Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Heavy Heart and Eyes full of Tears.

The title of this post sums up how I am feeling today. I have been on an emotional roller coaster for a few days and this post has been forming in my mind and my heart during this time.
It wont be easy for me to write and I hope that it will not be easy for you to read, I pray that you are challenged, that your hearts are broken and that anger stirs up from the depths of your being. You might think whoa there.....ANGER?? Yes ANGER! Because Anger is the the birthplace for solutions and action.

So with that said here we go, are you holding on tight?
My friend Danae works for MTV in New York and over the past few weeks she has been involved with an organisation called Invisible Children. The organisation is telling the world the stories of Uganda's child soldiers, they are telling their stories and asking "what can you do?"
Uganda is not the only country that has child soldiers, some of the other countries and territories that have child soldiers are: Afghanistan ,Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Ivory Coast, DRC, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka , Sudan and Thailand , 300,000, There are an estimated three hundred thousand child soldiers around the world. Every year the number grows as more children are recruited for use in active combat.
These children, some as young as 3 years old are kidnapped or sold by their parents. Most are sexually abused and all are brainwashed. Its not just the boys that are being taken, there are many female child soldiers that are trained for warfare and also used as sex slaves.
My heart aches for these little ones that are having their childhood stolen from them. Who are loosing their innocence, who don't get a chance to an education and for the ones who will not make it out alive.
Please go to the Invisible children website and go here and watch the video and see how you can help.

About 40 000 children in South Africa are involved in child prostitution and the figures are rising as more and more children are driven from their homes because of poverty, neglect and abuse.The government is thinking of legalising prostitution in time for the World Cup in 2010. Just imagine thousands of soccer fans coming to the AIDS capital of the world legally/freely using prostitutes. A fiver a shot! A fiver for a death sentence! Then those guys take the virus back to their own countries and then what? many are saying "well the girls will do it anyway, so why not legalise it?" Well the fact that it is illegal does put many girls from turning to prostitution. If it is made legal than it just gives the girls (and guys) that final push into a life of prostitution.According to ECPAT ( End child prostitution and trafficking), about 100 thousand children are forced into child prostitution in Taiwan. Child prostitutes are in demand in other counties too.
Venezuela has around 40 thousand underage prostitutes;
there are approximately 25 thousands prostitutes aged 12 to 17 in the Dominican Republic;
Peru has about 500 thousand child prostitutes,
another 500 thousand child prostitutes are in Brazil;
We always think of child prostitution as being a 3rd world or Asian problem....let me tell you this......
Canada has 200 thousand child prostitutes.
From 300 thousand to 600 thousand of 2 million prostitutes in the USA are children and teenagers under 18. Most of them are under the category of street prostitutes. These numbers blow my mind. They are TOTALLY unacceptable. What can we do? Go here and see what you can do to help these children.


According to statistics released by the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA), more than 7,6 million South Africans are HIV-positive . Of these, about 6,1 million are the economically active people between the ages of 20 and 64, who could contribute to the country's economy. What makes these statistics more alarming is the fact that the data on which they are based are probably more reliable than the department of health's because they were collected at grassroots level and not based on estimates. Bear in mind that 98% of people who are HIV+ do not know that they are infected, these statistics are taken from the ones that DO know!!!

* 7,6 million South Africans are HIV-positive; * more than 27 percent of men and women aged between 20 and 64 are HIV positive; * more than 92 000 babies have been infected, either perinatal or through mother's milk, in the past year.

South Africa is home to over 3 MILLION AIDS orphans, it is the orphan capital of the world and the AIDS capital. KZN (where I live) has a 67% infection rate. You might be wondering "what can I do?" Well go to our website and find out.

As I write this post I feel sick. My emotions are so on the edge, I feel like I am going to fall off at any moment. I feel an unbelievable anger and rage that we can sit back and let this happen to the children of the world. IT"S NOT JUST A 3RD WORLD PROBLEM....ITS OUR PROBLEM....AND YES I AM SCREAMING THIS AT YOU!
ITS OUR PROBLEM!!!!
What are we going to do? How are we going to protect the children of the world? By getting up of our comfy couches and doing SOMETHING! YOU can do SOMETHING! Be creative, take a RISK, get UNCOMFORTABLE! Western people are so comfortable with being comfortable! Decide to be uncomfortable for a while and do something great for the children of this world.

I hope you hear my heart.

53 comments:

Divine Mrs D said...

Where you live shouldn't determine whether you live.

I think it's a beautiful post.

I had a friend tell me that anger springs from love. That your love for something can be so great that you see anger.

I can't thank God enough for my meeting you.

xx

Cristy said...

I share your anger, and I agree that WE ALL have a responsibility as CHristians to care for the widow, the orphan, the hungry and the sick.

