Slavery in Ghana
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Kids For Sale: Slavery In Ghana

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Nick News

Slavery in Ghana

Kids For Sale: Slavery In Ghana

[percussive marimba music] ♪ >> [speaking foreign language] >> I WAS VERY YOUNG AT THE TIME THEY CAME TO GET ME TO START FISHING. >> [speaking foreign language] >> ALL I EVER DID WAS WORK AND WAS BEATEN UP WHENEVER I REFUSED TO DO ANYTHING I WAS INSTRUCTED TO DO. I'M NOT REALLY SURE WHY BOTH MY PARENTS ASKED ME TO GO. >> male announcer: THIS IS NICK NEWS WITH LINDA ELLERBEE. NOW, FROM NEW YORK, HERE IS LINDA ELLERBEE. >> Ellerbee: HUMAN TRAFFICKING HAS GONE BY OTHER NAMES IN OTHER TIMES. IT USED TO BE CALLED THE SLAVE TRADE. NO MATTER WHAT YOU CALL IT, THE PRACTICE HAS ALWAYS INCLUDED THE SALE OF KIDS. IT STILL DOES. CHILD TRAFFICKING IS AN INTERNATIONAL PROBLEM AFFECTING MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AND MANY COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD. THIS SHOW IS ABOUT SHINING A LIGHT ON A HUGE ISSUE BY FOCUSING ON ONE PLACE, ONE PARTICULAR SITUATION, SOME REMARKABLE AMERICAN KIDS, AND EQUALLY REMARKABLE FORMER CHILD SLAVES TRYING TO MAKE IT BETTER. THIS SHOW IS ABOUT A RESCUE MISSION. THE JOURNEY REALLY STARTED WHEN TYLER, A 15-YEAR-OLD BOY FROM BRENTWOOD, CALIFORNIA, SAW A SHOW ON TELEVISION BACK WHEN HE WAS NINE YEARS OLD. >> THEY WERE FEATURING A STORY ON CHILD TRAFFICKING IN GHANA, AFRICA, AND THESE KIDS WERE BEING SOLD INTO TRAFFICKING BY THEIR OWN PARENTS FOR AS LITTLE AS $20, AND THEY'RE FORCED TO FISH 14 HOURS A DAY WITH ONLY ONE MEAL, AND I FELT HORRIBLE FOR THESE KIDS, AND I COULDN'T BELIEVE THAT THESE KIDS WERE BEING TREATED THIS WAY. I THOUGHT EVERYONE WAS TREATED AS GREAT AS I WAS. >> WHEN TYLER CAME TO ME AND ASKED TO DO A FUNDRAISER FOR CHILDREN HE HAD LEARNED WERE IN TRAFFICKING ON LAKE VOLTA IN GHANA, AFRICA, I KIND OF THOUGHT HE WAS CRAZY. HE WAS NINE. HE WAS LITTLE, AND I DIDN'T THINK IT WOULD ACTUALLY REALLY HAPPEN. MY NAME IS LAURA, AND I'M TYLER'S MOM. >> WE'VE DONE THOUSANDS OF LEMONADE STANDS, CAR WASHES, CELEBRITY FUNDRAISERS, AND JUST ANYTHING WE COULD DO TO RAISE MONEY TO SAVE CHILDREN OUT OF TRAFFICKING. >> THE KIDS ARE SOLD INTO TRAFFICKING BY THEIR PARENTS NOT HAVING ENOUGH MONEY TO SUPPORT THE REST OF THEIR FAMILY, SO THEY THINK THAT IT'S OKAY TO GET A LITTLE MONEY, AND THE PARENTS ARE TOLD THAT THEY WILL LEARN A CERTAIN SKILL SET, AND THEN THEY WILL BE ABLE TO COME BACK TO THEIR HOME AND PROVIDE FOR THEIR FAMILIES. >> TETTEH IS A 22-YEAR-OLD YOUNG MAN WHO WAS FORMERLY TRAFFICKED AND WAS RESCUED SIX YEARS AGO, AND HE NOW WORKS WITH ERIC TO RELATE TO THE CHILDREN THAT WE'RE RESCUING SO THAT THEY CAN LOOK AT HIM AND SEE HOPE AND NOT FEEL SCARED. >> MADISON, ONE OF