Labor Day: Not A Day Off For All

The following was written by an administrator at Mercy Project, a non-profit organization fighting to end child slavery. Children as young as five are used to do adult jobs in other countries. As a mom of four children, all 8 years and younger, my heart breaks for those poor babies who should be getting an education, playing with their siblings and friends, and snuggling their mommas, not working 14 hours a day on a fishing boat.

Mercy Project Post

There’s an estimated 7,000 children who work in the Ghana fishing industry. Some of
these children are as young as 5 and 6 years old.  All of these children are slaves.

–Mercy Project

 

Today many in our country will take a day off from our jobs to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers.  No matter if we’re celebrating at home or at the beach, we’re entering into a tradition that has largely been shaped by Labor Unions – organizations that are dedicated to protecting workers’ interests and improving their wages, hours, and working conditions.  Today as we lounge around or hang out with friends and family, we’re not only celebrating hard work, we’re honoring fair, ethical working practices and the laws that prevent discrimination, abuse, and child labor in our country.  Without these laws in place (and enforced), the most vulnerable members of society suffer.  Who are the most vulnerable? Children.

Today as we’re celebrating the systems in our own country that strive to prevent injustices like child trafficking and child labor, we’re mindful of the many child slaves around the world who are unprotected and the organizations, like Mercy Project, who are working to free them.

As a mother, it’s difficult for me to imagine my children working 14 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I’m unable to wrap my brain around the thought of my children engaged in long, hard days of physical labor, eating one meal a day, and then falling asleep at night on a dirt floor filled with other slave children.  Yet this is the daily reality for kids who have been trafficked into the fishing industry in Ghana, Africa.  As with much of Africa, there is a great deal of poverty in Ghana. Unfortunately, this leaves many mothers in an unimaginable position: sell their children to someone who can take better care of them or watch them starve to death. Most of the mothers are told their children will be given food, housing, and an education. Instead, the kids are often taken to Lake Volta where they become child slaves and their mothers never see them again.  Thankfully, Mercy Project is working to break the cycles of trafficking around Lake Volta by providing alternate, more efficient, sustainable, fishing methods for villagers – ultimately eliminating the need for child slaves.  Because of the work Mercy Project is doing in Ghana, the first group of children will be freed this month from Lake Volta.

We invite you to watch this moving, 10 minute documentary (link below) about the issues surrounding child labor and trafficking in Ghana and most importantly the hope Mercy Project is bringing to children and entire communities in Africa.  Mercy Project is the only NGO working on Lake Volta addressing the injustice of child labor and child trafficking at its root – by strengthening the Ghanaian economy and eliminating the structures that cause the demand for trafficked children.

Whether these ideas of child labor, child trafficking, and modern-day slavery are new to you or you’re aware of these injustices, but need to hear some good news every once in awhile, we invite you to become a part of what Mercy Project is doing in Ghana.  When Mercy Project frees their first group of children this month, we can all celebrate together.

Learn more and get involved by –

 

• Watching Mercy Project’s short documentary. [link provided below]

• Following Mercy Project on Facebook. [link provided below]

• Connecting with Mercy Project via Twitter.  [link provided below]

• Spending some time on Mercy Project’s website.  [link provided below]

• Sharing about Mercy Project’s work in Ghana with your friends.  [link provided below]

Although child trafficking, child labor, and the unstable economies that result in these injustices are a tragedy, we’re grateful for what Mercy Project is doing to protect the vulnerable and for allowing us to be a part of this story.   While we’re commemorating labor laws and ethical work in our own country today, we invite you to follow along on this journey with Mercy Project to protect and free children in Ghana.

Links You May Need

Link to Mercy Project’s Website: http://mercyproject.net/

Link to the documentary – http://youtu.be/b4Dwv5KbMYI

Mercy Project’s Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/mercyproject

Mercy Project on Twitter – https://twitter.com/mercyproject

 

 

Working On A Website…

Since I’m under the impression I’m not allowed to advertize my business on Word Press (boo), I decided to go build a website dedicated to my business, where I can put as many ads as I want (so there, Word Press *sticks out tongue*).

The hardest part was figuring out layout. Even with completely customizable templates, I still found this a challenge. Fortunately I had quite a few sites for inspiration, so I cherry-picked my favorites from these sites and made them my own.

My goal is to have it up and running no later than tomorrow night. Of course I will post a link here, and I will still update this blog (I may disagree with not being allowed to post links and affiliate sites on the blog that I PAID MONEY FOR, but I love WP’s layout and easy-to-use dashboard).

Alright, I need to fold laundry and get ready for my very busy day tomorrow. I have that site to finish, plus I need to de-junk my youngest son’s room in anticipation of my parents coming to visit around Christmas! And of course the usual Monday morning house cleaning I do to restore some order after the weekend.

What are your big plans for the week? Any of them include working toward your goals? What are your goals for the next 12 months?

My Desire To Homeschool

Let me start off with the fact that I DID homeschool my older two when they were 3 and 5. My then 5 y/o could read, but for some reason refused to do it for me. Worried that I was setting him up for failure, I caved and sent them both to public school (admittedly, my second was learning to read faster than my first, but is a little socially awkward, and does FANTASTIC in a one-on-one setting, so I thought about keeping him home). I miss having them home with me, and I’m worried that my Biblical teaching at home during evenings and weekends isn’t enough “Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night.” Deuteronomy 6:6-8, The Message.   You can’t properly impress the commandments upon them all the time if your children are away at a government indoctrination facility. This has been weighing heavily on my heart as of late, especially as I see the results of a life without Jesus (I’ve been especially affected by the stories of those “flash mobs”  and other groups of young people whose lives are so empty they try to fill the void with things and violence, and appear to believe hurting or killing others will somehow ease their pain). I don’t want my children to turn to drugs, sex and violence to feel better (or even just to feel).

Anyway, back to home education…

Obviously the school we did do paid off because my kindergartener goes to a first grade class for about a half hour every morning for reading, and his first grade teacher says he’s in her top reading group. Still I worry that he’s not getting enough of a challenge in the other areas (unlike the other kids in his class, he can count to 100, patterns and sorting are concepts he mastered when he was three, and he writes complete sentences, although I would like to see his handwriting improve, but it’s still better than the average 5 y/o’s).

Since I’m hesitant to take either out of school just yet, I decided to work with my 2 y/o. It’s funny because he recognizes a letter enough to say its sound, but he doesn’t remember the letter’s name! I guess I’m figuring that if I can get on a good schedule with him and have the good results I had with the other children, I can convince my husband to let me educate our other children again.

Over the next couple weeks in addition to figuring out a good schedule, I will also play around with curriculum choices. I can’t exactly afford a canned curriculum, and I want at least part to be computer-based (my oldest loves playing math games on the computer!). I don’t plan on making any moves until the end of the school year anyway, so I have time to play around with my options.

Just wanted to get my thoughts out! If you have any suggestions for fitting in school, chores, and service (and fun outings, of course!), or if you have any educational websites you want to recommend, let me know below!

 

The Holy Spirit

This morning at Bible study, my class discussed the Holy Spirit, and how we can hear Him. But what struck me was the verse that talked about Jesus going away so that the Spirit could live in us. I realized that the comforting, guiding voice I hear daily, no one heard before Jesus’ death/resurrection/ascension.  The Spirit was Just. Not. There.

Anyway, I’m thankful for the Spirit, and thankful Jesus paid the ultimate price so that I could have that connection with God.

Just my thought for the night 🙂