The Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) is the unifying body of Christians in the country. Representing 26 member churches and three Christian organizations, the Council joins together in a common purpose to work for achieving justice, unity, reconciliation, and the integrity of creation in all aspects of Ghanaian society. The Council is dedicated to work for an increased realization of social and economic rights of disadvantaged women, men and children in Ghana.
After becoming one of the first countries to ratify the Convention on the Rights of a Child adopted by the UN Assembly, Ghana is still fighting for the rights of children and young people today. In 2008, the country passed a policy to support actions reducing the occurrence of child labor and human trafficking in Ghana. The Christian Council of Ghana began the Smoked Fish microcredit project along the coast of Ghana to provide women and families with the opportunity to earn a sustainable income. Many families in this region must make the difficult decision between sending their children to school and sending their child to work. This is one way the CCG is supporting the government’s decision to end child labor. By giving parents the opportunity to earn a fair wage, they are able to send their children to school instead of taking on jobs to supplement their families’ incomes.
Since the project’s beginning, the CCG has been facilitating the Women’s Empowerment Initiative to equip women with the skills to run a small business and to learn the art of cooking smoked fish. Recently, a group of women took a course from the National Board of Small Business Institute. Upon completion, each woman received a grant to purchase fish and supplies for the slow season. Women who completed the course also formed business groups located throughout communities along the Volta River. As a result, the women were able to offer a portion of their profit from their sales back to CCG to grow the project.
In addition to the microcredit program, the CCG includes this in a larger effort to reduce the occurrence of child labor and human trafficking in Ghana. They are raising awareness within the wider society on the rights of children, the violence occurring against children, and the national policy to support actions reducing the occurrence of child labor and human trafficking. Another program of the CCG is to reintegrate girls who have been trafficked or forced into labor into the life of the local communities.
With great thanks to the support received by Global Ministries and special gifts, the Smoked Fish microcredit project is helping over 100 women have better, more sustainable incomes, while using their talent and skills in the art of Ghanaian fish smoking. Global Ministries continues to welcome gifts for the Christian Council of Ghana’s Smoked Fish microcredit project.