“There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they can grow up in peace.”
— Kofi Annan
You may not see them, but they are there: the invisible children of Colombia working in the dank and dusty mines and quarries. These Colombian children are subjected to workloads far exceeding their youthful physical capabilities. While youth employment is a common practice in most countries and can help young people learn responsibility and skills, this should never come at the cost of a child’s health and education.
Too many Colombian children are working long hours under brutal conditions. The result of such hard work is hugely affecting their bone development, the ultimate possibility of lung and skin problems; and even worse—death.
For some of these children education is non-existent. There is barely enough time in the day for the work they must complete. Statistics also reveal exploitation in the home environment with young girls logging 15 hours of work per week instead of going to school. Yet this is the lifestyle they know and have become accustom to.
With an estimated two million Colombian children laboring deep within mines and quarries, farming acres of agricultural fields, and working numerous other jobs throughout the country the Colombian government recently stepped in to try and help the situation.
Minister Rafael Pardo announced back in November that new policies for the promotion of youth employment would stop Colombian child labor and promote education and reasonable youthful employment. The intention is to avoid children abandoning their studies to seek a living in tunnels and places unfit for young people. This program will be scrutinized by the Youth Employment Committee, which was created to study, review and provide feedback on the issue of Colombian child labor. We can only hope that the program is a success.
Today, we are doing everything possible to rescue Colombian children from unfathomable conditions and get them not only off the streets, but also out of debilitating and demoralizing situations. They need to be cared for and loved and educated and protected in safe and healthy conditions.
Without the strong education we are providing these children, they will never be able to be anything but victims of poverty, prostitution, addiction, violence and more. With your generous support, we are not only feeding Colombian youth physically, but mentally as well; providing them empowerment on every level. Your donations support us in achieving this goal.
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