By: Robin Rossmanith, Shop to stop slavery
Students at Broad Meadows Middle School in Quincy, Massachusetts take a 24 hour technology fast to reflect on how to help end child labor in the carpet industry. Krista, an eighth grader at Broad Meadows and a member of Operation Day’s Work has spearheaded the project to help her fellow students reflect on the needs of children living in less fortunate circumstances. As Krista puts it “Technology is a luxury many of us enjoy every day. Our peers in poor, developing countries … survival is their daily luxury.” The 24-hour fast begins Monday, March 28th at 3pm.
How fitting that a child takes the lead to end child labor in the carpet industry. As Krista and her peers reflect on their blessings and the needs of those in developing countries I am sure they will come up with unique and positive ways to end child labour. Through Operation Day’s Work, Krista and her friends have already participated in fundraisers to support Goodweave, whose mission is “to end illegal child labor in the carpet industry and to offer educational opportunities to children in South Asia.”
Operation Day’s Work is a youth organization that the students themselves organize to help other youth to achieve success on their chosen paths. Much of their efforts focus on youth in developing countries. Each project begins with students choosing the organization or focus, it is then followed by education and in-depth learning about the issue. Finally, fundraisers are conducted to support the chosen organization/issue.
Operation Day’s Work began after Iqbal Masih, a 12 year old Pakistani boy who was an escaped slave from carpet industry visited Broad Meadows Middle School telling the students to appreciate the education and freedom they had. Upon returning to Pakistan Iqbal was killed due to his activism. The students at Broad Meadows Middle School wanted to keep Iqbal’s dream of freedom and education alive. Goodweave, also began because of the tragedy of Iqbal. Goodweave resigned to end child labor in the carpet industry by removing child laborers from the carpet factories and providing them an education.
How about following the lead of Krista and the youth in Operation Days’ Work? Take a 24-hour technology fast or some time to quietly reflect how you could help end child labor in the carpet industry. One small step would be to visit Goodweave’s website to see where you can purchase carpets and rugs that are certified to be free from child labor! Or support Operation Day’s Work with a donation.
This post has been reposted with the permission of Shop to stop slavery.