Tag Archives: social justice awareness

3-Day Raid Saves Children From Prostitution


Three-day FBI Raid Rescues 105 Children From Prostitution As 150 Arrested

FBI agents have rescued more than 100 children forced into prostitution by sex traffickers, during a three-day sweep across the US.

As part of Operation Cross Country, 150 people were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the sexual exploitation of children.

The raids took place in 76 cities, representing the largest such enforcement action to date, according to an FBI release.

Announcing the arrests, Ron Hosko, assistant director of the bureau’s Criminal Investigative Division, said: “Child prostitution remains a persistent threat to children across America.

“This operation serves as a reminder that these abhorrent crimes can happen anywhere and that the FBI remains committed to stopping this cycle of victimization and holding the criminals who profit from this exploitation accountable.”

The sweep, the seventh such nationwide operation, was conducted as part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative, which seeks to bring together state and federal level bodies to crackdown on child prostitution. Agents recovered 105 sexually exploited children in the course of the operation.

Since its creation in 2003, the programme has identified and rescued 2,700 children who have been forced into prostitution. Arrests made during the raids have resulted in prison sentences of up to 50 years for child sex traffickers.

This article is taken from The Guardian and written by Matt Williams.

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Kaleidoscope of Colors


Mark Your Calendars for The 29th Annual Planting Hope Gala:

Kaleidoscope of Colors

Saturday, October 12, 2013

5:30 in the Evening

Paradise Point Resort, San Diego

-Inspiring stories of transformation

-Sunset, cocktails, and silent auction on the Paradise Lawn overlooking Mission Bay

-Sumptuous dinner accompanied with California wine

-Live auction, Opportunity Drawing, and Fund-A-Need auction

-Free and convenient parking

Proceeds go toward empowering the rural poor to improve their lives and land.

To learn more about Plant with Purpose, click here.

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Happy New Year!

We know we are a few days late, but we still want to wish all our readers a Happy New Year! We spent the holidays across the pond with our families, and despite our best intentions to continue blogging… you know how that ended. Even though we fell slightly short of our 2012 intention to blog daily, we still feel we accomplished the goals we set when we made our 2012 New Year’s resolution.

The main goal we made last January was to raise social justice awareness. Well, based on our annual report from WordPress, over the course of this past year we have had readers from over 96 countries around the world. 96 Countries! We never imagined our blog would reach so many different people from so many diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Another goal we made was to introduce new issues and influence the way people think about social injustice and perhaps change the way people view what they can do about it. Again, according to our annual report from WordPress, our posts dealing with the conflict in Syria, the genocide in Rwanda and the issue of human trafficking within the United States were some of our most widely read posts.

Although our 2012 New Years Resolution is complete, our desire to raise social justice continues. Looking into a new year, we have decided to refrain from posting daily. However, as we discover new issues we want to share, we will periodically post throughout this next year.

We wish you a Happy New Year and we thank you for taking the time to read our blog.


Gifts that Give Back: Krochet Kids International

Krochet Kids International provides products, specifically hats, designed by women in Northern Uganda and most recently Peru. These sales help support their communities through holistic approaches. ”Through a unique model [they] are empowering the women with the assets, skills, and knowledge to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.  The result is long-lasting and sustainable change.” To learn more about Krochet Kids International.

This Christmas, buy your loved one a gift that gives back. Check out Krochet Kids International for their holiday products, hats, scarfs, and clothing.


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Feminine Pads Help Keep Girls in School

Reusable, Homemade Feminine Pads: A Simple Intervention to Help Keep Girls in School

Written by Susan Blaustein.

“In many areas of sub-Saharan Africa, gender parity tends to decline at higher levels of schooling. While girls’ enrollment and completion rates for primary school are typically high, these rates decrease with secondary and tertiary education. Girls may discontinue their studies to devote more time to household chores, to earn extra income by engaging in commercial activities or to ease the financial burden on their family, who may not be able to afford tuition fees. Another consideration is menstruation: girls miss 3-5 days of school during their periods – 50 plus school days per year – often because they lack access to private latrines and/or to feminine hygienic products. These absences cause them to fall further and further behind their male peers academically, eventually leading many to drop out.

A simple, cost-effective intervention has been shown to decrease girls’ absenteeism rates. Research conducted in Ghana by Oxford University’s Säid Business School found that giving girls feminine pads reduced absenteeism from 21 percent to nine percent of school days. In international development circles, it is increasingly common knowledge that access to feminine pads can make a difference in keeping girls in school.

A group of committed nursing students from Columbia University’s School of Nursing and their instructor resolved to find a culturally acceptable, sustainable, low-cost solution. Their final design was nine square inches of double-layered, colored cotton material, which after washing, can be hung to dry in the sun.

In the space of one week’s time, the Columbia instructor, in collaboration with a Millennium Cities Initiative specialist in Mekelle, Ethiopia, showed 206 girls in six Mekelle schools how to make and care for these pads, which are made from locally available soft cotton. The pads have been well-received by the girls, giving them a greater sense of independence. “This will save my family money,” said one girl after learning how to make the pads. Another said, “I will not feel afraid to go out during menstruation.”

