Please read this article by National Geographic, “5 Key Environmental Impacts of the [U.S.] Government Shutdown.”
Please join in prayer for immigrants during this turbulent time - Love Dissolves Borders: A Prayer for Immigrants by Lindsey Paris-Lopez
(Human) Trafficking and Haiti
The following piece was written by Sister Mary Oliver Hudon and Brian Stevens (Beyond Borders):
January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Hopefully, by bringing our collective attention to the many forms of modern-day slavery in our world that are often so well hidden, we can encourage collective action that will make a difference in the lives of those trafficked.
Every year millions of men, women and children are trafficked in countries around the world – including the United States. It is a hidden crime, as victims seldom come forward for help. Some simple steps that we can take in putting an end to human trafficking are:
1. Acknowledge it exists.
2. Learn facts about this crime.
3. Get involved.
4. Make ending this crime a frequent petition in your prayers.
Luckily our province’s partnership with Beyond Borders in Haiti is not only making awareness of human trafficking there more concrete, but it’s also giving us some ways to help end it.
Many Haitian parents in rural areas had been sending their children away to live with families in cities believing that this will be an opportunity to go to school. In fact, many children who are sent away end up being trafficked and becoming trapped in a modern-day form of household slavery.
That is beginning to change though, as this story about Emeline, an 8-year-old Haitian girl, illustrates.
Emeline narrowly escaped a life of servitude. She lives in a remote village on Lagonav Island. One of five children, Emeline's mother fell ill and couldn't care for her or send her to school. As Emeline’s mother was away recovering, Emeline’s father sent her to live with a relative in Port-au-Prince.
In many situations like this, parents will send their child away to live with a family in a city with the hope that their child will go to school and be taken care of. If they had any idea of the misery and abuse that lay ahead, they would never let them leave.
In Emeline's community, Beyond Borders set up a Child Rights Training program to warn parents of the dangers of sending their children away. A Child Protection Brigade – also created by Beyond Borders and made up of women and men who’ve graduated from the 6-month Child Rights Training – helps parents find and free their children, bring them home, and develop the means to care for and educate them.
Emeline's mom got the help she needed from the Child Protection Brigade in her community to bring her daughter home. When we spoke with Emeline last fall, she said she was excited for the start of the school.
"I want to be a nurse," she proudly told us, "so I can help everyone where I live to be healthy and strong."
Isn't this what we want for every child, the opportunity to live a better life, to realize their dreams?
To learn more about Beyond Borders work to end child slavery in Haiti visit www.SchoolsNotSlavery.org where you can watch a video about the work that our province’s partnership supports.