Sunday, 19 July 2009

Cente for initiatives against human traficking

In Tamale our new home ,the group of the 16 of us here with 'Tzedek' live in two houses and have placements. We have teachers,nurses and NGO workers. I'm working in an NGO, a Non governmental Organization which works to combat Human trafficking.

Human trafficking [something which before arriving here I knew little about] is a form of modern day slavery. Children and young adults are sold from their homes in rural villagers to traffickers. The traffickers target the poor uneducated rural north. They tell them if they sell them their children they will find them good jobs in the prosperous south. This is a lie. The reality is they are made to work but receive little money .They live in diabolical conditions and are often forced into prostitution and develop AIDS. They are taken to the South of Ghana for example Accra, or the neighboring countries. There they enslaved until old age. I spent a day at my placement in utter shock. I couldn't compare my world in England to this story from some horror movie. There are communities so poor that selling their children seems like the best thing for the child. It was a bit too much to handle, I couldn't begin to react.

The Center for the prevention of Human trafficking works to address the root of the problem lack of education and poverty. They visit the rural villagers to educate them .They also try and help the villagers develop skills so they can earn a livelihood and therefore not need to sell their children.

The NGO also helps to track down the traffickers. On my first day my boss after being absent all morning, showed me an article about an arrest of two Nigerian traffickers in the capital of Ghana. He had reported them to the police and helped with their arrest. He sincerely apologized for missing my first day .I had to laugh at his apology I told him I thought it was fine, he was doing something ever so slightly more important than greeting me.

I work in the NGO five days a week, but the staff work seven days every day of the week! We work from eight to five with a lunch break.While the electricity does work my first job has been to edit a proposal for a grant for money from an overseas donor. Its really interesting to learn how an NGO works and be part of it. Working in the NGO is different that other offices. The electricity cuts out every now and again. Just like that the computer monitor turns of and we have to wait until who knows when. The first time it happened the shock on my face obviously showed .'Its Africa' laughed my co-worker, 'get used to it!


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