fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This one's easy.

Sign the petition.


I'm looking a little bit beyond my shores today.

This petition is to intended to motivate CNN to report on an orphanage in Haiti, which is allegedly participating in human trafficking and harvesting of human organs from the children in their care. Trafficking of children. Organ harvesting from children. Hell on earth. The allegations come from mission workers, who have visited the orphanage.

Frankly, I do not use this blog to encourage much organized social action, because most times I cannot vouch for the many causes and charities I come across. There is a lot of bad being done in the name of good out there, so I am very cautious.

But this is simple: Children's Hope Chest isn't asking for your money. The organizers just want your signature to motivate CNN to investigate the situation at an orphanage in Port au Prince, Haiti. CNN should be savvy enough to recognize if this is a cruel hoax of some sort. And then CNN can shine their brutal investigative light on the organizers of this petition. In other words, if I were up to something shady, the last people I'd want to contact would be the folks at CNN. On the other hand, CNN would be the first people I'd think of who have the resources and reputation to shine some light on what appears to be a dangerous situation.

Perhaps the allegations are exaggerated. Perhaps they are entirely fabricated. But if there is even a one-in-a-million chance that even some of the allegations are true, then a little investigative attention from an international media organization might just help some children. And if CNN doesn't decide to grab their cameras and reporters on this one, perhaps maybe, just maybe, 10, 20, 100 or 10,000 more blog posts and Facebook links on the orphanage in question may motivate the operators of this orphanage to stop whatever abuses they may be condoning or in which they actively participate. If any.

I don't know the organizers personally, but someone I do know knows them personally. Andy Blank runs an IT company in San Diego and is an organizer of a local charitable soccer tournament. A stand-up citizen with a reputation at stake. Here is the email I received:

Good morning – This is Andy and I am writing this email to you as my friend - and I think you can help make a difference. This is not some gimmick or spam email.
I am writing you this quick and slightly impersonal email because there is an urgency to a dire situation that I am involved in.  Over the last 15 months I have been involved in an investigation into corruption at an orphanage in Haiti. The investigation has reached a boiling point and we are at a crossroads where the children lives are in danger. As a coalition of several organizations , we are reaching out to CNN to turn a spotlight on this horrible situation in an attempt to rescue about 75 children from becoming a victim of human/organ trafficking. 
These are kids that I KNOW and have spent time with – this is VERY personal to me.
Besides CNN we are reaching out to US politicians, major media outlets and people who could have influence in helping to free these children. Please let me know about any extremely influential contacts you have – we have prepared a packet of information that can be sent.
Children’s Hope Chest started this petition to get CNN involved with the story at Son of God orphanage to help us out. Please have EVERYONE you know sign this petition. It only takes a minute and I have posted the direct link to it below.

Here is more information and a link to the petition. 

So that's an easy one.

This one's not so easy, but worth a look: What is your slavery footprint? When you buy shoes or toys or clothes or a new cell phone, how are you to know if your purchase is the product of forced or debt-burdened labor?  Here is a Web site to roughly gauge how much slave labor has contributed to your lifestyle. Apparently, 30 slaves have worked for me, mostly in the mining of raw materials and manufacture of all these electronic gadgets. 3.2 slaves per smart phone? Ugh. I've benefitted from the labor of 7 more slaves than average. That can't be good. 

As we ramp up for the holiday season and we do the most amount of shopping we will all year, perhaps we can ask the question: "Say, GAP or Canon or Anthropologie or Pottery Barn, can you please tell me how much forced labor was involved in making this? It's important for me to know." It would be interesting to see if they can answer. Supposedly, there is a slavery footprint cell phone app that will allow the user to photograph an item and send a message to the manufacturer with an inquiry. I wonder if it's that easy.


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