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Previously, I talked about the children in Ghana who were sold by their own parents to the fishermen that had made them their labors.

Now, these are some of the children’s stories taken from the same article I gave yesterday:

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~ ESI’S STORY ~

After her parents died, Esi went to live with her grandmother. But instead of caring for her, Esi’s grandmother and aunts, all 75 or older, decided to “rent” her into bonded labour for a small advance.

Esi was 12 years old when she was sent to a fishing village at Yeji. There, she worked long hours for the fisherman’s wife. Her chores included washing the family’s clothes and fetching water from the lake, which is far from the house. She also prepared food and sold the fish caught by the fisherman and his other trafficked children.

Seven years into her ordeal, the International Organization for Migration rescued Esi.

In accordance with her wishes, IOM helped the young girl into an apprenticeship. Although she was illiterate, Esi preferred vocational training over school. “Please try to put me in hairdressing so that I can earn a living in the future,” she said. Once she completes her three-year apprenticeship at a hairdressing salon at Mankessim, a town in Ghana’s Central Region, she hopes to open a salon in her community.

~ YAOVI’S STORY ~

When Yaovi’s father got ill and died, his stepmother, who never liked him, decided to send him away. One of the villagers invited the 10-year-old to stay with him and attend school in a big city, an exciting opportunity he decided to accept.

However, his dreams were soon shattered. Instead of attending school, Yaovi reared cattle for his master, a man he had to call “father.” After two years of hard work he was sent to a new “father” in the fishing industry. He had to do heavy physical labour, like pulling large fishing nets and carrying fish and equipment.

Yaovi lived under difficult conditions, as is common among trafficked children. He usually got only one or two small dishes of corn with fish per day. He also suffered from heart problems due to overwork. But his master would beat him if he was struggling to perform his work.

Those years of forced labour are behind him now. Yaovi, who was rescued by the Ghanaian NGO APPLE (Association of People for Practical Life Education), will soon be sent back to his village. At 17, he will start attending school again. His plan is to get an education and learn a trade “to become a respectable man in the future.”

~ end ~
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How do you feel about it ?…

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I watched the Oprah Show today, and this time was about child trafficking in Ghana, West Africa. There was an article at New York Times, where the picture of a child named Mark looking into the camera with a hard expression on his face. “The boy with the haunting eyes”, said Oprah. Oprah has sent Lisa to find the boy and investigate how are the condition in Ghana that has made the issue so big. It is estimated that one in every four children in Ghana work as child laborers, Lisa said.

The main cause of the issue is the poverty, lack of education, and most family has too much number of children–one of the family interviewed by Lisa even has 22 children! The children are sold to the fishermen by merely $20 per child, and they only eat once a day. Some of the children are sold when they were just 4 years old. It’s so devastating. Imagine if it’s happenned to our own brothers, or sisters, or even our own child. (more…)

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