A survivor of child trafficking and child labor, James Kofi Annan established Challenging Heights in 2003 to provide education and support for children who have returned from slavery and horrific forms of child labor.

Despite severe poverty and abuse during his enslavement, after his escape he rose to become a university graduate and now holds a Master’s degree. James resigned his managerial position at Barclays Bank of Ghana in 2007 to promote the mission of Challenging Heights full-time. To date, his organization has rescued over 1500 children and provided livelihood training for families at risk of trafficking their children.

James is the recipient of The Frederick Douglass Freedom Award from Free the Slaves (2008), the Grinnell Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize (2011), and the World’s Children’s Prize (2013) among numerous others.

Zachary Fink

The Mission, San Francisco Ca, USA