Community youth volunteers
IOM Ghana is encouraging youth worldwide to reflect on the positive roles they can play in their societies.
The role of youth in development issues cannot be overemphasized as they embody the strength of any society or nation. As part of IOM Ghana’s community outreach project, supported by UNICEF, IOM has involved Ghanaian youth as community volunteers in a training on child protection. The training is based on a 12 module toolkit that seeks to ensure the holistic protection of children and prevention of child trafficking in Ghana. The toolkit features topics such as community responsibility, child protection, child trafficking, children’s rights, the realities of child labour, and good parenting, to name a few.
One year ago IOM Ghana trained 21 youth volunteers selected from six communities in three districts of the Volta region of Ghana; to empower them with the requisite knowledge on child protection and trafficking issues.
In September and October 2013, toolkit sessions were conducted by these youth facilitators, supported by the IOM Counter-Trafficking staff. With a strong sense of commitment, they were able to educate over 7,389 community members (including men, women and children) in six Volta communities.
As a result of their hard work, some child abuse cases were identified and referred for assistance. These trained youth also helped some community members to voluntarily rescue their children from suspected situations of trafficking.
The second phase of this IOM project is currently underway. An additional training was held for the youth in July 2014 to review issues related to the harsh realities of child labour, trafficking laws, good parenting, and self-protection for children, among other topics.
Trained youth from the six Volta communities will conduct toolkit rollout sessions from August to October 2014, in an effort to reinforce information provided last year and to encourage community discussion of child protection and child trafficking issues.
To the youth of Ghana, especially to our community volunteers, we say thank you for your support.
We also take this opportunity to encourage both private and corporate donors to support the efforts of IOM Ghana to promote child protection and prevent child trafficking. By working together we can make a difference and help to prevent child trafficking.
Community sensitization on child protection