‘Trokosi’ lingers, must be totally eradicated — Rev. Darke

BY: Daily Graphic

The Vice President, Administration, of the Ghana Baptist Convention (GBC), Reverend Washington Komla Darke, has called on all stakeholders to give critical attention to the issue of ritual servitude popularly known as "trokosi", and purge it out.

He said though the practice was abolished in 1998, it seemed it was only effective on paper, citing ‘continued practice in secret across shrines in the country’.

Useful links Ghana Politics | Ghana Celebrity News | News in Ghana

Rev. Darke appealed to the Gender Ministry and other stakeholders including the Baptist Relief and Development Agency (BREDA) to help rid society of the system.

"Trokosi is an obnoxious system that must not be allowed to thrive. We have to ensure that it is not only abolished on paper but on the ground as well, and the Gender Ministry should be able to enforce what is entrenched in the Law," he said.

Graduation ceremony

Rev. Darke was addressing the 12th graduation ceremony of the Baptist Vocational Training Centre at Frankadua in the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern Region where 14 former servants, including four shrine-born boys, were among 23 students who graduated from the school, after completing a-three-year course in dressmaking, kente weaving, catering, batik printing and bead making.


Useful links Ghana news | Ghana Business News | News in Ghana

He said the practice was inhuman and lacked justification, and one which demanded that churches took up the spiritual component of the fight.

"No religious reason that exists can justify this canker. It is inhuman and must come to an end, therefore we have to speak out and take bold steps in this crusade. With a concerted effort, Trokosi will crumple under pressure," Rev. Darke said.

Rev. Darke urged parents to encourage the graduates to further their aspirations and make good use of the skills acquired.

for current Ghana news | Ghana Business News | News in Ghana

Mr Isaac Donkor, the Director of BREDA, said though the practice was still ongoing in secret, communities noted for Trokosi had reduced significantly through their campaign.

He added that the Department of Social Welfare had been engaged to monitor the project and help with victims’ recovery.

Praying Pelican Mission from the USA, a long-time partner of the GBC which has been on the project since its inception, is currently engaged in the construction of a classroom block as well as the provision of equipment and startups for each graduate.

Challenges

Rev. Mrs Grace Akonnor, the Head of the Centre, said classrooms, computer laboratory, kitchen, dining area and a school bus were all lacking and this was hindering the efforts of the students.

She said 168 rescued Trokosis had so far been reformed by the school which had also recorded an 88 per cent employment rate of the 380 students it had graduated since its inception.

Rev. Mrs Akonnor said the institution further recorded a 96 per cent pass in the 2017 National Vocational Training Institute proficiency examinations, and would soon introduce courses such as building and construction, electrical, auto mechanic, and agriculture as it inched towards becoming a world class technical university.

Miss Rovaughna Richardson, a counsellor at the centre, said the victims of ritual servitude were usually suppressed into shedding their trust, and that recovery depended a lot on the Christian faith and its spiritual environment.—GNA