A film by Mari Bakke Riise

In Accra, thousands of girls from the age of six work as market porters, also known as 'living shopping baskets' or 'kayayei'.

The girls rise at dawn each day to carry heavy loads on their heads for traders and shoppers in the bustling market's of the Ghanian capital.

Bamunu is eight years old. She hasn't seen her family since they sent her away from their home in a rural northern village two years ago to work as a kayayo.

"Kayayo means 'girl-carrier' in the Ga language," says Mari Bakke Riise, the film's director. "[They carry] heavy loads on their head - from 130 to 220 pounds - [earn] very little, and some end up in prostitution to make ends meet so they will get enough money to support their family."

Each day, Bamunu saves what little money she can to send to her family. She longs to return home and, more than anything, to go to school.

When she receives a call to go back to her village, Bamunu's joy is enormous, but the homecoming proves bittersweet.

Two years ago, Bamunu's family sent her to Accra to work as a kayayo [Courtesy of Integral Film AS]

Source: Al Jazeera