Parents Urged: ‘Send Your Children to School, Not to Work’
WILLS POINT, Texas, June 20, 2016 / Christian News Service / – Workers supported by Gospel for Asia (GFA) rallied more than 1,500 people in West Bengal this week to raise awareness about the dangers of child labor, part of a series of events held across Asia on World Day Against Child Labour. Nearly 600 Bridge of Hope centers supported by GFA held educational events, urging parents to send their children to school, not to work.
“Many poor parents are faced with the terrible choice of having to send their children to work if they are going to survive,” said K.P. Yohannan, founder and international director of GFA. “Yet, the only real hope these children have for a future lies in being able to get an education. Our prayer is for the Lord to provide us with more opportunities to be able to help these parents in getting their children into classes, instead of out to work.”
Children in the workplace are frequently exploited, forced to work long hours for minimal pay, and denied the simple joys of being a child in a way that affects their physical well-being. In addition, they are denied the opportunity to receive an education that will prepare them for productive lives in an increasingly sophisticated world economy.
To highlight the problems of child labor, nearly 600 Bridge of Hope centers sponsored a series of educational workshops across Asia, where parents could receive additional information before deciding to get their child a job.
“If there was no Bridge of Hope in our village, most of our children would go to a tea garden and work as daily wage laborers, but now they are pursuing their studies,” said one parent. “Bridge of Hope turns a child laborer into a good citizen and a good man and woman.”
Bridge of Hope centers give more than 75,000 needy children a daily meal and regular medical checkups, as well as helping children with their education.
Founded in 2002 by the International Labour Organization, the World Day Against Child Labour is designed to highlight the plight of an estimated 168 million children in today's workforce.
GOSPEL FOR ASIA has – for more than 30 years – provided humanitarian assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially among those who have yet to hear the Good News. Last year, this included more than 75,000 sponsored children, free medical services for more than 180,000 people, 6,000 wells drilled, 11,000 water filters installed, Christmas presents for more than 400,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry.