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Project information

Safety and freedom for trafficked girls in Ghana

In the Old Fadama slum in Accra, there live teenage girls who have been trafficked from rural areas and are now trapped in brothels, forced to sell sex. They are extremely vulnerable to HIV, pregnancy and violence. This project identifies, frees and supports these girls to reclaim their childhoods.

January 2017 - December 2017

Charity information: Theatre for a Change

Theatre for a Change logo
  • Need


    We have identified that there are between 50 and 100 girls aged 12 - 17 trapped in debt bondage in brothels in the Old Fadama slum in Accra, Ghana. The girls have been trafficked from rural areas and often have lost all contact with their families. The girls face regular sexual and physical violence from clients. They are at extremely high risk of contracting HIV, STIs and pregnancy. Hidden and isolated, most are unable to access healthcare, social support, or continue with their education.


    Currently we work with female sex workers in Old Fadama who have identified the issue. Working hand in hand with these women, local health professionals and Ghana's social service and Police we will reach out to the girls and provide vital support. This will include enabling them to access high quality health care and supporting them to move to safer locations. We will also launch a prevention campaign, warning potential victims and their parents, across Ghana, of the dangers of trafficking.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    30 sexually exploited girls receive counselling and referral according to their protection needs.


    » Girls receive counselling from trained key workers in their communities.
    » Girls' cases are referred to, and taken up by national service providers.

    What success will look like

    Number of girls whose cases are managed appropriately by authorities.

    Aim 2

    30 girls have the knowledge, confidence and skills to protect their sexual and reproductive health.


    » Creation of a support group, led by trained key workers, to enable girls to understand and assert their rights and their health needs.
    » Provision of high quality health care by medical professionals for sexually exploited girls.

    What success will look like

    HIV infection rate of girls is stabilised.

    Aim 3

    Increased awareness of trafficking in rural Ghana.


    » Interactive radio campaign highlighting the reality of trafficking, presented by sex workers and former sexually exploited girls.
    » Stakeholder meetings with Police, social services, brothel owners and Old Fadama community members increasing awareness of child protection.

    What success will look like

    Increased engagement around the issue of trafficking by national and local media.

  • Impact


    The project will draw attention to this hidden problem and mobilise vital local and national services and support for victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation. In collaboration with the Police and legal services it will seek to identify and prosecute traffickers. It will provide sexually exploited girls, particularly those in Old Fadama, with knowledge of how to access support. It will increase awareness of the realities of trafficking for at risk girls and their communities.


    The project is operating in a risky environment and at its heart is the child protection principle of do no harm. In order to achieve this, the project will seek guidance from Mandy John-Baptiste, an internationally recognised expert in the field of child trafficking and sexually exploitation. In addition, the project will collaborate closely with Ghanaian social services and Police. The project will be backed by a comprehensive risk analysis designed in collaboration with the girls and staff.


    The project will conduct a baseline, midline and endline, examining impact made against key project indicators. Each piece of work will result in a report which will be shared with donors. In addition the project will share case studies of project participants and stakeholders.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £3,500 Workshops Holding 20 support group workshops with girls
      £1,000 Health care support Providing health insurance and health checks for each girl, and paying for necessary treatment
      £5,000 Capacity building Building capacity of key workers, staff and members of the Sex Workers' Network in child protection
      £5,000 Radio advocacy campaign Holding 10 interactive radio broadcasts raising awareness about trafficking
      £1,000 Stakeholder engagement Monthly meetings with stakeholders, including social services, police and health professionals
      £3,500 Staff and admin costs 1 x full time and 1 x part time member of staff to run the project
      £1,000 Monitoring and evaluation Baseline, midline and endline project reviews and dissemination
  • Background


    The project will be located in the Old Fadama slum in central Accra, Ghana, home to over 60,000 residents. The slum is dirty and dangerous; it has few services - no schools, no permanent healthcare clinic and few jobs. It has over 100 brothels. Areas of the slum are regularly destroyed by fire, flooding and government sponsored demolitions. Residents suffer from stigma and discrimination from other Ghanaian citizens.


    The project will directly benefit 30 girls aged 12 - 17 who are sexually exploited. In addition the project aims to prevent vulnerable girls being trafficked in the future, as well as raising awareness of the needs of other girls currently living in bars and brothels in the slum.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Theatre for a Change has worked in Ghana since 2003 and with female sex workers and their clients in Old Fadama since 2012. Its unique, experiential approach has been proven to be particularly successful at enabling the most marginalised women and girls in Malawi and Ghana to explore challenging subjects and develop the skills and the confidence to improve their sexual and reproductive health and assert their rights.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Susana Dartey

    Project Officer. Susana is from Accra & joined TfaC as a participant in 2003. She leads the work in Old Fadama. She is deeply committed to the girls.

    Mariama Yussiff

    Project Assistant. Mariama is a former sex worker living in Old Fadama and is a trained HIV tester and counsellor. She is role model for the girls.

    Patrick Young

    Executive Director. Patrick founded Theatre for a Change and lived in Ghana for 4 years. He supports the team to develop measurable, strategic aims.

    Mandy John-Baptiste

    Trainer. Mandy is currently the Manager of the NSPCC's child trafficking advice centre and has extensive experience working in West Africa.


The cost of a registered, experienced nurse providing HIV testing, support & treatment for the girls

Anytime my boyfriend see me talking with another guy he beats me and he did it to the extent that he hit my head with a stone and I had to get surgery for that.

Grace*, young women living in brothel in Old Fadama (not her real name)