All Posts in Education

February 12, 2022 - No Comments!

90% of People Quit Online Courses…

-Here’s why you should finish this one-

You heard about it. Initially, there was disbelief. 

But now, as you research further, you identify an overwhelming sense that you feel passionate about ending child trafficking

So late one night, as thoughts and questions race through your mind, making it hard to sleep, you grab your phone and start scrolling, looking for a way to engage and learn more about the topic. 

You click the link on the ZOE website and sign up to do the free, online, self-paced course… “How hard could it be?”... “I have a spare few hours,” you tell yourself. But 6 months later when an email reminder comes, and you recall being only halfway through the first module, you are left wondering why on earth was it so hard to get started - let alone finish.

Despite the statistics, the Pathway to Preventing Child Trafficking course 

is one that you can, and should, actually finish. 

Let’s look at some of the reasons why people might not make it through to the end of the course and brainstorm some possible solutions.

#1 The topic is too confronting.

Solution:

Child trafficking is indeed a very heavy topic. One suggestion is to have a friend or partner take the course at the same time as you so that you not only have some support to get through the hard parts, but you also have someone to discuss the content with and process the information at a deeper level. Take a moment to reflect and remember ‘why’ you started the course. What was your motivation for doing it and what do you need to do to take a step closer to seeing your goal met?  

#2 I got distracted or too busy

Solution:

Think about other areas of your life where you commit to someone else, whether it be picking up your child from school or attending your friend’s theatre production. When you commit to something, you schedule it in the diary, (if you’re like me) you set a calendar reminder and of course, you see it through. 

So, when you think about showing personal integrity, committing to doing something (for yourself) and seeing it through; be sure to also prioritise it. Set aside the time and schedule a weekly reminder to get through the content until you have finished. It could mean ½ hour each week or setting aside one Saturday and getting it all done at once. Ask someone to keep you accountable to your commitment and check in with you as you progress. 

#3 It’s not relevant! Child trafficking doesn’t happen in Australia, right?

Solution: 

“Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking.” By the end of this course you will begin to understand more about human trafficking, be able to define it, and see the important role Australians have in protecting vulnerable children. 

“As an Australian, I am absolutely shocked and appalled at the statistics I have just been informed of. I was never really aware of the involvement Australia had with child trafficking so this has really saddened me to learn this of my country. It raises the question of how our country got to this statistic and was able to harm this many children.” - course participant

So, why is the Pathway to Preventing Child Trafficking course one that you can,

and should, actually finish? 

One way that you can practically stand up for the rights of children is by learning about the problem so that you are equipped with the knowledge to fight it. Along with the online course we have videos, resources, toolkits, school curriculum and social media posts for you to remain informed and connected.  

After finishing the Pathways course you will get a certificate of completion. More importantly, though, you will add another tool to your ‘kit’ to help fight this huge problem.

For more information visit goZOE.org.au or sign up for a course.

October 18, 2021 - 1 comment.

Reconciling Our Consumer Habits in the Light of Child Labour

As COVID-19 leaves children in many low-income countries increasingly vulnerable to child labour, it might be time for Australian consumers to address our strongest link to the issue: the products we purchase.

To encourage governments and individuals to right the global injustice of child labour around the world, the United Nations declared 2021 as the Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, with the hope of eradicating it entirely by 2025. [1]International Labour Organisation 2021: International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, Retrieved from https://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_766351/lang--en/index.htm

Over the last ten years, we have celebrated a global 38 percent decrease in child labour, yet there remain at least 160 million children in labour around the world. UNICEF, 2021. Child Labour rises to 160 million - first increase in two decades. [2]Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/child-labour-rises-160-million-first-increase-two-decades

This form of labour isn’t to be confused with a weekend or an after-school job, such as many young people have. Child labour is defined as detrimental work that actively deprives children of their education and well-being and, for 79 million children, places them in very precarious conditions in which their very lives and health are at risk.[3]International Labour Organisation and UNICEF (2021). Child Labour: Global Estimates 2020, trends and the road forward. Retrieved from … Continue reading

When the United Nations set 2025 as the target deadline for the elimination of child labour, they were not anticipating a global pandemic to be a part of the international narrative. This unforeseen pandemic has had far-reaching effects which have stunted and reversed great progress that had been made in the fight against child labour. Some of the greatest victims of COVID-19’s ramifications are children, who will feel its effects for years to come.

