After months of preparation, the day had finally come! On 5 October 2021, the official launch of our new project took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In this project we will tackle the root causes of modern child slavery in Ethiopia.
The event started with a word of welcome from Rina Molenaar, director of Woord en Daad. She said: ‘At the start of 2020, 160 million children worldwide were involved in child labour. The corona pandemic has increased this number even further. 160 million valuable, unique children who often cannot go to school because of this. It is precisely for these children that we want to dedicate ourselves!
This was followed by speeches from the Ethiopian government and the Norwegian embassy in Ethiopia. There was also a panel discussion on the causes and consequences of child slavery and the chances of stopping it. A group of children showed in a role play how they stand up for their rights in the Children’s Parliament when they are exploited.
Ephrem Shiferaw, Programme Advisor for this project, spoke about the goals of the project and the plans for the coming years. ‘In the coming years, we want to reduce child slavery and exploitation in southern Ethiopia. We do this by focusing on the whole family. We organise awareness-raising activities to prevent child slavery, but we also offer restoration to children who have already become victims of exploitation. We teach families how to build a stable economic base and if possible we reunite the exploited children with their families.’
Over the past months, Ephrem and his team have been working on building a broad network in Ethiopia. During the event these organisations and partners came together. ‘The event created a lot of visibility and publicity. We hope that in the coming period more organisations and donors will join with the same goal: to stop child slavery!’