Challenging Heights rescues, rehabilitates and educates children who are victims of forced labor on the fishing boats on Lake Volta, Ghana. James Kofi Annan, the founder of Challenging Heights, is a survivor of this form of slavery. He escaped as a child and has devoted his life to rescuing, rehabilitating, and reintegrating today's young victims.
Children in the area of Ghana surrounding Lake Volta are taken from impoverished families and are enslaved without pay or education. Children, as young as two years old, are forced to scoop water out of the fishing boats as the other children operate them. The children are abused on the boats and in the villages where they are forced to live. They are frequently malnourished, hit with paddles, and drown when they are forced to dive into the waters to untangle fishing nets.
Education and the elimination of child slave labor are inextricably linked. Challenging Heights offers educational support for children who have survived slavery and for at-risk children in the poorest communities in Ghana.