Sisters' mission in Kumasi against trafficking in persons
The Daughters of Charity in Kumasi, Ghana, actively combat trafficking in persons prioritizing education to raise awareness and prevent trafficking, offer shelter and support to victims, and aid in the rehabilitation and reintegration of survivors. Additionally, they foster partnerships with Catholic, governmental, and civil society organizations to strengthen their efforts against human trafficking.
Sr. Olivia Umoh, from the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, shared the story of fifteen Nigerian girls who had been victims of human trafficking in Ghana. Thanks to the assistance provided, these girls were able to return to their home country.
Among the girls were five minors, while the others ranged from ages 15 to 23. Coming from impoverished backgrounds and lacking support from their families, they tragically fell prey to trafficking. Each of them was deceived through false promises and tempting offers of well-paid employment opportunities. The sisters of Talitha Kum took action to rescue and assist these girls, aiming to provide them with care and empowerment for a life of independence and dignity. Fortunately, some of the girls were able to escape from their traffickers and sought help from the Talitha Kum network in Ghana, which primarily focuses on aiding children and young people living on the streets.
"All of them come from precarious situations: some of the girls were orphans, among them was Favour, who came to Ghana to work in order to save money to go to university. The other girls agreed to leave their country in the hope of finding livelihood opportunities. All 15 girls were forced into prostitution. Among the 15 girls was Esther, whose trafficker was arrested by the police, prosecuted and sentenced to five years imprisonment. One of the girls, Happiness, told of being trafficked together with another girl, both of whom were trafficked first to Côte d'Ivoire and then back to Burkina Faso." said Sr. Olivia Umoh, Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.
Afterwards, they were directed to the anti-trafficking police, the Department of Social Welfare, and individuals who generously support the Talitha Kum network.
"After their rescue, the girls were taken into our residence at the vocational training center and provided with counselling and psychological support to help them deal with the trauma they had suffered and accept the need to re-integrate. Some of the girls were happy at the idea of returning home to their families. However, some of them feared returning to the context of poverty they had left behind."
By Sr. Olivia Umoh , Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul
Coordinator of Talitha Kum Ghana
July 31, 2023