All Posts in Education

October 2, 2020 - No Comments!

I Can Do That!

For all of us who work at ZOE, in any one of the 5 countries, we often cross paths with people who say, “I want to do something … what can I do?” Less often though, we see people who passionately embrace ZOE’s mission, combine it with their interests, skills or hobbies and then actually use it to influence their sphere. But when we do - it’s powerful!

Recently in Australia such a person came forth and reminded us again how everyone has something that they can do to bring awareness to the issue of ending child trafficking. 

Meet Sharon! An ordinary, yet amazing, woman who is using her heart -- along with her hobbies and circle of influence -- to make a difference by helping children.

Not long ago, I asked Sharon a few questions and here’s what she had to say!

1) How did you hear about ZOE?

I first heard about ZOE when Brett became the ZOE Development and Advocacy Coordinator in Australia.  About 9 years ago, I became aware of child trafficking through another organisation that was setting up in Mozambique. (My husband and I were living there at the time.)  But after a few years this connection waned.  I first met Brett when he was senior pastor at a local church my family started attending maybe 20 odd years ago and so his getting this position led me to check out your website

I noticed you were involved in education and had developed a curriculum for year 10 students and are in the process of a curriculum for year 9 students and possibly primary school students.  This sparked my interest even more as most of my time has been spent in ministry with children.   I started reading Facebook posts on ZOE’s work, then Brett invited me to be part of the ZOE prayer team. I’m excited to be part of an organisation that brings healing, transformation, hope and the good news of Jesus to vulnerable children. 

2) What 'sparked' your ideas for both the dinner and the art work you're doing?

When I saw the delicious food being prepared from ZOE’s recipe book, I asked Brett if I could purchase one.  He said, “How about I send you some books and you can maybe cook something from it and have a few friends over to talk about ZOE and its work.”  My immediate response was, “I can do that!”  So then began my planning for my ‘awareness afternoon tea.’  I’m now planning to host a second one in the near future.

I’ve enjoyed sewing quilts and other projects for about 20 years and along the way, it’s been a pleasure to create things for other people and organisations.  When I saw the ZOE colouring book, I thought this may be a way for me to do some creative work for ZOE.  When Brett said the drawings were done by some of the ZOE children and staff, well that was a bonus! 

3) Why are you passionate about ending child trafficking?

I’m passionate about ending child trafficking because it saddens me greatly that children, through no fault of their own, are subjected to terrible abuse and miss out on so many opportunities including to know unconditional love and the right to enjoy their childhood.  NO child should have to endure what so many are ‘living’ through and that also includes working in factories/or on farms for little pay and not receiving a formal education.  I have four children and one grandchild and am so blessed they have had and are still having many wonderful opportunities to grow, learn and flourish! I’m excited to be part of an organisation that brings healing, transformation and hope to vulnerable children. 

I feel that prevention and education is the key for big changes in so many areas. If I can play a small part in making people aware of what is happening in our world, in our country, then it can be the start of a journey which others can take and pass on.  Love the ripple effect!  

*If you have a passion to end child trafficking and ideas on how you could use your interests, skills or hobbies to influence your sphere, then please reach out and discuss your plans with Brett Gottle (ZOE’s Development and Advocacy Coordinator in Australia).

July 29, 2020 - No Comments!

Education: Bringing Powerful Change

ZOE Australia believes that ‘Education’ is one of the key ways in which students of all ages can gain understanding and knowledge about the issues surrounding modern slavery and, in particular, child trafficking. 

It is through a combination of informal learning at home, and formal learning during school time, that children develop personal and social skills. Even from a very young age, children interact with others - beginning to learn and explore issues such as fairness, respect and problem solving skills. 

As children grow and are exposed to more complex human rights issues, education gives them opportunities to learn, challenge, problem-solve, influence and contribute to bringing about change, in powerful ways. 

ZOE helps Australians to learn about the local and global issues involving the exploitation of children by building understanding, empathy, and a sense of shared responsibility. 