THE GIRLS WITH ME ON THIS TRIP, HAS BEEN A GOOD FRIEND OF MY FAMILY'S FOR A LONG TIME, AND SHE GOT REALLY INVOLVED WHEN I TOLD HER WHAT WE DO, AND SHE LOVED THE IDEA AND WANTED TO HELP OUT. >> BEFORE WE CAME, I MEAN, I KNEW THAT THE KIDS WERE IN HARSH CONDITIONS. I DIDN'T REALLY KNOW HOW MUCH THEY GOT HURT BY THE FISHERMEN, NECESSARILY, OR HOW THEY WERE TAKEN AWAY FROM WHERE THEY LIVED. MY NAME IS MADDIE, I'M 15 YEARS OLD, AND I'M FROM WALNUT CREEK, CALIFORNIA. >> HE DESCRIBED IT, "BY THE TIME I COULD WALK, BY THE TIME I COULD TALK, BY THE TIME I KNEW WHAT I WAS DOING, I WAS FISHING." HE GREW UP, AND THAT WAS ALL HE KNEW. HE WAS TAKEN AWAY WHEN HE WAS FIVE. HE SPENT TEN YEARS IN SLAVERY, AND DURING THAT TIME, HE WAS HIT, HE WAS HURT, AND SO HE WENT THROUGH A LOT. >> SO TODAY, WE'RE GOING TO THE VILLAGE WHERE NEVER LIVES. IT'S CRAZY, I MEAN, TO THINK I WAS JUST NINE WHEN I SAW HIM ON TV, AND NOW I'M HERE MEETING HIM. >> NEVER, THIS IS TYLER. >> HI. >> TYLER. >> NICE TO MEET YOU. >> VERY NICE MEETING YOU. >> WELCOME TO GHANA. >> THANK YOU. >> YOU'RE WELCOME. >> SO YOU GUYS WILL HAVE FUN. >> OKAY. >> YOU INSPIRED ME TO RAISE MONEY TO HELP SAVE THE KIDS OUT OF TRAFFICKING. >> YES. >> AND I'VE BEEN DOING IT FOR FIVE YEARS, AND NOW-- >> FIVE YEARS? >> MM-HMM. >> YOU SEE, THIS FISHING STORY IS A STORY-- >> YEAH, IT'S A VERY LONG STORY. >> YES, IT'S A LONG STORY. IT'S A STORY WHERE WHEN YOU START--BEFORE YOU FINISH, YOUR HEART WILL MELT LIKE SNOW. FISHING... [chuckles] IS VERY DIFFICULT. THE CONDITION THERE IS NOT-- IT'S NOT GOOD AT ALL. >> IT MAKES ME SAD WHEN I HEAR THE STORIES. IT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE ALL THE BAD THINGS IN MY LIFE REALLY AREN'T THAT BAD, AND THEY COULD BE A LOT WORSE, AND IT DRIVES ME. THE TRIP FROM ACCRA TO HERE HAS BEEN A LONG JOURNEY, BUT WE'RE FINALLY HERE. I CAN'T FEEL MY LEGS. [laughs] STAYING AT THE MOTEL LAST NIGHT WAS PRETTY HARD. IT WAS INCREDIBLY HOT, BUT YOU GOT TO PUSH THROUGH AND THINK THAT THE KIDS HAVE IT WORSE, SO I SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO THIS. THIS MORNING, WE ARE AT LAKE VOLTA, AND WE'RE ABOUT TO GO ON OUR FIRST RESCUE MISSION. MY GOAL FOR THE NEXT FIVE DAYS IS TO GET AT LEAST FIVE KIDS OUT OF FISHING TRAFFICKING. [all speaking foreign language] [all speaking foreign language] [all laugh] NOW, THIS IS A MAN WE SAW HERE WHO SAID HE HAD SOME CHILDREN; HE WANTED TO LET THEM GO. >> THE PROCESS OF GETTING KIDS IS, WE PAY THE FISHERMEN, AND THEY SIGN A DOCUMENT SAYING THAT THEY WILL NEVER TRAFFIC ANOTHER KID AGAIN. IF THEY SIGN THE DOCUMENT AND THEN THEY TRAFFIC ANOTHER CHILD, THEY WILL BE ARRESTED. WE GIVE THE FISHERMEN MOSTLY MONEY, BUT SOMETIMES, WE GIVE THEM SUPPLIES, AND THEN SOMETIMES, WE'LL BUILD, LIKE, A FISH POND FOR THEM OR JUST OTHER THINGS THAT