IMPACT
04/07/2011 03:59 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

14-Year-Old Raises Money To Fight Human Trafficking In Ghana

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Tyler Page was only 10 years old when he first realized he could have an impact on the world. Watching an episode of "Oprah" with his mother, Laura, he came face to face with the horrors of human trafficking in Ghana.

"These kids were being sold to fishermen who forced them to fish 14 hours a day with only one meal," Tyler said. "I felt horrible and I wanted to do something."

So Tyler went online and found that with only $240, they could rescue one Ghanaian child for the year.

"I was 10 at the time so that seemed like a lot," Tyler recalled.

He decided they could have a car wash to try to raise some money for the cause.

"Honestly, I didn't really give him credit," said Laura Page, Tyler's mother. "He was 10 years old and I just wanted to help him follow through on this idea."

But the car wash was such a huge success that they managed to raise over $1,100, and Tyler didn't want to stop there. "We did more car washes and then we did lemonade sales, bake sales, we did a haircutting fundraiser one time," Tyler recalls. "We did all sorts of things."

He and his mother founded Kids Helping Kids, a nonprofit aiming to empower youth through moral and value-based leadership. Tyler set a fundraising goal of $50,000, which he and his mother would raise after 17 months. They've since raised $130,000 and they hope to reach $1 million by 2013.

Meanwhile, Tyler is still just a normal kid heading to school each day in Brentwood, California. Laura serves as the CEO of the organization, but notes that as of now it's still a "full-time volunteer job," and her husband was recently laid-off from his contractor job.

"For two years I was a manager at a Starbucks," Laura says. "I woke up at 2:30 a.m. so I could be home in the early afternoon to work on fundraising."

Still, she feels so privileged to be spending her life working for the organization. "Tyler raised my own bar, and my own life. I know this is what I want to be doing."

They've also received encouragement from Eric Peasah, the Field Manager at the International Organization for Migration and one of the leading activists for human-trafficking prevention in Ghana, who said that Kids Helping Kids is one of the most impressive efforts he's ever seen. Peasah has flown out to visit with Tyler and Laura four separate times, and updates them often on his own work.

As for the now-14-year-old Tyler, he's always thinking ahead.

"We're planning for a trip to Ghana next February that we really need money for," he says. "We want to build a center there where kids can come for support, medical supplies, and food."

WATCH an interview with Tyler below: