Fishing is one of the predominant industries on Lake Volta in Ghana, West Africa.
Another is child slavery.
When fishermen’s nets get caught on something, they send small children into the dangerous water to rescue them. In their minds, it’s a better business move.
To buy a new net costs $100. To buy a new slave is only $20.
A team of high school students has rallied to help rescue these children from slavery by hosting the second annual Ghana Rock Concert on May 18 at Northside Baptist Church in Charlotte.
The benefit concert will feature artists Shawn McDonald, Unhindered and Kristian Stanfill.
Ghana Rock is partnering with City of Refuge Ministries, and all concert proceeds will be used to rescue 18 child slaves and support them for a year.
Although City of Refuge is a fairly young organization, it is doing amazing work, said high school senior Madi Vincent, director and founder of Ghana Rock.
“They bring these kids into a safe house and give them an education,” she said. “They show them the love of Jesus Christ, with the one-on-one attention that they get. Everything from holding their hands to giving them hugs. That’s a big step of recovery.”
The ministry also has opened its school to other children in the community in Ghana.
Vincent, who has traveled to Ghana and seen the slavery firsthand, said many children are fooled into slavery, but others are sold.
“You can’t rescue these kids and give them back to their parents, because their parents will just sell them again,” she explained.
Last year, for its first benefit concert, the high school team hoped to raise $10,000, but raised more than $40,000.
This year, the goal is $50,000.
“I believe that if we share with people about what is going on in Ghana, they will go do something amazing,” Vincent said.
The team will show a documentary so attendees can learn more about child slavery. Tables will be set up so people can write a note or prayer for the children. When the high school students travel to Ghana this summer, they will hand out the notes and prayers.
Vincent plans to feature the notes as people walk out of the concert.
“You walk out, and you just see all these notes and prayers hanging from the walls and ceiling,” she said. “I imagine it being a big impact.
“We really want to bring awareness of what is going on,” Vincent said, “and show that a person’s life is more valuable than a fishing net.”