The Fisher Boy

Scholarship Essay Contest

Problem #1

Thousands of children labor 12 to 14-hour days on Lake Volta in Ghana to catch, process, and sell fish. Most of them are trafficked either through abduction, coercion, trickery, or unwittingly sold by their own family. Most of these victims are boys but girls labor there as well. Some are as young as 5 years old. They suffer mental abuse, beatings, and dangerous work that sometimes results in drowning.

Problem #2

Poverty and disease are common causes in Ghana that contribute to children becoming orphans. Their hope beyond an orphanage is that one of their kin will adopt them. Foster care is in the early stages. Orphanages remain full or orphans are left on the streets to fend for themselves. The desire for families in Ghana to adopt remains low. The process is not clearly defined and an indifferent attitude toward orphans presents a challenge.

The Idea

Author Darren Sapp wrote The Fisher Boy, a novel to raise awareness about fishing slavery in Ghana and promote orphan care and adoption. It’s now in its third printing and has the potential for a much larger audience. The author and publisher are targeting younger readers, aged 14 to 25, who have a growing influence in Ghana. Much like Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a novel can inspire massive change.

The Plan

A campaign has begun to encourage thousands of these Ghanaian students to read The Fisher Boy in 2024 and then write an essay that includes an idea or initiative to help one of these issues. Prizes include multiple college scholarships for up to 80 students. The grand prize is a full one-year scholarship. We need $20,000 to fund this project with other expenses such as limited complimentary copies and ministry labor in Ghana.

The Hope

As a result of tens of thousands of students reading this book and writing about it, a movement will take hold that will inspire those students, the government, and other parties to make real change in Ghana that ends fishing slavery, offers better care for vulnerable children, and restores orphans to biological or adoptive families. Most importantly, our greatest hope is to prevent any child from becoming an orphan or a fishing slave.

Our Prayer

Our daily prayer is for wisdom in directing this project, favor for all the doors that must be opened, now and in the future, the financial resources to cover the scholarships, thankfulness for God’s provision, and remembrance that God gets all the glory.

Will you pray with us?

How You Can Help

We cannot do this without you. Thank you so much for your willingness to consider a tax-deductible contribution. All donations are tax-exempt.

Mail checks to the address below or give online.

International Hope and Heritage
P.O. Box 8844
Greenville, TX 75404