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Congratulations to One World Rotarian Carol Metzker for being published in the March 2016 issue of the Rotarian Magazine. Carol's article, "Breaking the invisible chains of slavery" featured the Rotarian Action Group Against Child Slavery which grew out of the efforts of Carol and numerous other Rotarians addressing this issue.
 
The following story, "Fighting the Monster of Human Trafficking," was originally posted by Carol in May 2014 and we repost it this week as a reminder that the fight is not over.
 
(Ed. Note: Carol is a writer, speaker and author of of "Facing the Monster: How One Person Can Fight Child Slavery".  She is a member of Rotarian Action Group Against Child Slavery and a recipient of Rotary International’s highest award, Service Above Self.)

 

Introduction

The first time I heard about modern child-slavery was in 1991.


 
A close friend had adopted a four-year-old boy from India. She said that one night at bedtime her new son told her that children from his orphanage had warned him that he would be taken away to be a slave. Neither my friend nor I knew what to make of that statement. She reassured her son that she was there to love and care for him.
 
I stored the information as a memory—a mysterious one. For me, the topic of human trafficking lay dormant for 10 years. But the subject was like a mosquito in my bedroom at night. The closer it got, the louder it got, until I couldn't ignore it any longer. Sooner or later we are all going to have to deal with this menace because it is a big and growing monster.
 
Rotarians are perfect to fight this monster. Why? Because they are ordinary-seeming people who become superheroes. In April, One World Rotary E-Club posted a program, "Slavery (human trafficking)." This program, "Fighting the Monster," brings the subject even closer and tells you how you can help solve the problem with a specific project.
 
(Please click on the bottom-right button of the presentation, the one with the 2 arrows going in 2 directions, in order to increase the size of the presentation slides. Click again to return.)
 
 
 

New Project: Schools4Freedom


Actually, you can. Because that's how creating sustainable freedom works.What if you could teach children to read, provide them with food, and free an enslaved village… all in one project?

It all starts with a school. When freedom workers go carefully into enslaved villages in India and talk about a better life for children through education, parents listen. Although defying slaveholders' wishes can be risky, parents muster hope and courage to send their children to school and to learn for themselves about their rights. Adults acquire new vocational skills and they begin to self-organize. Over a three-year process, villagers gain the strength and ability to take back their freedom. An old destructive cycle is broken; new generations can thrive.

Please join the Rotarian Action Group Against Child Slavery in this project!
Schools4Freedom educate child slaves and free an entire village in India from slavery…for good.

 


Total Three-Year Cost: US$ 35,992.00 
What It Buys:

  • Sustainable freedom for 100-300 villagers.
  • Permanent roof for school (to keep intense sun and rain off children so they can study. The type of roof or pavilion—or structure with thatching or latticework for walls—varies in different villages.).
  • 2 teachers.
  • Hot lunches for children.
  • Solar streetlight.
  • Educational supplies.
  • Vocational training and education about rights for adults.
  • Documentation and video.

The Action Group's (RACSRAG's) partner in this project is Voices4Freedom, an organization whose founders have a stellar track record in anti-slavery work and whose partners on the ground have helped with RACSRAG projects at Punarnawa Ashram and Bal Vikas Ashram (homes of the wall and solar streetlights you just learned about, and the vehicle in the April program). The school's exact location in Uttar Pradesh will be determined and the project can start when the money is raised. Although the money is disbursed over three years, the project will not begin until all funds are raised because a village cannot be "abandoned" for lack of funds or commitment once the process has started.

I (Carol) am kicking this off with $200, plus a matching amount from a recent fundraiser in Pennsylvania. Rotarians and clubs in England, Australia and Pennsylvania (US) have also agreed to give. How about you, fellow members of the One World Club, or others? Will you make a donation?

To donate or to learn more about this project, please contact Carol Metzker , or Mark Little, president of RACSRAG.

More information
List of different countries' human trafficking hotline numbers: 
http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/other/2011/168859.htm

Find out why I became so enamored with cow dung. Here's a quick explanation of how the sustainable bio-gas project at Punarnawa works.

Sex trafficking – it's not what you think. This very brief video (not for children) is eye-opening and surprising; it nails the subject (1:40 min):

 

"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy." --Rahindranath Tagore
 

Please share your thoughts in the conversation below.

 

 

 
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