Walk for Ghana: Help to eradicate slavery

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The following article was submitted by Metuchen High School student, Sam Gates:

Thumbnail image for Ghanawalk.jpegAt this moment, there are more slaves in the world than there have been in any other time period, and many of these slaves are children, some as young as four years old. It is estimated that there are over 20 million people around the world who are in forced servitude, and an estimated 9 million of them are children.

This is the issue that Metuchen High School's Political Institute Class has chosen to focus on in its project of the year. Last year, the Political Institute class hosted a Walk for Ghana and raised $21,000. This money went towards the saving of five children, who were slaves on the fishing lakes in Ghana. Through the IOM, the International Organization of Migration, the class is hoping to help save more children from slavery this year.

The IOM is one of the many organizations fighting child trafficking. They are currently focusing on saving the children who are used as "fishing children" on Lake Volta. These children work 14 hours a day, 7 days a week and risk their lives swimming in the darkness of night to untangle fishing nets in the depths of the water. These children are malnourished, given no medical attention in any regard, and leave their homes at the ages as young as 4 and don't return home until the age of 15, if ever. The IOM does more than just save these children; they work with the fishermen and create a long lasting solution.

 The IOM works with the fisherman and have them sign a social contract, vowing they will never use child labor on their boats and if they do, know they will be taken in by the authorities. The IOM then helps the fisherman get new tools and supplies so that fishing may become easier after losing the children. Also, the IOM works with the children and helps rehabilitate and reintegrate them into their families and communities. They also ensure the safety of the children by talking with local officials and creating education programs for the entire villages about the problem of child trafficking.

Metuchen High School is hosting the Walk for Ghana on June 7th, 2009. It is a walk where everyone is welcome to join and any means of walking, scooter-ing, biking, running, or stroller-ing are welcome and encouraged. Any donations are welcome and any sponsorship by any business would be much appreciated. If you are interested in sponsoring our walk, email me at the address below for more information. Also, after the walk, we will be having a carnival at the high school with food, games, and activities for all ages. We hope the community will get involved and help us with this cause. Any money raised is appreciated and can be donated on the day of the walk or sent to the high school, addressed as:

Breaking the Chain

Metuchen High School

Mr. Robbins's Political Institute Class

400 Grove Ave.

Metuchen, NJ, 08840

 

If you have any questions, concerns, donation ideas, or ideas to help us raise money, email me at sgg92390@hotmail.com or leave a comment below.

 

Download registration pamphlet:  mm_Ghanawalkpamphlet_0509.doc

7 Comments

A contract...why didn't Abe Lincoln just think of that?

not saying that, and it is a great effort, but as we have seen many times in the past, funneling money to Africa often has the opposite result from what we intended to happen.

So, what, don't care, leave the children in slavery?? This is an incredible effort on the part of the high school (and 4th graders in Mrs. Gonzalez' class). My understanding is that the money buys these children back out of slavery. Surely some effort is better than none. And what our students learn about the world as a result of this project is eye-opening. -As is, actually, what all of us learn from it - except for those who are apathetic to suffering and poverty.

Unless there is enforcement to go with it, doesnt seem like it would work. A signed contract isnt worth much in Africa, to dirt poor people.

No because the money doesn't only save the kids, it teaches the fishermen a new way to fish without the child labor, as in providing them new tools and such, and makes him sign a contract saying they won't use child labor again, ending the cycle of child slavery.

Maybe I don't understand this whole program but wouldn't paying money to set some kids free just encourage the taking of more kids?

From the Metuchen Schools Web Site:
Fundraiser to Rescue the Children of Ghana
Mrs. Gonzalez’s 4th Grade Class is working on a project with some of the seniors at Metuchen High School. They are selling bracelets that say “KIDS HAVE RIGHTS”. These bracelets are going to cost $2.00 each. All the money earned goes to rescue the children of Ghana, who are currently working on fishing boats and are away from their parents. So, if you want to help save a child, buy a bracelet on Tuesday, May 26th - Friday, May 29th during lunchtime.

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  • Anonymous: A contract...why didn't Abe Lincoln just think of that? read more
  • Anonymous: not saying that, and it is a great effort, but read more
  • Anonymous: So, what, don't care, leave the children in slavery?? This read more
  • Anonymous: Unless there is enforcement to go with it, doesnt seem read more
  • Anonymous: No because the money doesn't only save the kids, it read more
  • Anonymous: Maybe I don't understand this whole program but wouldn't paying read more
  • Anonymous: From the Metuchen Schools Web Site: Fundraiser to Rescue the read more
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