Emmanuel endured years beneath the blistering sky of Ghana’s Lake Volta. As a child fishing slave, he faced the bare elements in a shoddy open boat. Sharp nets left deep cuts in his fingers. The blurry water left him fearful that he might not survive when forced to dive beneath the surface to untangle the nets.
“My life was in a total mess,” Emmanuel recalls. He had no access to medical care or education. “I thought that was the end of the world until I was rescued.”
Shelter is the first step to safety for child trafficking survivors. It’s a key element of our Growing up Free program in Ghana.
When Emmanuel was rescued, he was rushed to the Village of Life center, run by a Free the Slaves partner organization. He received medical treatment and psychosocial counseling. And, for the first time in his life, Emmanuel attended basic classes. He was integrated into Ghana’s government welfare and health insurance programs and enrolled into a village school.
The shelter provided something strangely foreign to Emmanuel: a safety net. Today, he is reunited with his parents. Our shelters springboard children into lifelong safety.
It costs $300 a month for shelter staff to transform a child slavery survivor’s life. We hope you will consider donating to sustain our shelter network. Your contribution will have twice the impact this summer: a generous foundation is matching all contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000 during our Doubling Down on Freedom Campaign.
Please change what is at these children’s fingertips: from sharp fishing nets, to social safety nets.