Educating students on the global problem of human trafficking was the assignment for a team of Logos Hope crewmembers sent to Adiembra Senior Secondary School (ADISEC) in Sekondi-Takoradi.
Ghana is known to be a country of origin, transit and destination for trafficked persons, and the more than 2,000 students who attend ADISEC could be particularly at risk for exploitation, according to their headmaster. Ebenezer Nelson explained to the ship's team that the majority of his students come from low-income families which struggle to afford school fees, which could make them more likely to agree to a suspicious proposition without recognising the offer may be too good to be true.
Using a simulation to expose that vulnerability, Logos Hope's team began by offering two students a once-in-a-lifetime chance to study internationally, all-expenses-paid. When the teenagers jumped at the opportunity and were ready to leave immediately with people they had only just met, the crewmembers stopped the pretence. The pupils had been shown in a memorable way just how easily they could fall victim to the tricks of human traffickers.
“Did you think we were bad people?” asked Frieda Neumann (Germany). “No, we look like normal people.” The team explained that anyone can fall victim to these schemes – young or old, educated or uneducated – because traffickers look like everyone else and are good at telling people what they want to hear. The students were encouraged to use their eyes, ears, mouth and mind to look for clues, gather information, and recognise suspicious situations.
When asked what they had learned at the end of the talk, one young girl rushed to the front to say, “I learned that traffickers are normal people. They look innocent like you and me.”
“This has application for everyone,” said a teacher to the students gathered together at the end of the presentation. “You don’t need to read it in a book; it has been presented to you today, and it is relevant for everything.”