Santrokofi Bume – Volta Region – Ghana – West Africa
A small village called Santrokofi Bume in the Volta Region of Ghana: life is simple but peaceful. Appearences are deceptive. Cecilia (8), Ewuga (6) and Junior (3) live in a ruin in the centre of the village with no electricity and no water connection. The mother left, shortly after Junior was born. The father, coming from a different part of the country and, therefore not eligible for support from the villagers, has to spend every day from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. working on other people’s farms. Eight year old Cecilia has the responsibility of caring for her two younger brothers, fetching water, cooking, washing clothes and the rest of the household chores. The children’s defenceless situation has been misused in the most gruesome way.Cecilia tries to bear the battle of the daily grind taking care of the children, still being a child herself.
Update: Three years later, the situation has changed: Cecilia moved to live with her mother in a neighbouring village. She visits her two brothers every once in a while. Ewuga and Junior are still with their father. Parts of the house they are staying in, collapsed a few weeks ago. Their father has difficulties finding work as a farmer these days. Sometimes he stays away for days to go hunting in the bush. Ewuga and Junior have to take care of themselves. Without Cecilia their behaviour has become even more aggressive, their appearance more desolate. Ewuga started working for a lady, carrying bananas from her shed to the van to be transported and sold in the capital. As soon as the van is loaded the lady flicks some coins out of the car window for Ewuga to collect. At least he can eat as many bananas as he likes. He is now nine years old.