The two Canadian girls who were rescued Wednesday in Ghana from their kidnappers are on “emotional and psychological support,” their employers said.
The Youth Challenge International (YCI) said they have also been put in touch with their parents.
“Early this morning Lauren Tilley and Bailey Chitty were rescued by Ghanaian police. They are safe and both the police and Government of Ghana are ensuring the young women’s protection in Ghana,” the NGO said in a statement.
It added: “The parents of both young women have been in contact with their daughters and at this time wish to express their extreme gratitude to the Ghanaian police, the Ghanaian Government and the Canadian Government for all their support and actions throughout this extremely difficult time.
“Bailey and Lauren are receiving emotional and psychological support from professionals as they travel home. Medical reports are that they are both physically unhurt. At this time we are unable to comment on the police actions, the rescue or the perpetrators of the abduction.
“We kindly ask all media to respect the families’ privacy. Youth Challenge International and Canada World Youth have been closely supporting the families throughout and will be the point of contact for all media enquiries,” it noted.
The Canadians, charity volunteers aged 19 and 20, were abducted last Tuesday, 4 June, in Kumasi, Ghana’s second-largest city, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) northwest of the capital Accra.
Kidnappings and violent crime against foreigners are rare in Ghana.
But earlier this year, local media quoted President Nana Akufo-Addo as warning that action must be taken to make sure kidnapping “doesn’t become a feature of our society.”
In April, an Indian man was reportedly abducted, also in Kumasi, by an armed gang demanding a cash ransom. He was swiftly rescued by police.
Tourism is an important industry for Ghana, and Kumasi, the historic capital of the Ashanti kingdom, is favourite stop.
Ghana is a country of some 30 million people, where more than two-thirds of people follow Christianity and the rest Islam and other religions.
It has long been seen as a bulwark of stability in a region struggling to contain multiple groups of extremist fighters.
Akufo-Addo, speaking on Wednesday to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al Fitr, called on the Ghanaian people to protect religious tolerance.
“We are the envy of the world when it comes to the peaceful co-existence of different religious communities,” Akufo-Addo said in a prepared speech released by the presidency.
He also urged people to “report suspicious characters” to the police.
“We cannot surrender this beautiful way of life for anything, and, certainly, not to people who seek to pervert religious beliefs,” Akufo-Addo added.
Source: Daily Mail GH