Two years ago, Michelle Rodriguez traveled with us to Peru to meet a 6-year old girl named Julieth. When we first met Julieth, she was engaged in back-breaking child labor at an outdoor brick making factory in the small town of Huachipa.
Take a look:
Unfortunately, Julieth’s story is not uncommon. Today, throughout the world, around 218 million children work* – more than half are exposed to some of the worst forms of child labor, such as hazardous environments, slavery, and other forms of forced labor.* In order to help keep food on the table for them and their families and a roof over their heads, these children miss the opportunity to attend school and to just be kids.
While the statistics seem dire, it’s important to remember that when we come together, we can help save and change the lives of children who need our help the most.
Julieth is now 9 years old, and still lives in Huachipa with her mother and two younger siblings. But thanks to your generous donations to Red Nose Day, they are no longer engaging in child labor. Julieth and her siblings are now beneficiaries of a project launched by CESIP called ‘Promoting the rights of children and adolescents in Huachipa,’ a project supported by a grant from the Red Nose Day Fund.
Even though her mother has a new job as a landscaper, life can still be very tough for the family. But now that her children are not working, they have the opportunity to go to school and get the education they deserve – the key to ending the cycle of poverty.
Julieth’s life has been radically transformed. She goes to school, plays with her siblings, and even participates in classes to educate children about their rights, increase self-confidence, and improve social skills.
Instead of making bricks, Julieth is now laying the foundation for her own future.
*Source: UN.Org, “Child Labor Day”