Teach a Man to Fish, Save a Child from Slavery


An estimated 10,000 children work on Lake Volta, a prominent Ghana fishing hub. Many are sold by their families and forced to work 14-hour days. They are neglected and abused, with 46 percent suffering from serious illnesses. HAND grant recipient, Mercy Project, is helping to develop Lake Volta's economy, offering a sustainable alternative to child slavery.

Their approach is pragmatic, starting with building partnerships with the local fisherman. Research identified aquaculture as a natural solution, so Mercy Project's team is teaching fisherman to build, stock, feed and grow tilapia in cages. With a new way to earn a living, the fisherman release trafficked children to Mercy Project's care, where they receive rehabilitation and schooling. With careful oversight, they are eventually reunited with their families.

Since 2010, Mercy Project has rescued 105 kids, impacted 1,500 people in the fishing industry, and added 180,000 hours of schooling to former children of slavery. But there is more work to be done. A $1,000 donation provides a child with three months' of rehabilitation or pays for four months' of a social workers' salary. LEARN MORE