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  • Writer's pictureStacy Omorefe

Eradicating Slavery One Village at a Time

We made our first trip to Hausa Kope in April 2011. Our team was traveling around to villages on the shores of Lake Volta, that were practicing child slavery. Our team met with the village chief and community members to discuss the hazards of child slavery and to provide our help if they were willing to release the children that were working for them. We were amazed at the number of children in the community. We returned to Hausa Kope a month later to provide a meal for the children and medicine to get rid of worms.

Hausa Kope is a fishing and farming village located in the Brong-Ahafo Region of Ghana. There are about 1000 people who live in this village, 600 of them are children. Fishers from Ghana's coastal villages settled this community in the 1960s after the creation of Lake Volta. These fishermen preferred freshwater fishing over the ocean.

Life in Hausa Kope is without luxury. The people don't have a market in their village so they must travel by boat for hours to sell their produce and fish. Just this month, the government extended electricity to the village, but many of the homes and other structures aren't equipped for power. The community has a school building that is owned by the government, but because of the location of the community and lack of teacher housing, they haven't been able to keep teachers. The children haven't had teachers for the past several years, and the school building needs renovating. Since there is no school in Hausa Kope, the children are working in the fields or on the lake fishing.

In January, our team returned to Hausa Kope to conduct a medical outreach and to assess the village's medical needs. A major issue plaguing the people who live in the communities near Lake Volta is Bilharzia. Bilharzia is a disease caused by freshwater that has been infected by parasitic worms. The parasites penetrate human skin to enter the bloodstream and migrate to the liver, intestines, and other organs.

The people of Hausa Kope need clean water to help prevent bilharzia and other diseases caused by polluted water. This weekend our team will be traveling to Hausa Kope along with a borehole drilling company. They will be installing a borehole equipped with a handpump for the people. Our team will be educating the community members about the importance of drinking clean water, cooking, washing, and bathing with this water to prevent diseases and parasites.

As CORM partners with the village of Hausa Kope, we know that it is imperative that we don't approach this relationship with a relief mindset but rather with the desire for actual development.

Last week we trained three community leaders from Hausa Kope in Community Health Evangelism (CHE) as trainers of the program. They will be going back to their community, looking for others to invest in and educating their village in holistic health. Holistically healthy communities are less likely to have child slaves and to condone this practice. It is our prayer to eradicate slavery one village at a time.

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,

because he has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners

and recovery of sight for the blind,

to set the oppressed free,

to proclaim good news to the poor.s favor."

Luke 4:18-19

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