Mercy was a little girl when she was chosen to become a Trokosi slave. Her grandmother had stolen some beads, and according to the Trokosi practice, Mercy needed to atone for the sins of her family. Mercy was taken from her family to live in a world where she was regularly sexually and physically abused by the fetish priest.
Thankfully, International Needs is working to end the Trokosi practice. After years of suffering, Mercy became one of over 3,500 young women to be freed from slavery. Mercy now works with International Needs, traveling to remote villages in Ghana and helping other girls experience the same freedom she now knows.
Year Ministry Began: 1984
Executive Director: Rev. Walter Pimpong
Since 1984, International Needs has been on the forefront of the fight against the Trokosi practice, a cruel tradition which removes young girls from their families to serve as slaves to the village priest. By negotiating with the priests and pointing out the evils of slavery, IN has seen thousands of young women set free. With the government of Ghana now committed to eliminating the Trokosi practice, International Needs is determined to free every young girl from slavery.
A big part of the Trokosi Freedom effort is what to do with the women and children once they are free. The Vocational Training School at Adidome provides a place for vulnerable women to receive counseling and also to learn the skills that will help them to provide for their families. The children of these women are provided with a Christian education at the International Needs schools in the Volta region of Ghana. These children, born in difficult circumstances, receive the tools to escape poverty and live meaningful lives.
In some remote areas of Ghana, women are seen as second class citizens. As property. Messages are burned into a woman's heart and mind from the time she is a little girl. You are helpless. You are weak. You are no good. These messages make her easy prey to many forms of physical and sexual abuse.
Changing this message deep within an abused woman's heart is at the core of gender empowerment programs in Ghana. Once she truly believes she matters, a woman transforms the tools International Needs provides into a new life. She is brave. She is powerful. She is unstoppable.
Your support of gender empowerment programs like vocational training sparks a fire that will change a woman forever. Please help us support women in difficult situations as they make new lives for themselves and their children.
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