You are in far north Ghana now, just an hour from the border with Burkina Faso. The savannah landscape is dotted with baobab and dawadawa trees and you’ll often find women singing and dancing together under the shade of their leaves.
Binduri is a gateway to the north of Africa and these dirt tracks are popular routes for smugglers, transporting goods illegally over the border. Many people here will know a child who has been exploited for smuggling as they are less likely to be stopped.
Recently, communities here have been sandwiched between two conflicts: the longstanding local Chieftaincy disputes in neighbouring district, Bawku, and extremist groups who have carried out violent attacks in nearby Burkina Faso. Thousands of refugees have fled over the border to seek asylum and Binduri’s residents have welcomed them and shared the little resources they have with them. With so many families facing poverty, it is critical that quality education is available to children to prevent them becoming child soldiers or the conflict worsening.