Posted by: africanpressorganization | 3 October 2014

Victim of Trafficking Rescued by IOM Ghana Travels to US to Meet Donors


 

Victim of Trafficking Rescued by IOM Ghana Travels to US to Meet Donors

 

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 3, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On Sunday, 5 October, a community in the U.S. State of Ohio will put out the red carpet for a very special visitor. His name is Never. He was trafficked into the fishing industry in Ghana and later rescued and rehabilitated by IOM.

 

Never’s heart-wrenching, yet uplifting story will be part of a “Save a Child” event in which IOM and U.S.-based partners will take part to raise awareness among residents of the City of Columbus, Ohio about the plight of trafficked children in Ghana.

 

Proceeds from the event will support the efforts of IOM and its U.S.-based non-profit partner, the U.S. Association for International Migration (USAIM), and GlobalGrandparenting, a charity founded by two community members, Rosanne and Mark Rosen, who were inspired to support this cause.

 

The three organizations have been working together to raise USD 100,000 to fund a 2015 rescue of 20 trafficked children exploited by fishing “masters” in the remote Lake Volta region of Ghana.

 

“We hope this event will bring greater awareness to our community about the incredible challenges children are facing all over the world,” says Rosanne Rosen. “This is all about Never and the kids in Ghana; they keep us motivated to do more.”

 

Children, as young as four years of age, are sold into slavery and still forced to work from dusk to dawn under dangerous conditions on Lake Volta.

 

Never was one of those children. When he was ten years old when he was removed from school and sent to work for a fisherman. Once in the fishing community, Never worked 14-hour days, starting at 5 a.m.

 

Most children are not able to attend school, lack adequate nutrition, face detrimental health consequences, and sometimes become entangled in fishing nets and drown.

 

Never was exploited for two years before the IOM team rescued him. Never hopes his story will bring relief to children who remain trafficked.

 

IOM has rescued 731 children, but unfortunately hundreds of children remain trapped in trafficking situations.

 

The Ghana project began attracting the attention of the U.S. public after the plight of these children was showcased on the Oprah Show in 2007. Since then, USAIM has raised over USD 500,000 for IOM Ghana’s counter-trafficking efforts.

 

“Beyond the financial resources mobilized, one of the greatest satisfactions for us is to see two communities, otherwise separated by thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean, united behind a common cause. This is invaluable and shows the important role USAIM plays connecting globally conscious U.S. private donors and IOM,” said IOM Ghana Chief of Mission Sylvia Lopez-Ekra.

 

“In a country as large as the United States we try to target bigger cities,” added Luca Dall’Oglio, USAIM CEO and President. “Holding this event in a prominent community in the American Midwest is the perfect example of how effectively targeted messaging can reach the right people who will spread the word.”

 

The “Save a Child” event will highlight the 2015 goal to rescue 20 children and support them for at least 2 and a half years through IOM’s comprehensive approach to rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration.

 

The event will include music by the Urban Youth String Orchestra and performances by the Thiossane Institute Dancers. The “Save a Child” event will also provide an opportunity to recognize Children Saving Children, a Columbus community youth organization that has hosted fundraising events ranging from walkathons to benefit concerts to support this cause.

 

SOURCE 

International Office of Migration (IOM)


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