Robert* was about eight years old when a man named Kaku* came to his family’s home and promised to enroll him in school. Hoping for a better future, the family let him go.
Instead of school, Robert was forced to work brutal labor on Ghana’s Lake Volta. Robert was afraid. He did not know how to swim, but Kaku would drop him in the water anyway and watch him struggle — almost to the point of drowning.
Thousands of children like Robert are enslaved on Lake Volta, working long hours in Ghana’s massive fishing industry. Give today to help rescue children enslaved on Lake Volta and worldwide.
Robert was one of more than 20 trafficked children being exploited by Kaku on Lake Volta. He saw other children die as a result of being forced to jump into the water and untangle fishing nets.
Robert was afraid he would be beaten if he voiced his fear about the dangerous conditions. Always hungry, the boys would steal the fish they caught and sell them so they would have money to buy food.
At the same time Robert was suffering, IJM was working to educate communities and collaborate with local governments about human trafficking. This work resulted in a key tipoff that led to the rescue of two girls and 21 boys, including Robert.
IJM is actively working with authorities in Ghana to rescue children from modern-day slavery and trafficking on Lake Volta. As we prepare to send more teams onto the water, please give now to help rescue vulnerable children.
In December 2021, Robert was reunited with his family. Now, he looks forward to achieving his dreams for his future. He wants to be a teacher and play soccer. “Children are not supposed to work on the lake,” Robert says. “They should be enrolled in schools so they can be educated and achieve their future dreams.”