The Columbia University’s Center for New Media Technology and Learning team is developing a video on the impact these homemade, reusable and environmentally-friendly feminine pads can have on the girls’ education in Mekelle.

The concept was demonstrated to 75 Health Extension Workers in Wukro, a nearby town close to the Millennium Villages Project sites, at the request of the Ethiopian Ministry of Health. Moms for Moms, a local organization that helps mothers and children in Mekelle where other MCI volunteers have worked, is strongly considering going into production of the model pad as an income-generating project. And MAA Garment Factory, an Ethiopian-based clothing manufacturer, has agreed to donate cotton to further the initiative.

Students, school administrators, women’s groups and community leaders alike have embraced the project. After watching one of the demonstrations, one school administrator commented, “We have been educated with the most valuable information just now. We must teach others and spread it throughout Tigray (the region surrounding Mekelle). We do not need anything from the outside. We have our own material here, and we will protect the environment from plastics.”

Lessons in how to make the pads have recently been incorporated into local schools’ science, economics and health classes. In time, those leading this initiative, both from Columbia and now from Mekelle itself, anticipate that this important and practical intervention will have an even greater impact – keeping girls in school, thereby creating a broadened range of economic and social opportunities for them, ultimately benefiting entire communities.”

To view the original article written by Susan Blaustein, click here.

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Light Gives Heat

“Light Gives Heat creates world-changing opportunities in both Africa and America to take place.

In Uganda [they] partner with local Artisans to create consistent incomes where there once was none. Through [their] Brands SUUBI and EPOH, [their] In-Country Staff create long-term partnerships with Artisans to create beautiful handmade products that will soon grace the shoulders, necks, and wrists of fashion conscious consumers in America and beyond.

In America LGH is committed to not only offering beautiful products and a way for people to support [their] Artisans in Africa, but LGH is also committed to creating experiences that call all of us to look outside ourselves, to find Beauty in the Risk , and to pursue big, beautiful, crazy dreams.”

Light Gives Heat: A non-profit based in Colorado and Jinja, Uganda. Their mission is to “empower Africans through the encouragement of economic sustainability and creative endeavors. Motivating people int he west to “be the change they want to see in the world“.” They hope “to see Africa rebuilt and renewed from the inside out and to see people in the West living with Hope!

Why does Charity not work? Work does. Here are a few ways you can Work:

1. Purchase Products: You can purchase handcrafted products created by Ugandan artisans. Shop Here.

2. Work Works: Light Gives Heat creates and sustains jobs and have now developed a Work Works system. Their Work Works system allows you  to “partner directly with one of [their] Ugandan Artisans and raise an entire months’ salary in just one week. Click here.

3. Donate: Make a one time donation or a monthly gift. Click here.

4. Connect: Find Light Gives Heat on Twitter and Facebook, then share the word.

To learn more about Light Gives Heat, click here.

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A Red Round Problem

Written by Elisa and reblogged from The Average Advocate.

Sign the Petition here!

Ever wondered whether the tomatoes in your salad, sandwich or soup were grown and picked by modern-day slaves? Um, no? Well neither had I. Apparently, though, this is something we should think about. We don’t like modern slavery (human trafficking). We consider it wrong. Then add to this that we actually get a lot of our tomatoes from Florida, produced by migrant workers who in some cases are pretty much just slaves. This equation doesn’t add up, does it? 

Not to sound weird, but essentially, but our tomatoes need to be where our heart is.  Thankfully, we can actually do this. We just have to stop getting tomatoes from slave owners.

So, um . . . how do we do that? Thankfully, there are people on top of this problem who actually know what they are doing! These guys, The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and The Fair Food Standards Council (FFSC)have been raising awareness about injustices in U.S. tomato fields. They have set up some standards in the agricultural industry.There have been over 1000 slaves in sunny Florida freed! And now they are also trying to get grocery store and restaurant CEOs to only sell us tomatoes that come from good sources.

As usual, this stuff only happens when more people do it. Hence, the CIW and the FFSC have been working with International Justice Mission (IJM) to pull off the summer campaign, Recipe for Change. Then The Giving Table jumped in, as smart as they are, calling for bloggers to tell everyone about slave-free tomatoes TODAY.

Ideas for Action

So, what exactly can we do about this? Continue reading

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The 94 Store

It’s a simple concept…

Give a man a fish; feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; feed him for a lifetime.

The 94 Store believes this is crucial in their interaction with social justice. In order for this key concept to transpire, they “offer training and employment to historically disadvantaged people in South Africa.” “94 is a brand of handcrafted bags that represent hope and empowerment.”

For those living in poverty, “employment is a sustainable solution to those facing poverty.” That is why The 94 Store has trained the ladies from Walmer Township to sew and bead. The handcrafted bags created by these ladies, help to provide a substantial living for their families.

To learn more about 94, click here.

Click one of the featured bags below to shop at The 94 Store.

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