As global poverty is estimated to be on the rise for the first time in over 20 years, children around the world are left increasingly vulnerable.[4]The World Bank (2020). COVID-19 to add as many as 150 million extreme poor by 2021. Retrieved from … Continue reading Many households have become desperate as their local economies struggle, some requiring their children to work to supplement the loss of family income.[5]International Labour Organisation and UNICEF (2021). Child Labour: Global Estimates 2020, trends and the road forward. Retrieved from … Continue reading Children in the wake of the pandemic are also vulnerable to traffickers; those who would exploit them into labour for financial gain.

It is estimated that 10 million primary and secondary students, predominantly in low- and middle-income countries, are likely to never return to school, due to the economic turmoil created by the pandemic.[6]Save The Children (2020). Save our Education: Protect every child's right to learn in the COVID-19 response and recovery. Retrieved from … Continue reading As schools close and desperation heightens, the pandemic truly has created the perfect storm for child labour.

And its effects are not trivial; child labour has a profound effect upon the trajectory of a child’s life, as well as the future flourishing of our global neighbours and the world as a whole. When children engage in child labour, deprived of a good education and sound health, they are less likely to be equipped to break the cycle of poverty, allowing it to spill over into the next generation.

It is apparent that child labour aggravates poverty, and poverty aggravates child labour. The use of child labour in low- and middle-income countries stifles their national wages and increases adult unemployment. [7]World Vision. https://www.worldvision.com.au/global-issues/work-we-do/child-labour. Economic prosperity, one of the keys to ending poverty, seems almost unachievable when poverty and child labour continue to abound within this vicious circle.

How then do we assist our global neighbours in this struggle? According to a study released by Baptist World Aid, 61% of Australians hold a conviction that Australians have a responsibility to support their global neighbours to overcome poverty. [8]Baptist World Aid, 2021. The Australian Ethical Consumer Report. Retrieved from https://baptistworldaid.org.au/resources/ethical-consumer-report/ Yet in an issue that is increasingly complex, what part do we have to play? Perhaps we had better address our strongest link to the issue; Australians are mainly connected to the issue of child labour through the products that they consume.

In 2020, the United States' Department of Labor released a report listing the goods that are produced by child labour or forced labour, that are found within global supply chains.[9]Department of Labor,2021. 2020 List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor. Retrieved from href="https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ilab/reports/child-labor/list-of-goods"

The findings of the report revealed that there were 134 goods produced globally from 76 countries which used child labour within their supply chains. Goods that had the most child labour by number of countries included gold, sugarcane, coffee, tobacco, cotton, and fish, to name a few. The Global Slavery Index found that Australia imports US$12 billion worth of products that are at risk of having been produced by modern slavery, predominantly from China, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and Vietnam.[10]Global Slavery Index, 2018. Country Studies: Australia. Retrieved from "https://www.globalslaveryindex.org/2018/findings/country-studies/australia/" Australia’s shopping ground, Asia-Pacific, is where 62 million children can be found working in conditions of child labour.[11]International Labor Organization, 2021. It's time to eliminate the unacceptable. Together we can end child labour. Retrieved from … Continue readingWhat this means for Australians, according to research, is that even though our consumption habits are strongly linked to child labour, consumers struggle to align their shopping habits with their convictions. 

In July 2021, Baptist World Aid released their Australian Ethical Consumer Report that addressed this disconnect. The report found that 56 per cent of Australians believe that they should consider the impact of their purchasing decisions on people overseas. [12]Baptist World Aid, 2021.The Australian Ethical Consumer Report. Retrieved from href="https://baptistworldaid.org.au/resources/ethical-consumer-report/"> This is great news. Australians are becoming more aware of the importance of ethical consumption, and many want to make more ethical purchasing decisions in the future. Yet, despite this conviction, Social Researcher Sophie Renton suggests that “Australians desire to live for the greater good and make a positive impact but struggle to make the change to live it out in their lives.”[13]Mccrindle, 2019. Why Australians are so caught up in consumerism. Retrieved from href="https://mccrindle.com.au/insights/blog/why-australians-are-caught-up-in-consumerism/"

If we acknowledge that child labour is deeply entrenched within our global supply chains and, ultimately within many products that we purchase, does this knowledge conjure enough meaning for us to then change how we consume? Will this awareness help us to turn our beliefs into action? According to survey results from Mccrindle, meaning is the prescribed antidote to our current state of consumerism.[14]Mccrindle, 2019. Consumed: The state of Australian consumerism. Downloaded from https://mccrindle.com.au/insights/blog/why-australians-are-caught-up-in-consumerism/"

The Australian refrain: "the standard that you walk past is the standard that you accept" rings true in this context. [15]Prime Minister of Australia, 2018. Press Statement, Canberra."https://www.pm.gov.au/media/press-statement-canberra"

When we want our products to be free of child labour, but don’t take any consumer action, we tell our suppliers that as long as it is accessible and affordable, we will buy it. If I don’t want to support child labour, then does that belief reflect itself within my shopping list and my online ‘cart’? 

