Jasmine's Place Issue No. 17 - March/April 2017 - Page 22

COMMUNITY U N T I T L E D Raising awareness about modern day slavery Puaichie Badejo 22 JASMINE'S PLACE All the muscles in his neck strain as 9 year old Jean Baptiste carries a 30g sack of cocoa pods from his father’s farm. His work begins at 8a.m. He has no idea what happens to the cocoa beans after they leave the plantation. About 400 miles away, Karefa Jalloh stands in a swamp of shallow water panning for gold. Children working there typically suffer from malaria because they are immersed in these waters all day. Karefa is 13. The look on the woman next to him is full of despair. Shamere Mckenzie smiles into the camera. It is a big beautiful smile that you would expect on any graduate. But Shamere’s life prior to that smile was not like your typical graduate’s. She had been trafficked in the US, and forced into all kinds of abuse for two years. On another page is Vannak Prum. He left town with someone who promised to help him get a job to support his pregnant wife. He should only have been away for a couple of months, but before he returned home, he was subjected to slavery, torture, starvation and constant threats of death for seven years. These are all stories from End Slavery Now – they are harsh and bitter, and that is why this piece is “Untitled.” End Slavery points the way to resources to help to fight against modern day slavery and