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Challenging Heights (CH) was formed in 2003 and registered in 2005 by James Kofi Annan to give back to children who faced challenges similar to his. At six, Annan was forced to work along the Volta Lake for seven cumulative years. Annan later became a university graduate and a manager at the Barclays Bank of Ghana. He is the the only educated one out of 12 children in his family. In 2007, Annan resigned from his employment with Barclays Bank to dedicate his attention to the mission of Challenging Heights.
Challenging Heights aims to protect and improve the lives of young people in communities affected by child trafficking and the worst forms of child labor. The organization believes education and the economic empowerment of women are the most important factors in eliminating child slavery. Its work suggests that if children are educated, then they will know their rights, so the chances of them being forced into labor will decrease. At inception, Annan mobilized children into human rights clubs that took action against forced labor which eventually led to the rescue of eight children. Later, Challenging Heights built a school for at-risk children to save them from being trafficked. It now holds more than 700 children who are survivors of child trafficking or who were at risk of being trafficked. Today, Challenging Heights runs seven different projects, inluding a 65-capacity survivors' rehabilitation center and a child trafficking survivors support network aimed at providing protection for children and giving them the opportunity to go to school.
The mission of CH is to ensure a secured, protected and dignified future and life for children and youth by promoting their rights, education and health.