to establish a partnership that is relevant to the Ghanaian culture and way of life instead of bringing in and forcing Western solutions.
2. Replace The Need For Child Labor
Because the child slavery issues on Lake Volta are rooted in lack of economic development, that is where we have chosen to focus our time and resources. We don’t want to provide a short-term solution, but instead desire to empower the village communities to seek alternative means of provision that do not require the use of slave children. Our economic research has shown that aquaculture is one of the most natural fits and best sustainable practices for the fishermen in Ghana. Using local materials, our Ghanaian team teaches the villages how to build, stock, feed, and manage the growth of tilapia in cages. During the aquaculture implementation, social workers research and contact each trafficked child’s family.
3. Trafficked Children Released
By investing in a village economically and helping teach them new means of making a living, they agree to release their trafficked children to us. Each child spends time in an established Ghanaian-run facility whose purpose is rehabilitation physically & emotionally, as well as beginning basic schooling. Our social workers facilitate family visitations during this time, and when each child is ready, oversee reintegration.
4. Monitor and Evaluate
The last piece of the process involves not merely setting things up and leaving, but frequently monitoring the families to ensure the children are provided for in a way that prevents re-trafficking. We do this by investing in microloans with the families as well as providing training on basic business, parenting, and any additional needs. We also continue to have a presence and relationship with the villages that partner with us; we oversee the economic development projects that have been implemented as well as encourage the villages to make wise decisions as a community, even after the release of the children.
Our process is time consuming, but it is wholistic, addressing the root issues of slavery in Ghana. If you’d like to learn more or have any questions about our process, we’d love to share!