Africa’s World of Forced Labor, in a 6-Year-Old’s Eyes

I feel very sorry for these children who at an early age must struggle to work hard to be able to survive. Children are the future of tomorrow’s world, but I am not too sure about the future of this six year old kid. He should be playing with toys and learning to read and write but instead he paddles a canoe a mile out from shore.

It’s hard for me to blame those parents who due to lack of financial capabilities perhaps, no means of education and food leased their kids to Mr. Takyi to work for him as indentured servants. Developed world should do more to help these kids. People of all countries should do more for abolishment of child labor from this earth for ever. We should realize our responsibility ask big nation to support these poor family so that they can send these kids for education. Reading this sort of news really bleeds my heart.


KETE KRACHI, Ghana — Just before 5 a.m., with the sky still dark over Lake Volta, Mark Kwadwo was rousted from his spot on the damp dirt floor. It was time for work.

On Lake Volta in Ghana, Mark Kwadwo, 6, left, scoops water in the canoe of Kwadwo Takyi, rear. Kwabena Botwe, 11, paddles.

Shivering in the predawn chill, he helped paddle a canoe a mile out from shore. For five more hours, as his coworkers yanked up a fishing net, inch by inch, Mark bailed water to keep the canoe from swamping.

He last ate the day before. His broken wooden paddle was so heavy he could barely lift it. But he raptly followed each command from Kwadwo Takyi, the powerfully built 31-year-old in the back of the canoe who freely deals out beatings.

“I don’t like it here,” he whispered, out of Mr. Takyi’s earshot.

Mark Kwadwo is 6 years old. About 30 pounds, dressed in a pair of blue and red underpants and a Little Mermaid T-shirt, he looks more like an oversized toddler than a boat hand. He is too little to understand why he has wound up in this fishing village, a two-day trek from his home.

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  1. This is very sad. But can we really help? Poverty is everywhere, first we need to fill our stomach, then think of education. I guess how many ever generations come n go / centuries come n go… this will always b there.

  2. Vin, that was a little pessimistic. I believe that every problem has a solution. Why poverty exists is because no one (the correct word would be “most people”) really cares to do anything about it. Most people are selfish, and are satisfied that they are happy and have what they want. Only a handful of people are really concerned and work towards abolishing it. And sadly, a handful of people are too little too less.

  3. @Vin

    Make Poverty History. See one guy in bangladesh has changed many people lifes, so if there is will there is way. Poverty is there because people dont want to share. If people are poor its not their fault its a fault of society.

    I am totally agree with you buddy “I believe that every problem has a solution. Why poverty exists is because no one (the correct word would be “most people”) really cares to do anything about it” all corrupt politcians and big business man are not bothered about society.

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