Over the Labor Day weekend, as many of us prepared for the first day of school, GoodWeave debuted an inspiring video about one of the "carpet kids" from the rescue center you so generously support.
Watch the inspiring video now.
Produced by a renowned Sundance filmmaker, this three-minute animated short depicts the real and triumphant journey of Sanju from carpet loom to classroom. While this is her story, you helped make it such a happy ending.
Within hours of its release, Stand with Sanju was all over social media from TakePart to Upworthy where it was shared over 5,300 times. In addition, CNN ran a special blogpost I wrote (Time to Get Children Out of Factories and Into Schools) about how to ensure the 168 million children around the world like Sanju get “back to school” as well.
It’s audacious to be sure, but it can be done if we all take a stand. And this GlobalGiving project is just that -- you taking a stand with Sanju and all the "carpet kids" throughout South Asia.
Thank you so much for your continued support. We have an exciting update that we couldn’t wait to share with you! Today, GoodWeave is participating in Microsoft’s YouthSpark Bonus Day, where Microsoft will match donations by 100%. The matching begins TODAY at 12:00:00 PM (EDT) (noon). What does this mean? It means that a gift to Rescue and Educate "carpet kids" in South Asia will go twice as far to support our efforts in emancipating and educating children in the most dire of circumstances. Children like Uttam.
Uttam is 13 years old and grew up in a poor family in Nepal. His father was an abusive alcoholic who never allowed him to go to school. Uttam shares, “my father didn’t want to waste money in school instead he preferred to spend it in buying drinks for him. So I could not able to go to school."
To sustain his father’s drinking habit, Uttam was forced to work at a carpet factory from a young age. For 17 hours a day he toiled in darkness, tying knots until his hands bled and enduring abuse by the factory owner. He often fell ill, but was never provided with any treatment.
Thankfully, he was recently found by GoodWeave inspectors who brought him to Hamro Ghar, our rehabilitation center in Kathmandu, Nepal. Here, Uttam was able to receive the care he needed. And he’s thriving! He’s finally able to fulfill his dream of going to school, something he never thought possible. I wish you could see him in class; he is such a diligent and motivated student. His dream is to become a teacher so he can help other children who, just like him, were deprived of an education.
We know you’ve already given and your support has been invaluable to our mission to end child labor and give children like Uttam a future -- thank you. But if you can, please consider giving again today, as this is a fantastic opportunity to increase the impact of your support. Please also help us spread the word about this opportunity to your family and friends by directing them to our project:http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/rescue-and-educate-child-laborers/
With profound gratitude,
P.S. To ensure your donation will be matched, please donate as close to the starting time (noon EDT) as possible.
Every child that we rescue is in a desperate situation. But some of the boys and girls we find and save (with your support) are actual slaves with a debt hanging over their head that has turned a person into property.
This is one of those stories. On November 21 of last year, GoodWeave inspectors found 13-year-old Bijay in a Kathmandu carpet factory. From a poor family, he used to deliver cylinders and do other household work while still going to classes. But when Bijay's grandfather died, the financial burden grew and he had to quit school entirely.
Shortly thereafter, a "contractor" came to his village and persuaded his parents to send Bijay to a carpet factory in exchange for 4,000 Nepalese rupees, the equivalent of $41. Bijay later told our social workers: "I really didn’t want to do weaving work. But nobody was there to hear my voice.”
Bijay worked from 4am to 9pm with one hour for mealtime. He tied thousands of knots. He was regularly beaten, especially when the contractor accused him of being too slow. He barely had room to move in the cramped quarters.
Since that day last winter when Bijay came into our care, GoodWeave has provided medical check-ups, academic opportunities, and most importantly, we listen to his voice. His dream is to continue his education and to be a doctor to “help the needy sick people.”
Thank you for enabling GoodWeave to support children who are victims of modern slavery and to hear their voice for the first time.
We are proud to let you know that our project has been selected to be part of Microsoft's 2013 YouthSpark Initiative! Here's what that means and why we're so excited:
Microsoft's team handpicked projects which empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential through education, employment or entrepreneurship. And to support these projects, Microsoft will match donations this #GivingTuesday. So a gift today to Rescue and Educate "carpet kids" in South Asia will go twice as far!
The nitty gritty:
We know there are many worthy causes to give to this holiday season. We hope you'll consider us among them. It will help us go twice as far and be doubly ambitious in the year to come as we work to emancipate and educate children in the most dire of circumstances.
Best wishes for a joyous holiday season,
This morning I woke up to a wonderful message from our partners in Nepal with the attached pictures and the following subject line: "Dashain wishes from Hamro Ghar kids."
Hamro Ghar (meaning "Our Home") is the transit center in Kathmandu for rescued child weavers that you help support. And Dashain is one of the most auspicious and most anticipated festivals in the Nepalese annual calendar. It commemorates the victory of the Goddess Durga, in all her manifestations, over the demon Mahishasura and more broadly, good over evil. For Hindus, the holiday is an important reminder of the universal principles of truth, justice and virtue that prevail over deception, injustice and wickedness.
Throughout the country, you will see people flying kites or enjoying bamboo swings, both of which are featured in the beautiful pictures drawn by our beneficiaries, including Ishwor. On July 25, 2013, our inspectors rescued him from a carpet factory where he worked from 4:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Now, Ishwor wants to become a policeman so he can "punish all who do illegal activities" like the contractor who held him in debt bondage.
Perhaps Ishwor takes inspiration from Durga. From all of us and all the kids at Hamro Ghar who you've helped to triumph over injustice -- we wish you a happy Dashain!
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GoodWeave Executive Director