Lately, however, our community is facing economic hardship as crops are failing to fetch solid market prices that provide families with a decent living. Many teenagers have left home to fend for themselves, often taking menial farm jobs to make barely enough to survive. School is no longer a priority for them, and they often appear hopeless.
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and don’t try to stop them! People who are like these children belong to God’s kingdom.”
Matthew 19:14 (CEV)
Now I work with the youth in our church to combat this trend. I cannot promise every young person a decent living, but I conduct sessions in which the youth learn to say “No” to child labor. I encourage them to stay in school to acquire knowledge that will be far more beneficial than the bit of quick money they could earn doing hard labor. Together we are standing up against child labor by holding community debates about the pros and cons of this exploitative practice and by raising awareness on social media. Many who engage in these constructive activities are gaining confidence and hope for the future.
TAKE ACTION: What can you do to fight child labor around the world? Challenge your youth group to research the issue at stopchildlabor.org and to come up with constructive ways to combat this abuse of young people.