When I start to her ‘Labor Day’ pop up in conversations in the month of August, my mind usually drifts towards a few ideas…food & hanging out with friends and family / the end of summer / and that D gets a three day weekend = hooray. Quite honestly, I don’t reflect on the reason that our country even has Labor Day. I don’t spend much time pondering that there were groups of individuals who fought to guarantee fair wages, safe working conditions, and prevent discrimination.
I often fail to really let it soak in that there are so many laws in our country that strive to protect the vulnerable. And who are the most vulnerable? Children. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Ghana.
Today as we’re celebrating the systems in our own country that strive to prevent injustices like child trafficking
and child labor, we’re mindful of the many child slaves around the world who are unprotected and the
organizations, like Mercy Project, who are working to free them.
As a momma, it’s completely impossible for me to imagine my children working 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. I’m unable to wrap my brain around the thought of my children engaged in long, hard days of physical labor, eating one meal a day, and then falling asleep at night on a dirt floor filled with other slave children. Yet this is the
daily reality for kids who have been trafficked into the fishing industry in Ghana, Africa. As with much of
Africa, there is a great deal of poverty in Ghana. Unfortunately, this leaves many mothers in an unimaginable
position: sell their children to someone who can take better care of them or watch them starve to death. Most
of the mothers are told their children will be given food, housing, and an education. Instead, the kids are often
taken to Lake Volta where they become child slaves and their mothers never see them again. Thankfully,
Mercy Project is working to break the cycles of trafficking around Lake Volta by providing alternate, more
efficient, sustainable, fishing methods for villagers – ultimately eliminating the need for child slaves. Because
of the work Mercy Project is doing in Ghana, the first group of children will be freed this month from Lake
Take a few minutes and watch this video…it both breaks your heart and offers a surge of hope. And hope is a powerful thing.
hanging out at Nanny & Grandpa’s last labor day
This Labor Day, I am thankful that these images are the reality for my children; but I am ever-mindful and pray with fervency for the mommas who, like me, delight in their children and hope for good things for them – and are faced with such a different reality. Whenever I learn more about the sad realities of this broken world; I am humbled that I must have a response. I cannot learn these things and expect my life to look the same. I am thankful for a community to work through these issues with – I really feel that this is where change happens.
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