The onus to eradicate child labour will continue to be laid most heavily upon those who hold positions of power and influence within society, but ultimately, child labour is a global issue that connects us all and should concern us all. To fight for a world free of child labour, we need to recognise the power that Australian consumers have to enact change. The power of the consumer voice and dollar has the ability to push fairness, equality, and economic prosperity through our global supply chains.

To this end, where do we begin? One of the main findings of Baptist World Aid is that Australians do not feel equipped to consume more ethically, the main reason being that they don’t know which products might be made more ethically than others. Education and awareness are key to combating the disconnect we experience between our convictions and our ability to act on them.

There are many tools available to assist us. There are ethical shopping apps such as ‘Good on You,’ ‘End Poverty,’ ‘Sweat and Toil’ and ‘Shop Ethical’ available for download on our devices. There are other creative alternatives to our shopping habits such as buying less, buying second-hand, borrowing items from others, or using what you may already have.

By using these shopping guides and asking more questions, we can effectively communicate to our suppliers that we want our international neighbours to also share in the benefits of globalisation, and that we want products free of the labour of children who should be thriving in school.

As the Year for the Elimination of Child Labour has passed the halfway mark, it is time that Australian consumers start asking more questions about the people behind their products and educate themselves more on their connection to child labour in order to prescribe meaning to their shopping habits. As Australia’s shopping ground accounts for much of the world’s child labour, it is time to clean up our act and lead the way for the global eradication of child labour.

Ultimately, we need to impose more meaning and intention into how we consume. Australians need to give more thought to our shopping habits and respect those who are involved in producing what we consume by placing the appropriate weight on our purchasing decisions.

By being more conscious of the flow-on effect of our decisions, we can start the journey of being more positively connected to the people involved in making our products and, ultimately, we can assist communities around the world in breaking the cycle of poverty and child labour today and for the next generation.

#SlaveryFreeStartsWithMe

#ZOEconcious

References

References
1 International Labour Organisation 2021: International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, Retrieved from https://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_766351/lang--en/index.htm
2 Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/child-labour-rises-160-million-first-increase-two-decades
3 International Labour Organisation and UNICEF (2021). Child Labour: Global Estimates 2020, trends and the road forward. Retrieved from https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@ed_norm/@ipec/documents/publication/wcms_797515.pdf
4 The World Bank (2020). COVID-19 to add as many as 150 million extreme poor by 2021. Retrieved from https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2020/10/07/covid-19-to-add-as-many-as-150-million-extreme-poor-by-2021
5 International Labour Organisation and UNICEF (2021). Child Labour: Global Estimates 2020, trends and the road forward. Retrieved from https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@ed_norm/@ipec/documents/publication/wcms_797515.pdf
6 Save The Children (2020). Save our Education: Protect every child's right to learn in the COVID-19 response and recovery. Retrieved from https://resourcecentre.savethechildren.net/node/17871/pdf/save-our-education-5th.pdf
7 World Vision. https://www.worldvision.com.au/global-issues/work-we-do/child-labour.
8 Baptist World Aid, 2021. The Australian Ethical Consumer Report. Retrieved from https://baptistworldaid.org.au/resources/ethical-consumer-report/
9 Department of Labor,2021. 2020 List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor. Retrieved from href="https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ilab/reports/child-labor/list-of-goods"
10 Global Slavery Index, 2018. Country Studies: Australia. Retrieved from "https://www.globalslaveryindex.org/2018/findings/country-studies/australia/"
11 International Labor Organization, 2021. It's time to eliminate the unacceptable. Together we can end child labour. Retrieved from https://www.ilo.org/asia/media-centre/news/WCMS_792029/lang--en/index.htm
12 Baptist World Aid, 2021.The Australian Ethical Consumer Report. Retrieved from href="https://baptistworldaid.org.au/resources/ethical-consumer-report/">
13 Mccrindle, 2019. Why Australians are so caught up in consumerism. Retrieved from href="https://mccrindle.com.au/insights/blog/why-australians-are-caught-up-in-consumerism/"
14 Mccrindle, 2019. Consumed: The state of Australian consumerism. Downloaded from https://mccrindle.com.au/insights/blog/why-australians-are-caught-up-in-consumerism/"
15 Prime Minister of Australia, 2018. Press Statement, Canberra."https://www.pm.gov.au/media/press-statement-canberra"

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?

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 heard about ZOE through the Development and Advocacy Coordinator in Australia.  He had been the 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 was invited to be part of a 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 if I could purchase one.  It was suggested, “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 I found out 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 us.