Free at Last! Thank God Joe is Free at Last!
Joe was four years old when he started to work for food. Before Joe was born, the boy’s father had already abandoned his future son. When he was one year old, his mother left home to look for greener pastures in a neighboring country. Joe’s grandmother, a poor and old peasant farmer, became his guardian. Joe’s grandmother could not provide his needs and so he spent more days out of school than in school engaged in activities including working as a laborer on construction sites and selling scrap metal.
At Yeji, Joe was put to work on the water. He spent his nights sleeping out in the open, he ate once a day, and he was maltreated daily by his master. Unable to bear the hardship any longer, Joe escaped from Yeji by joining a boat bound for Kete Krachi where he was led to the Village of Life, a facility run by PACODEP, an organization that rescues children working on the Volta Lake. At the Village of Life, Joe’s immediate needs were attended to. He was fed and given clothes. He needed glasses to help with his eyesight and Village of Life provided them. For the sake of long term progress in Joe’s development, Village of Hope was contacted for the possibility of admitting the boy into residence.
Our social workers’ investigations revealed that indeed, Joe’s situation back at home was bleak. Joe’s mother was back from her travels, now a petty fishmonger with five other young children to take care of. She does not have a relationship with Joe and no one else in the family is particularly interested in Joe’s well-being, particularly since he started fending for himself years ago.
This summer, arrangements were finally made for Joe to be admitted to Village of Hope. He has been enrolled in school at Village of Hope. He needs a private teacher to help him catch up with academic work and that has been taken care of. Joe has endured suffering at levels that many people will never go through in their lifetime. Thank God that after a life of slavery Joe is free at last – free to have a childhood, a loving family and the nurturing that he needs.
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