Inspired by Chap Clark and Kara Powell’s new book “Deep Justice in a Broken World: Helping Your Kids Serve Others and Right the Wrongs Around Them” I’ve kicked off yet another category on the blog “Deep Justice” will attempt to link youth ministers / pastors / workers / leaders with different resources that can allow them to work with their young people to connect with issues of injustice and justice around the world and in their communities.
The first post is on Chocolate.
Yes, that’s right, chocolate.
As Easter approaches (this weekend) your youth and your church s possibly going to eat a lot of chocolate, many might actually hand lots of it out to friends and family, some churches might even give them out to their congregation. With this in mind I’d like to point you to some resources to help you discuss issues around child labor, the slave trade, fair trade and where this all connects with chocolate, cocoa, coffee, tea…
So, what does this have to do with chocolate?
About 70% of the cocoa beans used to make chocolate around the world come from West Africa, with Ivory Coast and Ghana among the biggest producers.
The cocoa industry is built on the labour of poor farmers who grow the beans on small plots of land and sell their harvests to local middlemen.
Harvesting cocoa is intensive, back-breaking work. Cocoa prices have been declining in recent years, largely because of corruption and poor economic planning. To keep costs down, farmers traditionally use their children and other family members to help.
Criminal networks have been caught moving children across regions and international borders to work on cocoa farms. World Vision even learned of one trafficker who smuggled children into the Ivory Coast by faking a convoy of ambulances containing healthy children who were bandaged to fool authorities.
Today there are hundreds of thousands of children working on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast and Ghana. These cocoa children routinely carry heavy loads, and work with fire, chemicals and knives, with little or no protection. Many of them have no chance of going to school.
Source: Don’t Trade Lives
Check out this video by World Vision Australia:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyRbshrQ2DI
Website: Stir by World Vision Australia
Because if this is who we are… we can be so much better! We need to stir it up!
Because the randomness of where you are born shouldn’t decide if you’re going to see your 5th birthday. 11 Million children die every year before they are 5 years old. This is mostly due to easily preventable diseases like pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles and malaria. 54% of these deaths are attributed to malnutrition. 99% are in the world’s lowest-income countries.
Because the greatest threat in our time is not terrorism! 800 million people are “terrified” about starving to death when they go to bed hungry every night.
Because previous generations have tried and failed to make a world of peace and equality for all of us to enjoy. Now it’s up to us. We have the power, energy and passion to actually Make Poverty History.
Website: Don’t Trade Lives
Don’t Trade Lives is a new campaign by World Vision that aims to unite Australians against human trafficking and slavery. Human trafficking is a modern day slave trade. The buying and selling of people for exploitative labour is the third biggest crime in the world today behind drugs and arms. Every sector of Australian society can impact on human trafficking in our region. Join us in telling Australia “Don’t Trade Lives!”
Don’t Trade Lives exists to unite Australians against human trafficking and slavery. Together we will:
- Prevent people being trafficked
- Advocate for trafficked victims
- Tackle the causes of trafficking and slavery
Online Video: The Dark Side Of Chocolate
The channel 9 program in Australia recently screened a piece on chocolate and child labor, the clip originally aired on March 9, 2008 is acailable for people to access online.
On the eve of Easter, Sunday highlights child exploitation and trafficking in the harvesting of cocoa for chocolate. It is estimated that in the West African nation of the Ivory Coast alone, more than 600,000 children work on cocoa fields. Children in the cocoa fields are being exposed to dangerous practices such as the unprotected use of chemicals, carrying heavy loads, brush burning and using machetes. About half of these children do not go to school. There is also evidence of children being trafficked. The study estimated up to 12,000 children had been trafficked for cocoa in West Africa. Police in the Ivory Coast have liberated more than 200 children in just 12 months. Tim Costello from World Vision has visited this part of Africa and has witnessed the damage to children first hand.
Watch the documentary:
Movie/DVD: Black and Gold
As westerners revel in designer lattes and cappuccinos, impoverished Ethiopian coffee growers suffer the bitter taste of injustice. In this eye-opening expose of the multi-billion dollar industry, Black Gold traces one man’s fight for a fair price.
Check out information on the film, view the trailer and order the dvd: Black and Gold the movie
The website of the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand Inc (the regional body bringing together all organisations and individuals interested and working in the fair trade movement) and Fairtrade Labelling Australia & New Zealand (the regional FLO Labelling Initiative).
Short Film: You Are What You Buy
For the past year Jesse Newman has had a commission with Keiraview, through the Order of St Stephen, to encourage the expression of youth spirituality in Wollongong by facilitating video and internet projects with a spiritual focus. The results of one of our projects — a ten-minute DVD about Fairtrade — is available on youtube and from Keiraview Uniting Church.
The DVD explains what Fairtrade is and gives some insight into its transformative potential.
If you are interested in social justice or in film or video production I strongly encourage you to have a look at our DVD. Perhaps you can show it at a group meeting or even during a church service. If your congregation has not yet received a copy of the DVD order one from http://keiraview.org/ or email Jesse at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sourced from Insights Magazine: Ten minutes of Fairtrade coming your way
Website: Stop The Traffic
There are people who want to take the most precious thing you have and sell it to those who will abuse it and wreck it… People trafficking is one of the worlds fastest growing illegal industries. It is happening right here, right now, on your doorstep. It is devastating the lives of millions of men, women and children each year.
With YOUR help STOP THE TRAFFIK will create awareness and understanding of this worldwide problem and call for change. Together WE will:
- Prevent the sale of people
- Prosecute the traffickers
- Protect the victims
Stop The Traffik has film resources, good buyer’s guides, stickers, promotional material, help for people wanting to do something and more.
More links on Fair Trade:
- Fair Trade Association of Australia and NZ
- Oxfam’s Fair Trade Campaign
- The Good Chocolate Guide (pdf file)
- CHOICE on Fair Trade
- Fair Go Trading
- Fair Trade Products for purchase online from the Oxfam Shop
- The AlterEco Website
- The Sweet Taste of Slavery
Want to do something?
- Stop The Traffik (mentioned above) also have a number of resources to help you respond to the issues raised by this post.
- Organise a local screening of Black and Gold the movie or Amazing Grace at your local cinema, all funds raised going to the project (You’ll need to clear this with the copyright holders of the films first though).
- Go on a chocolate fast, and get your school, your church, your university to join in, what would happen if everyone gave up chocolate for a year?
- Set up a fair trade stall in your local market, university, church and sell products that are Fair Trade only, provide opportunities for people to purchase products that are Fair.
- Change all your household, church, workplace, dorm coffee, tea and chocolate to Fair Trade.
- Partners for Just Trade are going to release a free down loadable bible study on Fair Trade in the near future.
Finally, here’s a video from the ExModerator of the NSW/ACT Synod, Rev Brian Brown inviting people to consider celebrating a Fairtrade Easter.
I’ll try and find more resources and youth ministry ideas for people wanting to delve deeper into Fair Trade, forced Child Labor, Slavery, Chocolate and Human Trafficking as the year goes by.