Challenging Heights is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation in Ghana that works to protect children’s rights and end child trafficking. Founded by James Kofi Annan in 2005, our main efforts focus on addressing trafficking of children to Lake Volta, where they are forced to work in the fishing industry. We work in underserved coastal communities in Ghana, providing support to women and children in hard-to-reach areas that are at risk of child trafficking.
To prevent child trafficking, reduce child slavery, and promote children’s rights.
A country in which child trafficking is a thing of the past and children’s rights are celebrated.
Challenging Heights was founded by James Kofi Annan in 2005. James was trafficked to Lake Volta when he was 6-years-old and he spent seven years there in modern slavery. He managed to escape, return to his home in Winneba and put himself through school. While working as a bank manager, James saved up money to start Challenging Heights with the intent to prevent more children from going through what he did and to rescue the children still working on Lake Volta. It started small, with Child Rights Clubs at schools in 2003. By 2005 he had saved up enough money to legally incorporate Challenging Heights as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and quit his job at the bank. Over the years, we’ve grown from Child Rights Clubs at schools to conducting a number of rescues each year and rehabilitating children at our shelter.
Networks and Partnerships
We are a member of Family for Every Child, a global alliance of local civil society organisations from around the world working together to ensure that more children grow up safe and protected within families. Through Family, we advocate for better child protection policies and services, we share good practices and innovation, we carry out research on the issues faced by children in our contexts, and we continuously learn from each other and with partners to improve the way we work.
We partner with Freedom United on a variety of campaigns. Freedom United works to inspire people to join the abolition movement who will then mobilise to influence governments and institutions to make the necessary changes in order to end modern slavery.
For his dedication and commitment for the education and protection of children, the founder of Challenging Heights, James Kofi Annan, has won a number of international awards, including:
- AGI’s Social Enterprise of the Year – 2016
- IF Hummingbird Foundation’s “Be the Spark” Award – 2015
- C10 Awards – 2014
- Winner of the World’s Children’s Prize – 2013
- Grinnell Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize – 2011
- Michael Beckwith Africa Philanthropy Award – 2011
- The Frederick Douglass Freedom Award – 2008
- WANGO World Education Award – 2008
- Barclays Bank Group Chairman’s Award – 2006
- Barclays Bank Africa, Middle East and Indian Ocean Chairman’s Award – 2006