Supporting children and their right to live in safety, health and freedom has always been something close to my heart. Now that I am running Moeloco, working in partnership with the HOPE Foundation, supporting children’s rights is my mission. But did you know that there is also an international day for the same purpose?
In 1954, the UN recommended that all countries observe an International Children’s Day, aimed at promoting worldwide togetherness and understanding between children. It is also meant to be a day of activities promoting children’s rights around the world. In India, International Children’s Day is on the 14th of November, where it is known as Bal Diwas. This date is the birthday of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Neru, as he worked hard for the education, progress and welfare of India’s children. In Australia, we have Children’s Week, which celebrates the talents and skills of children while celebrating their right to enjoy childhood.
The HOPE Foundation believes that it should never hurt to be a child. While a life without basic needs such as education, safety and hygiene (and quality shoes!) is still a reality for so many children in India’s streets and slums, HOPE has made significant progress in combating these issues. One of the programs HOPE runs is the Nabadisha Projects. “Nabadisha” means “new direction”, and the projects give children once resigned to begging or dangerous child labour an opportunity to reclaim their childhoods and opportunities. HOPE has also rescued and given protection to almost 1,000 children on a yearly basis, who live in HOPE’s 11 protection homes. These homes offer a caring family environment, where children are given education, nutritious food, healthcare and the ability to be a child again. For children in less severe circumstances, the holistic education program helps to keep over two thousand children in school with coaching assistance, as well as health and nutrition support. For teenagers and young adults, their Life Skills Training institute provides vocational training to 300 people every year, with a focus on disadvantaged women. Their Night Watch program has rescued 15 children and 10 adults in the 2014-15 reporting year, which identifies people vulnerable to trafficking and other forms of violence.
Human trafficking is a particularly horrible example of why children’s rights need to be protected. In fact, half of all trafficking victims are children. Typically, a financial disaster or long-term poverty will cause families to send a child, usually a daughter, to a distant town or city to take up a “job offer”. She is, however, being sold to a brothel and will most likely face years of unthinkable abuse. Child marriage also typically affects girls, which dramatically increases their risk of teenage pregnancy, domestic abuse and financial dependence. Could you imagine a child in your own family being married off or essentially sold into slavery, or living in severe poverty without having their basic needs met?
After learning about the lives of children in poverty, I had to act. With every purchase of Moeloco flip-flops, one pair of shoes is donated to an orphan supported by HOPE. These shoes allow them to attend school and avoid dangerous infections, giving them opportunities for a better life. Now, I am running my 1000 Shoes for India campaign; with Christmas at the end of next month my wish is to see at least another one thousand children receive a pair of shoes.
If you want to help consider buying Moelocos for yourself, your loved ones click www.moeloco/shopthongs. We also need help spreading the campaign so if you can regularly share our posts through your social or own newsletters that would be super awesome.
Thanks for wanting to make a difference!