Citizenship Child Labour Campaign
We initially brainstormed ideas which needed addressing, we came up with different topics: Litter, climate change, gang violence, drugs. In the end I came up with child labour with the view as it is hidden majority of the time away from the public eye. My group consists of myself, and 4 others who has barely played a part. Myself as well as my peers applied ourselves as joint group leaders with many after-school and Saturday sessions. At an early stage we realised this was a massive problem with many different opinions conflicting against each other. Since then we’ve been working as a group wanting to raise funds to help children such as ourselves.
We took it upon ourselves to change the public’s perception of child labour and we realised that it was unfair for adults to allow their children grow oblivious of the conditions children cope with in developing countries. We part of the future generation wanted to raise awareness more than raise funds as this would be a more effective way of addressing the situation. We believe that the council should play a bigger part of not only providing services to local children but children aboard who come from countries not blessed with a democratic society that we take for granted.
We were astonished of the local and national companies who depended heavily on products made by the means of child labour. We researched online and took the opinions of opposing viewpoints. We emailed unicef and save the children, where we were met my positive encouragement
For a group of 5 students it is extremely unrealistic to make a big impact but this does not mean we should not try as we keep a pessimistic attitude it will lower morale and we will lack determination.
This is type of action we had in mind:
1. Raising awareness about child labour
2. Have a car wash and have a stall to raise money and awareness
3. Make an online group in which anyone could join or contribute money to a worthy cause
4. Have an assembly to raise awareness
In many ways I wanted commit myself to something more palpable and noticeable. There had been many attempts my many groups who have more members and financial support, although I agree with many aspects of their guiding principles as I do not agree with the governments technique of handling and resolution of an expanding business. Although bizarrely in this country the public are not acting in order to combat against an ugly issue, perhaps this is because there needs to be more awareness and methods to oppose child labour. Therefore raising awareness must be an underlying issue to help combat child labour,
One boy led a protest against child labour in Pakistan. He has attended several international conferences to denounce the hardship of bonded labourers especially carpet weavers who are employed as their small hands are vital in the painstaking process. He was targeted by the carpet weaver employers as they hired a hit man to assassinate him as he was cycling in the country. He himself has slaved on the looms from the tender age of 4 until he was 10; therefore he can talk from a truthful stance as he was once caught up in the bonded child labour web. He helped child labourers as Pakistan’s carpet sales plummeted, western nations such as Sweden, Australia, Germany, Belgium and Italy have scrapped orders worth $6,000,000 and another 100$ million worth of cancellations are likely
Therefore you can help child labour through direct action as the carpet weavers may choose to take a stance against child labour and create a child labour free organization making carpets expanding all over south Asia. Though after the murder died down sales picked up and few thought the message heeded.
My group had their hearts set on my idea of a carwash. We got permission from the principal to use the school on Saturday and managed to persuade our citizenship teacher to supervise us. Unfortunately it did not come together as planned due to the car wash coinciding with our exams therefore we were unable to carry out the car wash. We then held a meeting in citizenship, where we brainstormed more manageable tasks. We came up with ideas such as holding a stall at lunch in the dining room to spread awareness and raise funds for a worthy cause. I then came up with a fairly simple idea of presenting a PowerPoint to school in order to raise awareness to the plight of children the same age as us. We then assigned ourselves roles where I put myself forward for making the PowerPoint as well as presenting it to the school along with my colleague .
My peer was given the technical side of running things making sure all the electronics work and overseeing the transition of the PowerPoint. Someone else made the response questionnaires and made sure he left places for negative and positive feedback. We then managed to book the last available assembly before this controlled assessment Days before our assembly everything was coming together smoothly until calamity struck. The vice-principal had managed to let another rival group double-book our slot. We were enthralled at this situation so we demanded to know how he managed to let us both book one slot despite our numerous visits to make sure the popular slot was ours. He replied by saying he thought web were both members of the same group.
We then discussed how our dilemma could be solved I came up with an intelligent solution of having two assemblies at two different venues. One group would take all the M’s form classes and the other would take all the A’s form classes. When we went to the principal, he endorsed the idea but told us sternly that the vice-principal must approve. We then had a meeting involving the two groups and the vice- principal. We subsequently found out that they had invited an outside visitor the council’s city warden. He (vice-principal) had dampened our blighted morale as he dashed our hopes of two assemblies as it was too “late” to plan it and the girl’s side was using our dining hall.
He then amazed me by coming up with a half-decent solution (although it was extremely similar to mine ), the solution was to have two assemblies one of us takes a year group to the art class and the other takes the rest of the school in the masjid. There was an uneasy silence followed by a minute of whispered debates and negotiations before turning around to tell sir of our answer. To put it mildly we surrendered and were defeated a futile opposition. We then had the assembly to the year 10 are which included:
1. Types of child labour
2. UN convention on the rights of children
3. Worst offending countries
4. How to combat child labour & the cycle of rejuvenation (how to help children out of child labour and into a mainstream child
Me and John had papers with information on each issue which we read out to the audience in a bid to spread awareness. Our citizenship teacher took a picture as proof and it was then followed by a video of the benefits of child labour. We were then hit by technical difficulties and the speakers were not working. I had to then dictate for the soundless video explaining the worse opportunities a child can turn to including prostitution, begging and finally starving.
We then finished of by giving out response sheets as we did not want 60 responses we stratified the year group by choosing 8 diverse people to represent the whole year. 85 % of our responses were positive which made the presentation a success as we managed to spread awareness and make the audience look around them as to not take things for granted. I wanted them to respect their education and lifestyle as many children their age around the world are WORKING 12 hours a day working.
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