In partnership with the Ghana Baptist Convention, Rovaughna works at the Baptist Vocational Training Center (BVTC) in a ministry rescuing, rehabilitating and educating women who had been victims of the trokosi slavery system. With her background in social work, Rovaughna feels particularly called to mission work in Ghana. Previously, she spent time in Africa using her counseling skills to rehabilitate young adults battling substance and physical abuse, human trafficking, gang violence and issues of grief, depression and poor self-image. It was upon returning from this journey that Rovaughna felt God’s call to make such work her life’s mission.
Rovaughna writes –
Human Rights Officers Rustum Nyquist and Dennis Amenyitor visited the Baptist Vocational Training Centre (BVTC) after learning that BVTC rehabilitates Trokosi victims.
After attending a Town Hall meeting hosted by U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Robert Jackson, I met Officer Nyquist while searching for the table that addresses Human Trafficking in Ghana. Nyquist and I quickly discovered that the other held the key to many questions. Two being; “Is Trokosi prevalent in Ghana and how bad is it…really!?” Nyquist and Amenyitor drove the 4-hour return journey from the capital city, Accra, to BVTC to explore.
They were met by Patience Tagbor, BVTC Lead Catering Instructor and Pastor Emmanuel Obani, BVTC Administrator/Accountant and myself and were walked through a power point presentation I created as a discussion guide. Their pens jotted down BVTC statistics and gap information that will be included in the Annual Report on Human Trafficking/Trokosi this June.
Additionally, Tagbor (pictured), Obani and I shared how the humanitarian abuses such as; physical and sexual, frequent denial of education while in the shrine, forced impregnation, and forced labor have affected the girls learning, esteem, physical and mental health which BVTC strives daily to combat.
It was clear to all of us BVTC is doing an uncommon and unique work in the educational, spiritual, emotional and mental rehabilitation of young girls subjected to the elements of Trokosi that qualify as human rights abuses. It was also apparent that more work is needed in bringing these atrocities to the forefront, ending the elements of the practice that are abuses and bringing about awareness that these abuses needed to stop.
We learned from the Officers that some in-country funding is available to help support organizations confronting Human Trafficking/Trokosi.
· Please pray that steps are taken and doors are opened for this in-country funding to further help the healing and empowerment of these and more young women.
· Thank God for a Successful meeting, what He’s doing and already done!