Forest (extascene) wrote in peoplerepublic,
Forest
extascene
peoplerepublic

Slavery -

"Many feel that sex slavery is particularly revolting—and it is. I saw it firsthand. In a Bucharest brothel, for instance, I was offered a mentally handicapped, suicidal girl in exchange for a used car. But for every one woman or child enslaved in commercial sex, there are at least 15 men, women, and children enslaved in other fields, such as domestic work or agricultural labor"
-http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4173

This article is horribly disturbing. It talks about modern day slavery - there are more slaves currently than at any other moment in human history. And not just because the global population is much higher. We need to do something. I'm not sure what yet, but I'm plagued by all of these things I'm seeing and hearing. How can I live and travel freely and at peace when I know that I have resources and privileges that others don't have and never will have.

I took a class called international law and human rights last semester. I'm not sure what I want to do with the rest of my life, but I know that I want to help people. I really do want to make a difference. I want to travel places and see what conditions are really like for people around the world. Awareness is a good thing, but I feel like there is already a lot of awareness in the public. A lot of awareness maybe, but also a lot of ignorance. Everyone knows about the starving children in Africa, everyone knows about the underpaid workers who make our products. But no one seems to care. Or they care, but they economically feel like they have no options. And government intervention does not seem to be helping much anyway. What is one to do? I guess that is the big question of our time. There are so many problems and issues, it seems impossible to do anything to make a difference.

I suppose that the major things I can do right now are simple. I can read, listen, pay attention and think. I can educate myself as much as possible now, while I'm still a student at a university, about social conditions around the world, and even in my neighborhood. And I can start from home. I can volunteer my time at a homeless shelter, I can tutor poor children, I can work at various community outreach centers. All these things I would love to do. I'm researching these things now.

Change must happen at home, in our own communities. I'm an advocate for sustainable agriculture and economics. I'm far from being an expert, but I'm totally willing to learn and educate myself, and I would love to work/volunteer at a local community garden, etc. But I do want to do more, eventually. I'm looking for organizations that really do make a difference. Not necessarily a major difference, we're so far away, we're going to need to take small steps. Even if I only manage to rescue one person from slavery, or stop one child from starving to death, it would totally be worth it.

There is so much I want to do, but I feel like my hands are tied. I hate this, and I would give my possessions, time and talents to worthy causes that are making positive changes in my community and the world. Everything just seems so complicated sometimes.
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