Through education, ZOE seeks to equip and empower whole communities (parents, staff, teachers and students) to prevent child trafficking from occurring, by offering relevant curriculum resources and informative tool kits.  We use our experience gained from working with child trafficking survivors along with current research and methodologies to work alongside leaders, educators and influencers to learn, assist, collaborate, develop and produce resources that will change attitudes and behaviours.  

We have developed several (free) secondary school curriculums for teachers to use. We currently have a team of Australian teachers collaborating to write a primary school curriculum to cover important issues relating to slavery. 

We see informal education (awareness) as an important way to engage with larger communities, or specific industries, by sharing information and resources that will equip them to be a voice for change, and to know how to effectively contribute to prevent (and end) child trafficking in their sphere. That’s why we developed our toolkits.

We believe that our toolkits can help bring awareness in industries such as: health, tourism, travel, sports, farming, clothing/fashion, hospitality and can be used by social-action groups. 

For faith-based communities like churches, youth and children’s ministry, we have prayer-based guides which focus on God’s heart for the fatherless. Over time, we believe like-minded people will respond to the stories, information and the ‘heart’ behind ZOE’s work. 

By using ZOE’s curriculums, toolkits and guides, individuals, groups and whole communities will better understand and change their actions towards others - whether directly or indirectly - igniting a movement that will bring about powerful change.  

May 27, 2020 - No Comments!

STEPS TO KEEPING KIDS SAFE ONLINE

Just like other environments where you allow your children to play (like the park, school or at a friend's house) the internet can be a really enjoyable space to explore, learn and compete. Left unsupervised though, there are also many dangers that children need help to navigate.

Always remain actively involved in your children’s digital and day-to-day lives and communicate openly. If your child is using devices for school, has a mobile phone, or uses gaming systems; it’s time to have a conversation with them about internet safety.

In order to support your child through their online experiences, there are several tips that we think are worth remembering to help protect your child!

  • Keep connected. It’s so important your child feels safe and connected to family members. The more connected and safe they feel with family, the more comfortable they will be to discuss issues, including issues they encounter online. In contrast, the more disconnected they feel from parents/family, things have potential to start becoming secretive, and they may seek affirmation, connection, and relationships outside of the home for that connection.
  • Have open conversations with your child about the dangers of the internet and how to practice online safety. Use the acronym S.M.A.R.T to help you!
  • Work together with your child to establish internet guidelines. Don’t just give a list of “don’t do this or that,” have a conversation with your child, teaching them why. You may consider signing a contract with your child about the agreed upon rules for online use. We suggest covering these topics:

-What apps/sites can be visited? What apps and/or sites are off limits?
-Where can they use their devices? Should they limit their internet use to general spaces?
-Who needs to be present when they use the internet? Do they need parental supervision?
-When and for how long can they be on their device? Do they need to limit screen time to certain hours/times of day

  • Make the most of parental controls to help monitor and protect online activity. Regularly check posts, messages, texts, etc.

To parents who are just starting out on this journey with your kids, one ZOE staff member shared, “Even though I have been working in this area for years, I recall that when we started this process, it was quite overwhelming. It takes time for you to establish guidelines, find software that helps show their activity, and time for you to monitor and check-in with your child… No matter what software you use, it is not set and forget! Initially we used the free version of Qustodio to help us set up simple daily time time limits. Apple also has great parental control software.”

  • If you notice behavior changes in your child, such as isolating themselves, becoming secretive about their phone, or wanting to spend more time in their room with a device, ask your child what’s going on, without judgement or punishment.
  • If you discover your child has been interacting with a potentially dangerous person or content, don’t panic! Be a safe place for your child. Break off contact — stop talking and stop replying. Criminal activity, including explicit photos or text messages, should be saved and taken to the police for investigation. Report any illegal activity to law enforcement. 

As in all areas of parenting, be aware and be vigilant so that each online experience your children have is fun, and safe!