Children Save Lives in Ghana
For the past three years, IOM’s Trafficked Children Project in the West African nation of Ghana has rescued 612 children who were engaged in fishing under hazardous conditions in Lake Volta.
So far, 587 children have gone through IOM’s extensive rehabilitation process and are in school and reintegrated into their communities. The children and their families also receive follow-up assistance.
The 25 children rescued in February of this year are currently undergoing rehabilitation and will be reunited and reintegrated with their families at the end of April.
The experiences of these children, some as young as five, touches the core of humanity that crosses culture, language and geography. The tremendous outpouring of public support to the fishing children of Ghana is truly amazing, and the depth of commitment from children to help children inspirational.
IOM is featuring two charity programs that reflect the innovative and successful approach children are taking to come to the aid of the rescued children.
Feast On Your Life II
After watching a highlight of this IOM assistance program on television, Aidan, an 11-year old Canadian boy and his father, David Nerman, were inspired to join this fight by 'ramping' up their annual skate boarding event organized to commemorate the life of their mother/wife.
"We lost Guylaine to cervical cancer two years ago. She was only 39 years old. On the first anniversary of her death, our son Aidan, who is an avid skate boarder, came up with the idea to hold a skateboarding event in her memory. We named it "Feast On Your Life" from a poem that Guylaine loved," explains David.
It didn't take long for word to spread about this small event and soon Aidan and David were receiving media attention, with prize donations pouring in from more than 45 companies. The proceeds went to benefit the Starlight Children's Foundation in Canada. Aidan decided to channel his contribution to fulfill the wish of an 11-year-old boy suffering from a rare form of juvenile arthritis – a trip to Disney World.
After the success of the first "Feast On Your Life" event, Aidan and his father decided to hold "Feast On Your Life II" and support the Starlight Children's Foundation Canada, Right To Play and the International Organization for Migration.
"Aidan and I will hold a "Feast On Your Life" event annually and continue to support and raise money that will help children around the world. It is our little effort to make a difference," says David.
Aidan says he found the pictures of the children in Ghana "scary because it could happen to you."
David and Aidan were able to raise enough money to support one child for a year.
For more details on Aidan’s projects visit: http://www.guylaine.org/
Kids Helping Kids With Nothing
Tyler Page is fourth grader in California who is on a mission to work with kids in his community to help children like him in Ghana.
Kids Helping Kids With Nothing is the name that Tyler gave to his ambitious project of raising US$50,000 for trafficked children in Ghana.
His mother, Laura Page, is proud of his vision and dedication. "While watching a recent Oprah program, Tyler was inspired with a desire to help children in the far off country of Ghana. He came up with a plan on his own to raise money throughout 2007 to save at least one child in Ghana. He thought this would be a great project for the Positive Action initiative which he has been learning about for the past three years in school," explains the proud mother.
With support from the leadership programs at three local schools, Tyler found a great way to partner with other kids to make a difference.
In March he launched the first fundraising event – a car wash at the Discovery Bay Elementary School parking lot. Tyler and 30 other children raised US$1,705, which allows them to save the lives of seven children in Ghana.
"The wonderful bonus is that it teaches our children that anything is possible," adds Mrs. Page.
Aladino's Pizza donated pizzas to feed all the volunteers and Starbucks provided free coffee. Kids, parents, friends and neighbors rallied to make this event a huge success by donating water, dozens of homemade cookies, lemonade, cleaning products and much more. The kids worked all day only stopping for cookies and pizza (can you blame them?). Some, who had sports and other events to go to did not want to leave and many asked when the next fundraiser will be.
"It was truly amazing to see the generosity and genuine compassion from the children who helped. Kids signed up to help because they wanted to, not because their parents made them or wanted them to, continues Mrs. Page. It was amazing to see the smiles and confidence of the kids because they knew they were doing something outstanding to save kids just like them half way around the world. Imagine the wild success when 30 kids helping other kids turns into 300 and then 3,000. Anything is possible."
A couple of weeks later, Tyler and four of his friends sold ice cream and raised US$ 312.
He has outlined a lot of activities for his fundraising. Below are his programs until May.
- 15 April - Ice-cream party at "Rally-Round-The-Lake"
- 21 April - Ice-cream party at the "Art & Jazz Show" at a local shopping center
- 26 May - Car wash/yard sale at Tyler's church parking lot
Members of the community are also responding to Tyler’s initiative and have sent many supportive messages like:
"Tyler, I think you are awesome, I have a 20-dollar bill with your name on it." - Shannon Jones
"Bryson is giving some money from his allowance and so will we. What an awesome son you have, he's a great role model for our children." - Rise Hancock
For additional information regarding this remarkable story visit: http://www.kidshelpingkidswithnothing.com/