MIGHT HELP THEIR BUSINESS. >> WE HAVE ONE NEGOTIATION WHERE IT'S A MUTUAL AGREEMENT THAT THEY HAVE PRETTY MUCH TOLD US THEY WILL RELEASE THE CHILD, BUT WE HAVE NOT TAKEN HIM YET. WE'RE IN OUR SECOND VILLAGE. WE ARE GOING IN TO SEE IF THERE ARE SOME CHILDREN IN THERE THAT WE CAN RESCUE FOR TRAFFICKING. >> [speaking foreign language] >> I DID FEEL HELPLESS DURING THE NEGOTIATIONS, BECAUSE I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT PEOPLE WERE SAYING. I COULDN'T PUT MY INPUT TO THE SITUATION. I COULDN'T REALLY DO ANYTHING, JUST SIT AND WATCH. >> WHEN I SEE THEM ON THE BOAT, YOU KNOW, FEEL THE TENSION FROM THE FISHERMEN, IT'S ALL THE SENSORY DETAILS THAT REALLY HELPED ME UNDERSTAND WHAT EXACTLY THEY'RE GOING THROUGH AND HOW ROUGH THE SITUATION REALLY IS. >> [speaking foreign language] >> [crying] [both speaking foreign language] >> THERE WAS DEFINITELY THAT FEELING OF DISAPPOINTMENT FOR ALL THE KIDS WE HAD TO LEAVE BEHIND LIKE ALEX. YOU KNOW, HE HAD COME ON THE BOAT WITH US. I WAS KIND OF ESTABLISHING A SMALL CONNECTION AT LEAST, AND THAT'S DEVASTATING, EMOTIONALLY. >> [speaking foreign language] >> THE JOB I DO HERE IS VERY DIFFICULT, AND WE WORK FOR LONG HOURS. WHENEVER IT GOT WINDY WHILE WE WERE FISHING, I WOULD JUST KEEP PRAYING OVER AND OVER THAT NOTHING BAD HAPPENED TO US. WE SOMETIMES GET LOST AND END UP SPENDING LONG HOURS BEFORE WE FIND OUR WAY BACK. >> [shouts in foreign language] >> MY MOM ALLOWED HIM TO BRING US HERE SO WE CAN LEARN HOW TO WORK AS FISHERBOYS. I WAS VERY YOUNG WHEN I WAS TAKEN AWAY FROM MY MOTHER SO I WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO RECOGNIZE HER. >> [speaking foreign language] [boat engine roaring] >> IT'S ABSOLUTELY WORTH TO RESCUE--ONE LIFE IS WORTH ANYTHING. WE DON'T KNOW WHAT KOJO WILL BECOME. KOJO COULD BE PRESIDENT OF GHANA ONE DAY. [rooster caws] [percussive music] ♪ >> THE DANCE LAST NIGHT WAS REALLY COOL. IT HAS A GOOD BEAT. THE CONDITIONS ARE A BIT HARD, AND IT'S NOT WHAT WE'RE USED TO. STAYING IN THE VILLAGE HAS BEEN--NOT MANY PEOPLE GET TO DO IT IN THEIR LIFETIME, SO IT WAS GREAT TO EXPERIENCE IT. TETTEH DECIDED TO GO WITH US ON THE RESCUE MISSION AND GO BACK TO HIS OLD VILLAGE TO HELP AND MAKE AN IMPACT. >> [speaking foreign language] >> SINCE HIS UNCLE HAS ALLOWED HIM TO GO... >> [speaking foreign language] >> I THINK IT WAS HARD FOR TETTEH TO GO BACK TO HIS OLD VILLAGE. I DON'T KNOW IF I WOULD HAVE GONE BACK. >> [speaking foreign language] >> TETTEH WAS ONE OF MY WORKERS, BUT I SUPPORTED THE IDEA OF GOING TO SCHOOL. THAT'S WHY I ALLOWED HIM TO LEAVE. I WON'T MAKE ENOUGH PROFIT IF I SHOULD HIRE ADULTS TO WORK FOR ME. I CAN STOP EMPLOYING YOUNG CHILDREN AS WORKERS, HOWEVER, I DON'T KNOW IF THE OTHERS CAN. I DON'T THINK BRINGING THE POLICEMEN TO ARREST FISHERMAN WHO ENGAGE