Just to the west of Accra along the coast, the Central Region boasts some well-known tourist attractions such as Cape Coast and Elmina, major one-time slaving castles, Kakum canopy walkway, fabulous beaches and picturesque fishing villages along the Gulf of Guinea. It is also a place of abject poverty, especially in the Gomoa District, reported by the World Bank to be the poorest area of Ghana in 2002. Although there have been improvements since then, the Central Region continues to be a major source of kids landing in desperate situations.
God has brought us awareness of situations in which children are being trafficked, along with key contacts to help us to tackle the problem. ECM has developed a sponsorship program in one of the poorest communities in the area, and an office from which we coordinate programs including an initiative to fight child trafficking directly through documentation and intervention. Perhaps more importantly, we are fighting the root causes in key areas. A sponsored child is extremely unlikely to be trafficked or to end up on the street, because that child’s education is assured and loving mentors are watching over his or her welfare. And while we can sponsor only a small number of children at the present time, the mere existence of a sponsorship program in the area creates hope for all the others as well.