Friday, January 20, 2012

Chocolate and water and modern day slavery...

It was hard for me to imagine the connection.  

However, according to there are five ways that lack of clean water leads to modern day slavery.  In the opening lines of the article we read:
"The global water crisis contributes to poverty and disease, holds back gender equity advancement, and affects the use of enslaved and exploited labor in commercial agriculture. These problems and others make millions of men, women, and children vulnerable to modern-day slavery."
Here are the reasons cited in the article:
1. Lack of water access keeps people in poverty
2. Fetching water can put women and children at risk for trafficking
3. Lack of water keeps women from being equal
4. Unsafe water and unsanitary living conditions cause disease and death
5. Industrial agriculture enslaves people made poor by lack of water.

If you click on the link and read the article you will see each reason expounded upon.  click here

Learning about water got me to thinking about what other industries contribute to modern day slavery.  And then I found this story about chocolate's child slaves.
The chocolate bar you snack on likely starts at a plant in a West African cocoa plantation, and often the people who harvest it are children. Many are slaves to a system that produces something almost all of us consume and enjoy.
We have learned from our work with the Child Development Foundation that poverty is a major factor in child trafficking.  There are unscrupulous people who prey on poor families whose only assets are their adolescent sons or daughters.  We have learned more than we ever wanted to know about the depravity of mankind.  And as we conclude a productive week of working in the counseling office and look forward to another class this weekend of Tom training counseling students...we are praying.

Praying for those around the world who are still victims.  
Praying for those here in Belize who are suffering.  
Praying for the abused, misused and neglected children.  
And praying for the perpetrators to WAKE up and repent of their deeds.  

Won't you pray with us?

If you are looking for a cause to support please consider making donations to the following organizations:
The Child Development Foundation works to bring awareness of the problem of commercial sexual exploitation of children and eradicate this situation here in Belize.
Water Missions Belize works to provide whole villages with access to clean water, does education on hygiene and helps to set up micro businesses to abate poverty.
Hearts of Christ works against illiteracy by providing children with sponsors who will pay for their education.  Education in Belize is not free.  And poor families often keep children home to help earn a living.


  1. I too was shocked when I read in a recent article (via Plan Canada, through which we sponsored a young girl in El Salvador), the risk that young girls and woman are exposed to in doing the two simple of acts of fetching water and gathering firewood. The perpetrators know that they must do these daily tasks, and lie in wait; and what is most heartbreaking is that the woman KNOW this - they know they will likely become a victim, but they have no choice. Water and firewood equals survival for them. They have to go. I cannot imagine the strength required to go...knowing every day what might happen.
    Thank you for continuing to open our eyes to these matters, and for you continued commitment.
    God bless you and you are always in my prayers.

    1. I just looked at Plan Canada's website...I had not heard of them before. Thanks for introducing me to them. And we truly appreciate your prayers!

  2. Alida, I have been enlightened. Joining you in prayer.

    1. Thank you, Wanda for joining with us in prayer!

  3. Wow I never realized that the simple task of fetching water can lead to trafficking. It's so sad and breaks my heart. Thank you for opening up my eyes. I will definitely be praying and doing my best to make whatever difference I can to help stop this awful injustice.

  4. Just yesterday I read CNN articles and saw videos about the cocoa industry and child slaves. One 16 year old boy interviewed said he didn't even know what those beans were for, had never eaten chocolate in his life. For shame. I was horrified.

  5. Blessings....
    powerful, i'd also add that lack of education and access to as well as accessible and affordable healthcare are great contributing factors.

  6. WOW, this is insane, I never realized this much.. It's very sad.. Thanks for raising this awareness.. My prayer's are on this.. You always inspire me Alida.. THANK YOU.. Wishing you an amazing weekend.. Hope all is well.. xoxox.. ~M