Stories of Success
In 2006, Mark’s story was exposed in a New York Time’s article about the child slavery issue. At the time of the story, Mark was a 30-pound, 6-year-old working 14 hours a day, seven days a week on a fishing boat on Lake Volta.
Meals were scarce, the work was hard and Mark lived in fear of physical abuse from the master. Often times Mark would receive a beating, not sure what he’d done to deserve it. The work Mark does is difficult for a strong, healthy adult to manage. It’s unconceivable that a 6-year old is subjected to the difficult and sometimes dangerous tasks of paddling canoes, brining in nets or diving into the dark, deep water to untangle a trapped net.
There are an estimated 30 million people trapped in slavery worldwide, 8.5 million of them are children. More people are enslaved today than in any other time in history. The slave trade generates a profit of $32 billion annually.
Mark’s parents, like so many others, leased him to the fishing master for $20 a year for a set period of time. Mark’s term of service was 3-4 years. In an area where nearly two-thirds of the population lives on less than $1 a day, the money they received in exchange for his service provides much needed support for the family. Mark was most likely sold under the cover of a better opportunity and chance to go to school. It’s very common for African parents to send children to distant relatives for a period of time. Slave masters are taking advantage of this custom ad profiting from the exploitation of these children.
Mark was one of the lucky ones. He was rescued from the slave master and transferred to Village of Hope, an orphanage/boarding school, where he received care, compassion and learned new skills like reading, writing and math. Mark is preparing for high school with the hopes of attending college and securing a more stable future.
Nearly 36,000 other children in Ghana have a similar story. But there is hope. By purchasing a life insurance policy through the Worth It Project, you provide stability for your family and rescue a child slave. Worth It Project donates 100% of the revenue from all policies with an annualized premium under $10,000. Let us review your current coverage or help you with a new policy purchase.
Lake Volta photo credit Joao Silva for The New York Times