Summary of the Situation
The teenage girls in question migrated from the Upper East Region of Ghana to Kumasi, which is in the Ashanti region, in search of better means of livelihood. They ended up becoming homeless and sleeping rough on the streets at night. During the day, they operate as porter girls (kayayo girls) carrying heavy loads in the market for very little pay. They become victims of inhuman exploitation. Most of them become pregnant, deliver, and bring up their babies on the street.. Some get seduced into prostitution and end up with infections or become easy prey to human traffickers. Some lucky ones get rescued by the safe child advocacy project in Kumasi run by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, and from there, begin to experience some life-changing interventions for better and more life-giving options. And so the story goes on……Most of those who have been rescued get trained in basic sustainable skills for livelihood. Many carry a lot of physical and psychological pains that need to be processed and healed. The means for achieving this healing is to use the framework of faith companionship to explore with a significant other in an unjudgemental and friendly environment through the use of personal narratives aligned with the stories of women in the scripture to bring about healing and the needed self-assurance.
How will the funds be used?
Using individual counseling sessions as well as group sessions. Through the group session, the young women share their stories and talk together about self-healing and self-repair. The sisters use selected bible stories to assist the women in discovering how they can use their life experiences to identify and name ways they have been exploited. The young women use what they learn to name the exploitation they have experienced and promote justice through advocacy with government officials to stop it.
The Sisters’s Response
This particular program will set up one one-on-one counseling sessions and group sessions, which will be based on sharing our stories for self-repair. The group sessions will always be accompanied by selected stories of women in the bible to discover how their life experiences were used to promote justice, share, or throw some light on exploitative activities. To build resilience through advocacy and restoration of personal integrity.
Young women migrating from the upper east region of Ghana come to Kumasi for a better livelihood. With minimal resources, they end up homeless and sleeping rough on the streets at night. They have subsistence jobs as porter girls carrying heavy loads in the market for very little pay. Some get seduced into prostitution and end up with infections or become easy prey to human traffickers. They are often exploited, many becoming pregnant and delivering their babies on the street. Many young women are trafficked to Ghana from Nigeria and Cameroon.
Many of the young women migrate to Kumasi upon the death of one or both parents. Most are fleeing abject poverty. Some are displaced by conflict, war, and natural disasters. Running away from a rural environment for an imaginary, better life in the city is common.