In Ghana, a couple of Baptist pastors fought against the plight of young women enslaved in the age-old practice of trokosi. In this tradition, girls are sent to fetish shrines to serve as slaves in atonement for crimes committed by their relatives.

As a result of international pressure, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice made the practice illegal in 1998, and encouraged the fetish priests and Trokosi shrines to modify the Trokosi system by accepting other forms of reparation instead of human slaves for the atonement of crimes. This move has caused some shrine owners and priests to release some of the girls. The release of the girls called for the need to rehabilitate and restore them into free society. 

The Baptist Convention of Ghana now operates the Baptist Vocational Training Centre, Frankadua, which is primarily involved in rescue, rehabilitation, and reintegration of trokosi girls. The centre teaches vocational skills such as dressmaking, kente weaving, catering, and bead making, and has educated more than 160 rescued trokosis since its inception. 

Not surprisingly, COVID-19 has disrupted funding. The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) are wanting more people to support this work by the Ghanaian Baptists… and also support others who are working against the systems that trap an estimated 40 million adults and children in modern-day slavery, three-quarters of them women and girls.

The link for giving to the BWA is give.cornerstone.cc/bwanet. It is part of a Christmas gift guide for the BWA, see: baptistworld.org/gift/

More information about the Baptist Vocational Centre in Ghana is available here: gbconvention.com/projects/baptist-vocational-training-centre/.

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