After living as a captive for 11 years, this young woman has begun a new life.
Joshua and Victoria Baah-Binney, serving in Ghana, share the story of a young woman for whom they got to help establish a new life.
Meet 'Joy' (name changed for security purposes). 'Joy' is a liberated Trokosi. As part of the Trokosi practice, a young girl is offered to the priest to pay for a crime and appease the gods. The girl becomes the priest's property for the rest of her life. 'Joy' shared her story that she was sent to the shrine at the age of 8 to pay for the crime of her uncle who committed adultery. She was physically and sexually abused. When she was 10 years old, one of the priest’s apprentices tried to rape her but she fought with him, resulting in an injury to her eye. She suffered continuous abuse of all forms throughout the years she served at the shrine.
The priest later had a child with 'Joy'. At the time Victoria met her, she was 21. She lived at the shrine for 11 years. Her freedom came when the Baptist Vocational School liberated her and enrolled her in their vocational school. Through two years of training, 'Joy' learned culinary arts and how to read and write. She now has a third grade level of literacy. At the time of the liberation, the priests all allowed her to take her son. The leaders of the school had a discussion with her mom who agreed to take care of the boy–a big blessing. Normally, the family will not accept you after liberation.
Victoria promised to help 'Joy' after her graduation to be able to use the skills she has acquired to better her life. She also assured her she would support her in seeking medical attention for her eye. The vocational school gave her money to buy what she needed to start her bakery business. Joshua collaborated with the leaders of the school to provide her housing in the city to start her life. 'Joy' now has a place to live with her son and has started her small business of baking pastries.