Saving Lives One Child at a Time
A quick order of business. You will note in the previous blog an error when I wrote about John in Kenya rather than Gordon who is the person I actually was talking about. You will have to excuse me as I am still figuring out how to manage the technology and I should know better than to write and publish when I am exhausted and in a rush to get to the next place to learn even more about the great enterprises in the GIF family.
That said, let me share with you a quick story about GoodWeave in Nepal. It is incredibly heartwarming and one is apt to tear up if they were to see firsthand what GoodWeave has done, not just to save lives, but to transform them.
I won’t take the time here to explain the scope of GoodWeave’s work in Nepal. Details are available here on the website or on GoodWeave’s website. Suffice to say that GW is focused on eliminating child labor in the rug business, which is the number one industry in Nepal. In short, internal strife in Nepal (now over) and a flight of men leaving the country for jobs in the Middle East has left Nepal’s industries destabilized. The textile industry is one of the worst hit. Child labor has filled the gap and during my time in Nepal I was able to visit some of the non-certified GoodWeave factories (if one could call them that) with child labor as the work force. It does not take long to become depressed by the situation. In one factory I was able to enter the conditions were deplorable; dangerous, unhealthy and something out of the dark ages. Another factory was no better than a dungeon; dark, dank, putrid, and beyond the pall of human depravity. Filled with children and underage, subjugated women. It was hard to stay very long. It hurt too much to see just how cruel some people could be. That is the reality. But what GoodWeave has done is the true story.
It is a monumental task to change the status quo, but GoodWeave has taken it on. I visited a schools that has been set up for children they have extracted from a world of misery. It is the polar opposite of the experience I had in the slave-like factories. There were roughly 100 children in school learning to read and write, learning to live a normal life, learning that there is kindness in the world, learning that there can be a future that is bright. This alone is an incredible story, one that makes you cry for a different reason. But, what is even more incredible is that since 1996 Good Weave has saved over 1000 children, many who are now adults, some who have gone on to the University, have careers and families of their own.
I asked if the children ever shared their stories, which over time they have with proper counseling, but the best medicine is when those now successful young adults, once enslaved and now living a better life return to the school to meet the children they once were. I did not have the opportunity to experience that, but just think what it must mean to a young girl or boy recently extracted from a life of depravity to see someone that once was just like them, head held high, sharing the possibilities for the future where once there was none. There is goodness in the world. We need more of it. We need to follow GoodWeave’s example.