IOM Ghana Distributes Solar Lanterns to Rescued Children
Ghana - IOM in Ghana has distributed 34 solar lanterns to child survivors of trafficking who were rescued from fishing communities along Lake Volta.
The children have since been rehabilitated, reintegrated and enrolled in schools in their communities across four regions in the country. Most of them were rescued in 2011 and since then have received regular support from IOM including individual counselling and monitoring by an IOM Ghana social worker, who raised the alarm regarding the impact that the current power crisis had on the children.
Some of these children do not have electricity at home and used to gather at the better off households to do their homework together. However, because of the energy crisis currently affecting Ghana, the 34 children no longer have alternatives and spend their evenings in the dark during power cuts. During “lights off” nights which happen several times a week, homework was foregone and the children’s academic performance was suffering.
“Whenever there is black out, I go to sleep because I can’t read my books and do not have any other option to study,” said Daniel (not his real name). “But now, I will be able to study even if there is black out.”
IOM Ghana purchased the solar lanterns thanks to the generous donations received from an independent fundraising event called “The Ladies #LightTheirWay”, which was organized in Vancouver, Canada to benefit IOM’s Global Solar Lanterns Initiative.
The children and their families are very thankful for the lanterns. Now they will not only be able to spend more time on their homework after school but the whole family will benefit from it for their livelihood activities and safety.
“Thank you for the lantern. The family will also use the solar lantern because we are all affected by the power crisis”, said caregiver Mr. Kwasi (not his real name).
Twenty newly rescued children, who are currently going through rehabilitation, will also benefit from the solar lanterns after their reintegration and enrolment in school in September 2015.
“These children have already experienced so much hardship in their short lives, whatever we can do to make their everyday lives easier and give them a brighter future, should be our priority. With this initiative we gave them light – both in the literal and figurative senses”, said Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, IOM Ghana Chief of Mission.
IOM has worked with the government of Ghana and other agencies to counter trafficking in persons since 2002. It has so far rescued a total of 752 children victims of trafficking.
For further information, please contact: Doris Yiboe at IOM Ghana, Tel: +233 2302 742930, Email: email@example.com or #GhanaChildRescue #LightTheirWay