Abolishing child trafficking within an entire community from the inside out.
Living on the edge of civilization has its less favorable attributes. One hurdle for Simeon's community is no access to banking. What do you do if there is no bank? Well we made one. We started with the concept of Co-Op community lending and paired it down to the most miniature scale. Fund pooling of local citizens along with rock bottom interest rates for their area, has created a healthy money experience for the people here. ACT has completed a year of lending with 3 groups of 25 individuals whom all have received back the money they contributed over the course of the year plus an added 30%. We will add a fourth group in July 2020 and we have well over 500 individuals ready to join.
The local pastor has seen an influx of Haitian refugees, most of them single moms with many children. These mothers are struggling just to feed their children and have no way to purchase the uniforms needed for their children to attend school. The children were running the streets causing trouble and were at extreme risk for being trafficked. The pastor and his wife opened up their church to provide free education and a meal for these impoverished refugee children. There is a direct link to the decrease in child human trafficking by offering a free meal and an education to these children. (free meal brings them to the education) The single mothers have hope for a better life for their children and are less likely to give their children away in hopes that they have a better life elsewhere.
The community leader started this school under a tree because conditions were desperate and they had no other options for schooling. Illiteracy limits capacity, and options for survival are few. In this community the literacy rate is so low that the youth are trafficking themselves into slave like conditions for the lack of better options. This initiative is to empower the youth with tools necessary to obtain a job with humane work conditions.
This school is creating a culture of connection and unity, as well as a community of care.
Pay it Forward
Our attempt to build community through neighborly kindness and giving has had a most difficult time launching. Our first healthy ewe bore 3 sets twins in the first year and a half but because of our poor understanding and resources, our sheep continue to be attacked by wild dogs or are living poorly because of parasites. There has also been difficulty in just giving something away for nothing. We are seeking good animal husbandry training and coaching, but importantly this is affording our community leaders to solve problems specific to their conditions. This has sparked research and development locally and within the next month we will be gifting out our first healthy lamb and care training.