3 May 2013

Ghana: Sex At Touch a Life Care Centre ... As Workers Prey On Female Inmates

Kumasi — The Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service in Kumasi is undertaking underground investigations into complaints of sexual abuse of inmates of the Touch A Life Care Centre at Abrankese in the Lake Bosomtwe District of the Ashanti Region.

The Unit has already interrogated two employees of the Care Centre, in the persons of David, a driver, and Morgan, a Caretaker, on invitation last Friday April 26, 2013, in connection with alleged illicit sex between David and some of the inmates.

Touch a Life Foundation, with offices in Dallas, Texas, is a non-profit organisation devoted to the rescue, education, and advocacy of exploited children who are empowered with learning and skills at the Centre.

The Touch A Life Foundation was started by Pam and Randy Cope, and it is known in Ghana to be involved in rescuing children sold into slavery in the Kete Krachi area in the Volta Region of Ghana.

Touch A Life operates a number of shelters and various care centres, with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of children, many of whom are trafficked, abandoned, or living in poverty.

But, contrary to the mission of the non-governmental organisation (NGO), workers of the Foundation are reportedly exploiting and abusing the inmates, instead of being rescued in that sense.

The intervention of the police follows a complaint by a former employee of the Home about the ordeals some of the inmates, especially, the females, go through at the hands of male employees of the Care Centre.

On February 1, 2013, the complainant, a former night watchman, told the police in a statement that on several occasions he witnessed a particular female inmate (name withheld) walk to the window of David, who lets her in, and has bouts of sex with her.

The complainant also said he drew the attention of Morgan, another caretaker, to the sordid acts between the two love birds, but nothing was done about it, because David was in the good books of Mr. Garret Nichols, the Country Director of the Touch A Life Foundation.

Besides Morgan, one Isaac Mumuni and some cooks at the Centre are all aware of the illicit sex between David and the said inmate, he indicated.

The complainant said also that David went about bragging about his relationship with his victim.

He said since he could do nothing to save the situation, in the face of management's inability to sanction the perpetrator, he left the job for fear of being sacked.

He said he was inspired to report the case so that other people would not be encouraged to indulge in sexual acts with helpless inmates at the Care Centre, contrary to the well-meaning mission of the Foundation.

David has denied the allegation in the presence of Mr. Poku Nyamaa, a lawyer, at the police station.

He admitted, however, that he, together with Morgan, had been interrogated by the police over the issue, when The Chronicle reached him on phone.

One Madam Paulina, another caretaker at the Centre, also told The Chronicle that she was not aware of the dirty relationship between David and the little girl.

Attempts by the paper to contact the Country Director proved futile, as his cell phone has remained switched off for some time now.

Pix: Garret Nichols - Country Director of Touch a Life Foundation

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