A couple of years ago I remember just starting to teach the kids about slavery in the early days of American History. We talked about the underground railroad and Harriet Tubman. We talked about what it would be like to be an abolitionist.
At one point I remember saying, “ If I lived back then I would have been one OF THEM.”
My thoughts were - If I lived back then….
I would have stood up.
I would have fought.
I would have used my voice.
I would have been a zealot.
I would NOT have stood by and WATCHED.
I couldn’t have stood by and KNOWN and done NOTHING.
I would have been moved to ACTION.
I would have been a rebel.
BIG SURPRISE…I know.
I kinda had an…..
“If only I had lived back then…” mentality.
I figured that slavery was a thing of the past. Slavery was something that seemed far away and ancient. Something that I only thought about as an “old world” problem. A lesson in school to teach….not a real life current issue.
I could not have been more wrong.
Slavery is alive and well…all over the world.
Which to me seems like a global basic human rights issue…It seems like there is something terribly horrific about the fact that in 1st world countries we worry about our credit card debt and the newest trend…while, for the most part, we ignore the fact that it is PROBABLY enslaved poverty-stricken people that MAKE most of our CRAP we feel we NEED to live.
And we are ALL part of the problem.
We CAN also be part of the solution.
There ARE things we can do to HELP.
Little things…things that DO MATTER.
Things we HAVE CONTROL OVER….IMMEDIATELY.
Things like our MONEY and HOW we spend it.
In our home…one of the things I am starting to do lately is try and buy as many FAIR TRADE products as possible.
“FAIR TRADE is a system that makes sure that poor farmers and workers in developing countries get a fair price for their goods/crops. Enough so they can put food on the table at night, send their kids to school…”…Harriet Lamb in Chocolate: The Bitter Truth
Fair trade is also a system that keeps children OUT of slavery. It is a system that MAKES SURE(or tries) to keep children from being sold into slavery because of UNFATHOMABLE POVERTY.
Fair Trade is something that we can participate in TODAY.
It is something we can DO and be a part of.
Because …In the good ole’ USA- We all have MONEY.
Which means…we have POWER.
I mean…In this day and age I may not be able to GO TO AFRICA and personally save enslaved children with the MERCY PROJECT…But I CAN make sure that the stuff I buy doesn’t come from enslaved children.
One of those things is CHOCOLATE.
We all buy it…all of us.
In SOME way, shape, or form….we buy it.
And we buy a lot of it.
Especially NOW..around Halloween.
MILLIONS..if not BILLIONS of dollars are spent to buy candy that people hand out without a thought as to WHERE it came from.
Even in our house…we don’t celebrate Halloween, but don’t think I don’t get in on a good candy sale!!! I DO!!!
We ALL buy it and eat it….
which means you either participate in the child slavery or you use your money to STAND against it.
Kristen at Rage Against the Mini-van writes: “A report from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture about cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast estimated there were 284,000 children working on cocoa farms in hazardous conditions. Some of them have been taken from their families, or sold as servants. U.S. chocolate manufacturers have claimed they are not responsible for the conditions on cocoa plantations since they don't own them. This includes Hershey, Mars, Nestle, and the US division of Cadbury . . . who collectively represent pretty much every snack-size candy bar that will be available in stores this Halloween. “
This has been happening for GENERATIONS.
Why not use your money to MAKE SURE that this doesn’t happen?
Watch the video below and MAKE. A. DIFFERENCE.
Don’t be part of the commercial chocolate companies nasty little secret.
Buy Fair Trade.
Teach your kids what the fair trade symbol looks like.
Explain to them what it is.
You will be a modern day abolitionist.
Watch this video and educate yourself…
you will be shocked.
Here are some other links you might enjoy:
My dear friend Heather..and her other options for halloween
Wanna know more about FAIR TRADE???
Educate yourself. Empower Others.
You never know when…