United Way Ghana, in line with its objective to improve the lives of the underserved through supporting their education and economic empowerment, has presented over 40 selected young learners with relevant educational materials, and young adults with the relevant trade tools.
These individuals are members of the Senya community who have been identified as survivors of child trafficking in partnership with the International Justice Mission (IJM) and the Department of Social Welfare of the Awutu-Senya District.
The presentations form part of United Way Ghana’s Anti-Child Trafficking project aimed at supporting rescued children to accelerate literacy and significantly improve their educational outcomes, while selected rescued young adults are provided with skill-learning opportunities and tools to help them sufficiently reintegrate into the community. Twenty members of United Way Ghana’s Anti-Child Trafficking Literacy Project between the ages of 5yrs and 17yrs were supported with packages consisting of school bags, exercise and notebooks, stationery, school uniforms, shoes, socks as well as sanitary pads for the adolescent girls.
Twenty-two members of the Anti-Child Trafficking Advocacy Group, referred to as the Courageous Crew, also received economic and educational support. Among them, 3 members were awarded fully-funded educational scholarships, 6 received vocational skills training, and 2 were supported with business capital. Eleven members also benefitted from financial literacy skills training. Beneficiaries of the vocational skills training were also presented with work tools and equipment to run their businesses of carpentry, hairdressing and dressmaking.
In February 2023, United Way Ghana and International Justice Mission, Ghana launched a Child Trafficking Survivor Network in Senya-Beraku in the Awutu-Senya District under the theme ‘Ending Human Trafficking, Survivors Leading the Movement’. The Courageous Crew, an advocacy group against child trafficking, was formed to create awareness of child trafficking and its adverse effects on the child and the community. These individuals have been through a series of training facilitated by the Department of Social Welfare and experts from the International Justice Mission to empower them as advocates in the community to lead the fight against child trafficking.
The Executive Director of United Way Ghana, Mr. Felix Kissiedu–Addi, in his remarks, urged the beneficiaries of the socio-economic and literacy programme to make the most of this golden opportunity. “It is important that you take this opportunity as a seed and be inspired to make the most out of your lives for the benefit of your families and the greater society. With support from United Way Worldwide Anti-Human Trafficking Centre, we are providing you with the resources that can be leveraged to ensure your smooth reintegration into society after your individual traumatic experiences,” he said.
Madam Amina Ahmed Abekah, Senior Social Welfare Developer at the Department of Social Welfare, also expressed gratitude to United Way Ghana and International Justice Mission for the intervention. She said: “As a government institution, we are financially handicapped; and that puts a restriction on the extent of work that we can do in the communities. She pledged her outfit’s readiness to ensure the sustainability of the project and admonished the parents and caregivers against giving their children out for child labour.
Mr. Worlanyo Forster, Director of Advocacy and Partnerships at International Justice Mission Ghana, also in his remarks, stated: “We are very happy to partner with United Way Ghana to bring about positive changes in the Senya-Beraku community. We believe that our survivors can tell better stories of human trafficking because of their personal experiences and that is the reason why they need to be empowered to create societal change”.