Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 6-7: New Life

Final photo from the hotel in Yeji before departing.

The next morning we were all anxious to pack up and make the long journey back to Accra where these four rescued children could start their new lives.  I must say however, that things that seemed so unpleasant just two days before at the hotel now felt sort of comfortable compared with our stay in the village.  I wondered how the kids felt as we whisked them back to the big city of Accra.  Certainly things would be more pleasant and modern but still foreign and unfamiliar to them.

Arriving at the Center after our 9 hour drive through the Ghana countryside.

The caretaker escorting the kids to their new home.

Rice and chicken like this is a real rarity for these kids.  So is a spoon and bowl.

Saying good night before parting for our hotel.

The next day, our last day in Ghana, we went to the Center where the kids has been cleaned-up, haircuts and all, given fresh clothes, and ready to begin the re-integration process.  This part of the process is critical to ensuring that the chances of these kids being re-trafficked remains low.  The idea is to help them gain their own sense of self-confidence and worth so that they can eventually stand up for themselves and be valued by their families.  The process is gradual but knowledge really is power and it consists of educating them and helping them see that they can have a bright future, despite having lost some crucial years of childhood as a trafficked child.

Eric teaching the kids a song on their first day of school.

Mika with Kwojo who drew this picture and worked on writing his name.

At the Center there was mostly laughter and smiles, sprinkled in with a few tears as the kids adjusted to all of this huge change in their lives.  I am sure they were wondering if this was real and, if so,  how long it would last.  Pondering what their future would look like and missing their families and friends from the village.

One thing I know for sure is that because of the rescue mission these kids are on a different path that includes education, opportunity, self-esteem, and a fighting chance to change their world and hopefully the one around them.

The kids dressed in their traditional clothes.  Love those smiles!