“Help Free Child Slaves in Ghana”

This is what we did in class today…

“Help Free Child Slaves in Ghana”

That was the subject line of an email yesterday.  It was from Tomnod.  Tomnod is a crowdsourcing site that uses folks around the world to identify objects and places on satellite images.  It has been used to look for Genghis Khan’s Tomb, and missing airlines.  The current campaign is focused on slavery in Ghana.  From the email:

The fishing industry on Lake Volta is a site of systemic modern slavery. Traffickers prey upon vulnerable families and tell parents that their children will get to attend school in exchange for a few hours of work. Instead they are sold into a life of misery and suffering; forced to work 19-hour days in deplorable conditions, likely never to see their real parents again.

Tomnod has teamed up with the Global Fund to End Slavery to track the location and number of boats used for fishing around Lake Volta, providing for the first time a reliable estimate of the extent of slavery in the region.

Read more about slavery on Lake Volta and how your contributions to this Tomnod campaign will help free modern-day slaves.

We started class reading about the situation, locating the lake on google earth, and comparing it to the size of places we already know.  Then we navigated over to the site (click right here to go there) and within minutes were plotting points on the maps.  This is very similar to using Missing Maps.  Click this line to read about my classes use of Missing Maps.

Here is a quick sample of what is looks like when the kids are mapping.

 Each kid can have a very different experience depending where they end up.  As you can see in the video above, it is not very clear and everything is grey.  Other kids ended up on much higher quality color images.

This year I am teaching in a new program where attention spans are short…very short.  I fully expected this to be just one piece of our Friday’s class but each class did not lose interest even after 20-25 minutes of mapping.

One kid leaving class said, “I hope I helped at least one kid.”

That is a pretty good vibe to have walking out of school on a Friday afternoon.