How We Make Sure Rescued Children Get In School and Stay in School

Along with preparing the children rescued from hazardous labour on Lake Volta to go back to their families and communities, getting them ready to join their classmates is a vital part of reintegration.

The Challenging Heights Field Team organizes all the details, from asking specific principals to allow a new student into their school, to making sure each child has enough pencils, erasers and notebooks to participate in their studies.

Most reintegrated children start school immediately after they return to their families, whether or not they have the appropriate school uniform. Others, like one girl in Winneba’s fishing neighbourhood, Penkye, were taken to a new school by the Field Team.

This girl was originally expected to attend Challenging Heights School, but her family decided they wanted her to go to a different public school with fewer costs. As soon as they found out, the girl dressed, and the Field Team brought the girl to that school in their area and asked the headmaster to enroll her.

There were already three other reintegrated, rescued children at African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church School, but they needed school supplies. Challenging Heights received instructions from their teachers as to what exactly they required and collected the materials. School supply donations have proven crucial to making sure students are well-equipped to learn.

After the headmaster accepted the new student, dressed in a Challenging Heights t-shirt on the first day at her new school, the Field Team passed out four backpacks full of materials that the children needed for class.

Other children, dressed in school uniforms, surrounded the Challenging Heights SUV, curious as to who these new classmates were and envious of their fresh backpacks, books and pencils.

Teachers welcomed the rescued children, proudly grasping their new bags, and walked them toward their classrooms.

Each reintegration comes with challenges, but our goal is to help the children get back to school and away from dangerous slave labour permanently.