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The fight against child trafficking is the fight for all-Queen Mother

The paramount queen mother of the Mankessim Traditional Area, Nana Ama Amissah III has appealed to all Ghanaians to join the fight against child trafficking which has destroyed the lives of many young children in the country.

This, according to her is the only way through which the bright future of children can be guaranteed.

Nana Ama Amissah III made the call at an open forum organized by Engage Now Africa, an NGO, held at Mankessim in the Mfantseman Municipality of the Central Region on the theme: “Children must be in School, not working”.

According to David Kofi Awusi, Assistant Director of End Modern Slavery, Engage Now Africa, the forum seeks to educate Ghanaians on the tricks and strategies that traffickers use in trafficking children and youth in Ghana for exploitation either in Ghana or abroad.

It equally seeks to introduce Engage Now Africa in the district as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with the focus on using education, prevention and advocacy as its three main pillars to empower people against child trafficking and its menace.

“We believe that once people are aware, once people are empowered with quality knowledge, their level of vulnerability reduces therefore they will not become victims if they know that someone is going to recruit them with a lie” said David Kofi Awusi”

As part of efforts to end child trafficking in the Central Region which has been identified as the hotspot of modern slavery in Ghana, Engage Now Africa has hinted some key methodologies it is adopting to tackle the challenges which includes; community baseline survey, open forums, focus group discussion, dialogues with local people and traditional authorities, government officials and district assemblies to unravel the mysteries surrounding the rampant nature of the act in the area.

Speaking to Journalists at the event, David Kofi Awusi, Assistant Director of Engage Now Africa revealed his outfit is determined to end child trafficking in the area at all cost by first conducting a baseline survey out of which it will decide on the approach to use in tackling the challenges.

He highlighted community sensitization, film shows, community forums, open day discussions among others as measures high on his outfit’s agenda to deal with the unfortunate situation.

The Director of Mankessim Social Welfare Department, Ms. Felicia Ankrah Halm in her address appealed to all stakeholders especially the Ghana Police Service to work in close collaboration with the Social Welfare Dept. to curb the issues of human trafficking and control child loitering in the area by holding parents accountable for the upkeep of their children.

She also called on government to help increase the distribution of school exercise books and other materials to school children so as to ease the burden on their parents thereby encouraging teaching and learning in schools.

Engage Now Africa is an International Non-governmental Organization (NGO) with the mission “to engage and strengthen individuals, families, and communities to end poverty by instilling hope and teaching principles of sustainability in education, micro-credit, clean water, medical services, orphan support and eradication of modern slavery”

The NGO is currently working in Ghana in the areas of Ending Modern Slavery, Education, Clean Water, Medical Services, Self –Support Assistance, Orphan Support and Adult Literacy.

Engage Now Africa on Thursday, April 24 2016, in Accra, launched its “End Modern Slavery” project to combat child trafficking in Ghana by way of ending poverty in Africa.

Present among the dignitaries who graced the occasion includes the Head of Social Welfare Dept., Ms. Felicia Ankrah Halm, Mankessim District Police Commander, ASP Sebastian Maya, Paramount queen mother of Mankessim Traditional Area, Nana Ama Amissah III and the Assistant Inspector of the Ghana Immigration Service (Saltpond). Also in attendance were some officers from Mankessim District Assembly, member of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), traditional authorities, school children, market women, some members of Civil Society Group Organizations including parents.

Source: Joseph Kobla Wemakor

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