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.