YOU'RE NOT IN TROUBLE ... IT'S JUST THAT "SPARE THE ROD SPOIL THE CHILD" DOESN'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT YOU ACTUALLY BEING BAD
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FACES Ministry Update Video 2013
June 12th World Day Against Child Labor
Child labor is a complex international problem. In Latin America there are 14 million boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 17 who are involved in child labor. This represents 10% of the total population of children in this age group. 9.4 million do work that is considered dangerous and is a threat to their personal integrity. Here in Ecuador, it is estimated that 650,000 children continue to suffer the negative effects of child labor.
The eradication of child labor calls for the cooperative efforts of social/Christian based organizations like ours along with international governments and private corporations. Researchers and other professionals such as teachers and psychologists must continue to evaluate and encounter new ways to change the mindset that persists in propagating the illegal use of child labor. Changes must occur within families and societies so that child labor ceases to be a proposed solution to the economic issues facing mothers and fathers.
When we began the FACES Ministry in 2003 with a group of 12 shoe shine boys, we wanted to meet immediate needs and share the gospel in practical ways. But beyond that, we felt that God was calling us to understand the problem of child labor and actively organize strategies to prevent it as well. For that reason, we write and distribute materials citing child protection laws and the evils of child labor. Each year we have sponsored events to bring media attention to the problem.
For some years we organized a day for a “roll change” in which area youth, who were privileged not to have grown up working on the streets, “changed places” with a working youth for the day, to experience first-hand what it feels like to go to work instead of go to school.
We have organized marathons and marches where over a thousand volunteers came out in support of an Ecuadorian society free of child labor. We have participated in the creation of networking organizations that meet together to learn, seek solutions, and call for government intervention. We partner with the Movistar Coorporation who has established a foundation dedicated to eradication of child labor in Latin America through improving the children’s access to a quality education and actively advocating in favor of child rights. Above all, we pray continuously for God to intervene and continue to rescue more and more children, transforming their lives through the gospel of Christ.
This year the FACES Ministry held Community Forums in four provinces of Ecuador, targeting government officials, educators and community leaders. We brought in expert speakers who patiently explain the reasons that we must work together to eradicate child labor and propose solutions to the problem.
Here is a photo gallery of our World Day Against Child Labor events through the years.
We are grateful to all the friends of the FACES Ministry, our Church of God partners and our collaboration with Cross International, and La Fundación Telefónica for making all this possible. You can’t rescue them all, but your simple gesture of love makes all the difference in the life of a working child.