WE are His hands and feet and we must arise to the call.
For each of us, that looks different- for some it is to give, for some it is to go, but we all need to do our part.

Thank you for making us aware of the needs so we can participate in meeting them.

My husband lost his job yesterday, but I will ask him to consider what we can do.

Much love XOXO

AndreaLeigh said...

beautiful post, and very thought provoking.

Barb said...

I am appalled that prostitution would be legalized anywhere but to make it a political agenda for the World Cup is unbelievable. I would assume there is an international organization that oversees the World Cup. Would it be worth appealing to them perhaps?

Sonja, Queen of Crafts said...

These statistics are hard to bear. Because we are somehow all involved in this. Even though we are far away and not personally responsible for the unspeakable crimes committed against these innocents, we still have a moral responsibility to do something. It may not be enough, but I am giving money to UNICEF every month to stand up for childrens' rights.
What a world do we live in???

karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

This is HORRIBLE and yes, I hear your heart crying out for these children. I'm off to the website to see how I can help and will also write something about this in my Friday "Things I Learned This Week" post at www.zemeks.blogspot.com with a link back here.

Happy SITS day!

Fruitful Vine2 said...

That's unbelievable! I never knew. God bless you for the work you do.

Yaya said...

My heart aches for these children. Just aches....

mommytoalot said...

Terrible. I had no idea that child prostition was that prevalent.
My gosh..they had better NOT legalize it.
I hear you...and am off to visit those websites.

Jennifer Bowen said...

These numbers scream at my heart! It goes back to the question "Why?". Why would anyone in their right mind want to legalize something so utterly disgusting and invasive to the souls of the victims? I will never understand.

Thank you for reminding me that I can make a difference somehow, no matter how small my contribution.

Pam said...

Those statistics are shocking. I had no idea.

Christine said...

"You shall pass through this life but once.....
.....do something"

I couldn't agree more.

Kari said...

Those statistics are shocking and heartbreaking. Thanks for bringing this topic to our attention.

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

The statistics offer a powerful statement about our world that many of us would rather deny. It is hard to wrap your mind around the fact that adults are willing to abuse children in this way. As a parent, it makes me want to hold my children tight.

Robin said...

so very sad.....
Let's hope we together can make a change....make it end....

Sandy said...

You're right, we are all affected by these statistics. There are equally horrifying things happening in our own backyards just not in these numbers.

Again, I say bless you and all those who are on the front lines really doing something. Thanks for the post. You've given me a lot to think about.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Those statistic numbers are mind boggling. I had no idea - I'm off to check out those links. You're right, we CAN do something.

Cheryl said...

Very upsetting! I am going to go check out your links!. How can people do this to children and of all things, their own children. I know money plays a part but I would rather lose everything ans starve then give up my children to this.

Cairo Typ0 said...

Here from SITS again. Those numbers are mind blowing. I had no idea...

AmericanTribal said...

Those are incredibly disturbing statistics.

It takes a special type of person to handle circumstances such as these, and I bet God knew that when he chose you :).

www.americantribal.blogspot.com

Two Normal Moms said...

Just opened the ECPAT website and will take a look...
Thanks for putting this all out there. It really DOES take stepping outside your comfort zone to make a difference.
***Ally
Enjoy your SITS Day!

sweetjeanette said...

Dropping by from SITS. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this post! I'm off now to check out your link to the site.

sweetjeanette.blogspot.com

Smart Cents Mom said...

Stopping by from SITS. Thanks for putting the message out there. The statistics are mind numbing. I had no idea. I am off to check out the site. Thanks!

Rook No. 17 said...

Stopping by from SITS. Alarming statistics. Thank you for raising awareness and being a proponent for change.

Jenn @ rookno17.blogspot.com

Christina said...

For those of you who might be interested in learning more about efforts to stop human trafficking, check out http://www.attheendofslavery.com. I had a guest lecturer come a few weeks ago and speak to my students, and he was involved with this organization.

Vashti, thank you for keeping this issue in front of us. It's absolutely terrible how easily we divert our eyes from horrors being committed every minute.

Michelle said...

IT's terrible! Of course we hear your heart. I'm just a lazy, fat american...

that shouldnt stop me. Thank you for showing awareness for us.

cat said...

Oh girl, this stirs my heart. We have been contributing to a charity called "Heartbeat" that helps child headed AIDS affected households. I know it is just a drop in the bucket, but every drop helps.

Kim said...

Saying 'Happy SITS day' seems kind of trite. It is hard to wrap my mind around these numbers.
@cheapchichome.

MariLee Parrish said...

I visited the site you linked to and will pray about what my family can do to help.

Blessings to you!!

Marrdy said...

