CORM Ending Child Slavery in Ghana

In March 2016, while on Semester at Sea, I stayed at the City of Refuge Ministries (CORM) in Ghana, Africa. CORM, a faith-based organization, is a school and orphanage dedicated to ending child slavery and human trafficking. CORM works to address the urgent goal of freeing, housing, and educating child slaves. However, rather than just rescuing one child at a time, they also strive to end the cycle that places children in slavery to begin with. The time I spent at CORM was one of the most valuable experiences of my life. Naturally, it was impactful to spend time with the children and experience the culture; however, it was extremely eye-opening to see the powerful ways CORM is cultivating change.

I just graduated from the University of San Diego in May ‘17 with a Marketing major, a Peacebuilding & Social Innovation minor, and a Psychology minor. I am passionate about Social Innovation, and I intend to pursue a career in Corporate Social Responsibility. This is one of the many reasons I have accepted a Field Internship with CORM, beginning in mid-August as an effort to learn and contribute at the grassroots level, prior to entering the corporate workforce.

In 2006, Johnbull and Stacy Omorefe, a couple from the US, recognized that modern day slavery is rampant in the fishing region of Lake Volta. Fisherman pursue desperate mothers who can’t support their children, and they offer to buy the children under false pretenses. The fisherman promise they will care for and educate the children, in exchange for the children working on their fishing boats. In reality, these children are severely mistreated, and they often die from abuse, malnourishment, or other dangers they face daily. The Omorefe’s began their mission to end this modern day child slavery by founding CORM.

CORM has developed in many ways. In 2010, they took a crucial step toward ending the cycle of child slavery by initiating programs to empower vulnerable single mothers. CORM founded programs with the objective of providing single mothers with the knowledge and leadership skills to support their families. One of the programs is “7 Continents”, a business initiative that teaches women to sew and to sell their products directly to consumers and through partnering with corporations. By teaching women the craft of sewing, giving them the financial skills to run a business, and instilling the confidence necessary to be self-sufficient, CORM is ultimately giving them the ability to support their families and to pass on the knowledge to empower other women.

I am striving to raise funds to (1) cover a small portion of my expenses while there, and (2) to leave CORM with a meaningful donation to support their growing number of children, the child rescue missions, and the development of their self-sustainability initiatives for single mothers.  Your donation will go towards supporting an amazing organization doing work that truly makes a difference. Any contribution will make an impact on supporting a child who’s been freed from slavery, rescuing a child slave from the Volta Region, and ending the cycle that devastates vulnerable women and their children.
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Emily Brennan
San Diego, CA

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