Hundreds of thousands of people visit Cornwall annually for its breathtaking beaches, stunning sunsets, and a pace of life that is unmistakably relaxed. Ancient tin mines sit redundant; creating striking images against the backdrop of the sea. Whilst the Cornish pasty was made exclusive to the peninsula, it’s easy to forget its heritage as nourishment for those working in some 2000 active tin mines in 1839. Many of them children as young as 12. Of course, today this would be recognised as child abuse and stopped immediately.
Except in Ghana. Some children trafficked into mining for gold are as young as 6 . Two social workers from Cornwall plan to use their annual leave to deliver vital support to children subject to trafficking in Ghana, via volunteer organisation, Projects Abroad .
Being forced to work in the hazardous labour conditions of a gold mine is, in some ways, a better option than the alternatives. Girls as young as 10 are sold into prostitution, where they are often subject to vengeful sexual violence and regular beating. They then have to endure a lifelong social stigma when they are outcast once they reach maturity.
Sadly, social work is not something that is commonly practised with individuals who appear to be physically fit, but these children are in urgent need of psychological support and social work input. Lisa and Karen plan to visit Ghana in February 2015; joining Projects Abroad to volunteer for 3 weeks. Using their skills as social workers, they will help enhance the limited support available to these children and their local communities. Intending to contribute significant savings of their own, advisors from the organisation suggested raising some funds through pledges.
The women’s time will be spent supporting children to increase literacy and numeracy; many do not complete schooling and are therefore illiterate. Their work will also promote early childhood development; improve hygiene levels; and increase emotional support and care to the children. Lisa said, “I know we can make a small difference; the continued aid work contributed to children like those in Ghana will change their lives. We’re grateful for any donations to raise support for this cause.”
In order to volunteer their time to work on this time, the women need to raise approximately £3000 in total, which will go towards travel, costs of the host families, safety equipment, and resources for the children and their communities.
Cornish copywriting and PR company Palaver Maven have contributed a donation and are helping to promote the campaign on the ladies’ behalf. They have agreed to issue free press releases for any companies wishing to donate to this essential aid work and help Lisa and Karen along the way. Any additional funds raised will allow the women to take extra resources, leaving a legacy to promote independence and freedom from slavery.