Hope for trafficked children thanks to Don Bosco Child Protection Centre
Last year the Salesians in Ghana created Don Bosco Child Protection Centre in order to give an answer to one of the most painful realities missionaries in Western Africa must face: human trafficking. The centre is part of broader collaboration involving the Salesians, the Local Police Department and the Social Welfare Ministry in Ghana.
Those trafficked children in Ghana are among the forgotten ones by society. Many are abandoned or sent by their parents to live with other relatives in the city under the promise of attending school; however, they are used to work. Others are sold by their own family in exchange of monthly fees. Instead of spending their childhood studying and playing, these minors work full time in plantations or in illegal mines putting their own lives at risk. Others are even less fortunate and are victims of trafficking and suffer sexual abuse and prostitution.
“We offer rehabilitation within six and nine months” claims the Salesian missionary Jorge Crisafulli, superior of the Salesians in the English speaking countries in Western Africa (AFW). “On some occasions children come to us with nothing else but the clothes they are wearing. We give them a decent place to sleep and a bag with some clothes and food. On their first day we also provide them a medical checkup to detect any illnesses or injuries they may suffer”.
The new Child Protection Center will offer shelter, assessment and education to help children with their transition from the traffick and their long-term rehabilitation.
Often the minors who get to the centre are injured and both their self-esteem and hope for the future are always low. However, most of them can adapt to their new environment within a few weeks. In the mornings they take lessons and in the afternoons the students can participate along with their classmates in group activities such as drama, music, dance, sports and games.
It is through this comprehensive programme of rehabilitation, reintegration, support and education that minors overcome their traumas and learn skills, reinforce their confidence and prepare themselves for a happy and healthy future.
Source: Misiones Salesianas