YOUNG CHILDREN IN THEIR BUSINESS WILL PUT A STOP TO THIS. THE PARENTS DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES OR THEIR KIDS. THAT'S WHY THEY GIVE THEM AWAY TO WORK. >> RIGHT NOW, I FEEL STICKY, DIRTY, EXHAUSTED, BUT ACCOMPLISHED. WE'VE DONE SO MANY FUNDRAISERS, AND IT'S ALL JUST PAID OFF TODAY. >> [speaks foreign language] >> I MEAN, WE SAVED FOUR KIDS. IN THE END, WE DID A GOOD THING. >> THE TRANSITION FOR THESE KIDS MUST BE EXTREME. I MEAN, THEY'VE NEVER USED UTENSILS BEFORE. THEY'VE NEVER OPENED A DOOR BEFORE. >> [speaks foreign language] >> THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE A LOCK. THEY'VE NEVER SLEPT IN BUNK BEDS. >> [speaking foreign language] >> WE USED TO SLEEP ON MATS ON THE BARE FLOOR AND THEN COVER OURSELVES WITH A PIECE OF CLOTH. HERE, I CAN SLEEP ON THE MATTRESS AND LAY MY HEAD ON A PILLOW AS WELL. EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL. >> [speaks foreign language] [all chanting] >> TETTEH, HE'S COME HERE, SO NOW HE'S LIVING WITH THE KIDS AT THE CENTER TO TAKE THEM THROUGH THIS PROCESS, AND HE'S, YOU KNOW, THEIR FRIEND BUT ALSO THEIR TEACHER, AND HE'S REALLY GIVING BACK A LOT. >> THE BALL IS ON THE-- >> [speaking foreign language] >> GOING TO SCHOOL GIVES ME HOPE AND MAKES ME BELIEVE I HAVE A BETTER FUTURE. >> SO WE ARE GOING TO SING-- >> IT DOES FEEL LIKE THEY'RE AT A BETTER PLACE. I MEAN, THEY'RE COMING FROM THESE HORRIBLE, INTENSE LIVES AND COMING INTO THE COMFORT OF LOVING ARMS, AND THEY'RE GONNA GO TO SCHOOL AND PLAY WITH FRIENDS, AND IT'S A MUCH BETTER LIFE FOR THEM. >> [speaking foreign language] >> I JUST CAN'T EXPRESS HOW HAPPY I AM TO BE LIVING HERE NOW. I DON'T WANT TO LIVE WITH ANY MASTER AGAIN. >> IF SOME KIDS ARE OUT THERE, AND THEY'RE VERY INTERESTED IN MAKING A DIFFERENCE, JUST DO IT. DON'T DOUBT YOURSELF. ASK AS MANY PEOPLE FOR HELP-- I MEAN, JUST A LITTLE BIT CAN CHANGE A PERSON'S LIFE, AND AS LONG AS YOU HAVE THE DRIVE, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING. >> Ellerbee: AS WE LIKE TO SAY ON NICK NEWS, WHEREVER YOU FIND BAD THINGS HAPPENING, YOU ALWAYS FIND GOOD PEOPLE TRYING TO MAKE IT BETTER, KIDS INCLUDED. THIS SHOW PROVES THAT POINT. KOFI ANNAN FROM GHANA, DIPLOMAT, NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER, AND FORMER SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS ONCE SAID, "YOU'VE TAUGHT YOUNG PEOPLE THAT THEY DO HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD." HE SAID THAT TO BONO OF THE BAND U2. TODAY, HE MIGHT SAY THE SAME THING TO TYLER, AND TYLER MIGHT RESPOND WITH A PROVERB FROM GHANA: ACT AS IF IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO FAIL. I'M LINDA ELLERBEE. GOOD-BYE FOR NICK NEWS. >> announcer: TO FIND OUT HOW
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Slavery in Ghana