One of the most important parts of our work with identifying children who are at risk or have been trafficked is our partnerships with community members. We call these groups Community Child Protection Committees, or CCPCs, and they are comprised of important community members, such as assembly men, the chief, pastors, imams, teachers, health workers, students and other prominent community members. After a community member from Manford, a town on the Ghanaian coast, saw our CCPC in action in Senya, he requested that we come to Manford.
This is not our first time working in Manford; we have a handful of children who we have rescued and since reintegrated there, we’ve done two community sensitisations about trafficking and children’s rights as well as three school sensitisations. But this is our first time starting a CCPC there, bringing our number of active CCPCs to 15 throughout Senya, Winneba and now Manford.
Last week, our field team provided a training on child protection and what their role is as a CCPC member. Nearly half of the 30 members of the new CCPC were able to attend and learned about how they are to serve as watchdogs in the community, not only for signs of trafficking but for any violation of children’s rights that they may discover. They learned about who can help in a variety of situations and how they can be proactive in the situations. All of the members are excited about their new roles and are hoping for some Challenging Heights branded t-shirts and hopefully some ID cards as well, to strengthen their own sense of authority on these issues.
We plan to finish training the others who could not make this training in the next couple of weeks, and once everyone is on board, we are looking forward to a long-lasting and beneficial relationship with the community of Manford.