By: Sara Kim
Edited by: Sharon E. Chin
Compassion, a non-profit organization that links sponsors with children in developing countries, allow sponsors to provide daily necessities for children in need within developing nations, including food and education. Because poverty has a direct correlation with an individual's (especially a child’s) susceptibility to human trafficking, children within the developing world children are highly vulnerable to the crime. However, sponsorship programs such as Compassion decreases a child’s risk of exploitation by affording them the opportunities to build a more stable future in a safer environment.
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One of the areas that Compassion provides such aid in is Africa. Aveleen Schinkel, Compassion’s multimedia storyteller, depicts ordinary circumstances that African children face in their daily lives and explains some solutions Compassion provides to target those problems in her article “Day of the African Child.”
Schinkel explains that in certain areas of Africa are prone to mosquito breeding grounds and are dangerous since the insects are notorious for transmitting malaria. Although the disease is treatable, many African children die from it because of the lack of access to healthcare, sanitation, or exposure to other deadly diseases like AIDS. Volunteers are able to help by clearing standing water pools where mosquito breed, educating families about malaria prevention, and supplying them with insecticide-coated mosquito nets.
Another prevalent issue many poorer African families face is access to clean drinking water. Because the technology to access clean water is scarce in Africa, many children must walk long distances to access nearby wells, a process that can take several hours each day. Compassion provides wells and water taps to communities, which not only provide clean water, but allows children to spend more time on education rather than searching to take care of basic needs. Parents are also able to save money that is typically spent on buying bottled water when local wells are dried up.
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Perhaps the most distressing issue, however, is the rate of child trafficking that occurs in Africa. For example, in Lake Volta, Ghana, thousands of children are forced into slavery to support fishermen whose livelihood relies on dangerous exploits. Children who find sponsorship are protected from such exploitation when they are enrolled into sponsorship programs by having their basic needs and education provided for. Education for parents about the dangers of child trafficking are also provide, giving children safer environments to grow up in.
For more information on Compassion: http://www.compassion.com/default.htm
Sara (Da Som) Kim is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes.
Reference: Schinkel, Aveleen. “Day of the African Child.” Compassion. June 16, 2015. URL: https://www.compassion.ca/day-of-the-african-child/. Date accessed 6/18/15.
Photo Credit: Compassion Canada.
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