Emmanuel is a boy who has had his share of life on the streets. Before his 10th birthday, Emmanuel had lived with his mother, his grandmother, and then his uncle, Derick. His father was never in the picture. Derick was a busy man and was hardly ever at home and so his wife was the one directly taking care of Emmanuel. Unfortunately, she mistreated Emmanuel countless times and this forced him to spend less time at home and more time on the streets of Kasoa, looking for ways to survive on his own. He dropped out of school at the second grade, and this began a six-year journey during which Emmanuel began associating with riff raffs who moved with him from Kasoa to Accra. By the time Emmanuel was 13, he had been taught how to smoke, thinking that would make him look tough. He had been attacked countless times by older boys, and had fallen sick even more times because of poor hygiene and malnutrition.
During the day, Emmanuel begged on the streets and cleaned windshields at the traffic lights to make ends meet. He also made deals with other street vendors who would give him items like sweets, popcorn, and sachets of water to sell on commission. At night, Emmanuel slept wherever he could – at the Tema Station bus terminal, on the pavements near the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, at the entrance of the British Council, or around the offices of the various government ministries.
In 2017, after six years on the streets, Emmanuel was brought to Hope Training Institute. All this while, his uncle had been looking for him to no avail. Unfortunately, the day after Derick was notified about Emmanuel’s current location, he passed away but we were able to trace his mother and other uncles and the family relationship is gradually being restored. Emmanuel is in the leatherworks program, learning how to make bags and turning his life around.