Children’s migration and engagement in load carrying activities: The case of the girl child in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana.
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It is indeed true that one does not have to be old to become wise. This African Proverb provided a starting point for a journey into children‘s migration and engagement in load carrying activities. The study explores what goes into the girl child‘s migration from a rural area in Ghana to the city of Kumasi- the Capital of the Ashanti region to engage in the carrying of load for a fee. This study aims at getting knowledge about the girl child‘s lived experiences in the phenomenon. These kinds of experiences are deemed relevant in understanding the child‘s migration and work. The perspectives of the affected children on the phenomenon- they themselves telling their experiences, is the means by which the above aims have been achieved. The theoretical perspectives mainly rooted in the New Social Studies of Childhood will guide the focus of the study. Against the backdrop of these theoretical perspectives, the study examines the following- the girl child as a social actor in the exercise of agency, the girl child as both a ―being and becoming‖, the social structural child and a host of others. Several qualitative methods such as participant observation, semi structured interviews, informal focus group discussions, storytelling are employed to collect data. In all, 20 girls will be used as informants. The data will be analyzed and conclusions drawn. The study identifies that the girl child is a social actor, she is both ―being and ―becoming‖ however, she has limitations to the exercise of agency. The principal limitation the study identifies is poverty. Poverty at both national, regional, local levels pose a limitation to these girls in the exercise of their agency. . For instance, it has limited them on their schooling. It has also influenced them to migrate from home and has ultimately forced them to do the kind of job they are engaged in. Implications of the findings of this study are thoroughly discussed to serve as a guide for future study