Thank you for sharing this with all of us. Everyday things are going on in the world that we can help with. There are so many options to choose from. You are an amazing example of true Christian love.

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

Thanks for screaming at me. Really. Every year I send money to charity but I agree I can do more. We all can. I will. And I think it will be a good lesson for my kids to get more involved.

Kelly Deneen said...

This post does make me angry and sad and horrified. To think that there is so much suffering going on in this world just blows my mind. I am shocked that they may legalize prostitution there as well - wow. I just don't even know how to process all of this, but I will. I will see what we can do. Take care, and we hear you. *hugs*

drala625 said...

Visiting from Sits. We are all worried about our own perfect little bubble when we should be thinking about everyone.

Mammatalk said...

Heartbreaking. Thanks for spreading the word.

Jennifer Haas said...

That is so very sad. I cannot believe all the bad things that happen in our world. You are so amazing to do what you do!

Mary said...

I have heard of this yes, but my question always remains. What can I do??

Great posts for your SITS feature day. God bless you in your efforts.

BlogBaby said...

Thanks for yelling at me.

No really, I totally deserve it.

Although we are in financial turmoil at the moment, we are at the very least - TOGETHER, ALIVE, HEALTHY, SAFE and even HAPPY. That's more than Billions of people around the world can say.

I can't give money I don't have but I can add my voice to your shouting and encourage others to shout in outrage too.

Missy said...

You have every right to be angry.

Our church has paired with World Vision in order to help some of the communities in Africa. We have built a girls boarding school and we are planning on doing so much more.

Personally, our family has sponsored 2 children in Africa in hopes that it will make a difference to their lives and their communities.

Thank you for raising the awareness.


Stopping in from SITS.

Rachel said...

So awful, so sad.

Thank you for sharing the yucky truth.

shortmama said...

I have no words...heartbreaking

Kristin said...

As a Mommy, it kills me what these poor little babies have to go through, and they are just babies.

Mama Kat said...

It's disgusting. I look at my babies and the thought sends me spinning. I wish there was even more we could do.

Laura said...

I did a post on human trafficking a couple of weeks ago. This is such a sad life these children are forced into. We need to find a way to put a stop to it.

Just Playin' said...

This is hard for most of us to even fathom. How can it come to this? Probably has been this way a long time, so the question is, how can it be changed? Cultures are so entrenched in their ways and their expectations. Thanks for the eye opening.
Sandra

Lucy said...

Awareness is a step in the right direction. Your blog is an eye opener and makes a person think.

You are doing while the rest of us make excuses.
God Bless you!

Ms. Mama said...

Amazing isn't. I find it hard to believe that someone could even think about hiring a child prostitute.

Secondly, that people do not believe that it exists in the states. It is an extreme problem.

Good luck with all that you are doing! It takes a strong heart.

Joy said...

Kudos to you for being in tune to God's plan for you and for raising awareness on so many issues.

And congratulations on your SITS day.

Kari @ p.s. love.love. said...

Many people's eyes are closed about information like this. Thank you for putting it out there. There is not need to be kind and gentle about it. People need to open their eyes. WE need to open our eyes. We like to live in our comfort zone and let others take care of themselves. These lives are our responsibility. They cannot help themselves, so we must do what we can.

InspiredDreamer said...

Wow. There is so much that you said that will have to sink in before I can actually believe it. Thank you for sharing it, for giving not only your heartfelt words but facts, photos, and links. You have helped to equip the reader to not only feel badly about this injustice but to do something about it! What a great choice for one of your SITS posts.

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

This is a problem that could be solved through the political process if the people in charge actually realized it as being a problem. If they were to legalize adult prostitution and criminalize child prostitution at the same time, it would at least protect the children. It's just tragic. These men need to know it is not OK to treat helpless children as sex objects.

AMother'sEarth said...

You are an amazing woman!!! Keep yelling and screaming!!! I hear you, and so did so many others with this post!!!!! I am off to check your links and will share this post with others.

The Mom @ Babes in Hairland said...

Wow. What a powerful post. This is so tragic. Words seriously fail me, so thank you for saying what you did. I'll have to go read on to those links you provided. Thank you. Stopping by from SITS, hope your day was a good one - sorry I'm late.

Anonymous said...

What you are saying is exactly how I have been feeling!!!! I even have an organization that I started to help homeless, fix clean water in Africa, and more called Second Hope!!! (check it out at SecondHope.net) But I'm always wanting to do more! I want to be a missionary in Africa and I'm always jumping at opportunities to go, but unfortunately, since I'm only 14 I haven't gotten to go yet!! :( But God has definitely put these issues on my heart for a long time and I will without a doubt go to those links and do all I can!!!!!!! Thx for them!