Kingdom of Lost Children

Kingdom of Lost Children

by L. J. Carter

For the Children

 

‘There is power, even in the smallest of things.’ ~ Giddeon

Quote from Kingdom of Lost Children: The Book of Ren

Cropped portion of the illustration, 'Ur.' From the fantasy fiction novel, Kingdom of Lost Children: The Book of Ren

 

* 2013 UPDATE *

Sadly, we have learned, The Grey Man charity, will be closing its doors. Many lives were rescued as a result of their tremendous work and I am honoured to have been a part of their battle against the exploitation and trafficking of children.

 

As a result, 10% of the proceeds of Kingdom of Lost Children will now be donated to Mother's Choice, a charity that offers education and help to disadvantaged parents and a safe home for their children if they are unable to care for them. With sites in Hong Kong, China, India and Cambodia, children who might otherwise end up neglected, abused or exploited for money are provided with love, food, education and safety.

 

Last year I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a volunteer caregiver for the Mother's Choice special needs Wee Care division. It is truly an incredible organisation and I look forward to working with them and contributing more to their cause in the future.

 

You can find out more about Mother's Choice by going to: www.motherschoice.org

 

****

Last year I met with two lovely girls from Sunrise Children’s Village, Cambodia, who were in Hong Kong receiving treatment for acid burns.

Waew, now 14, had been sold by her parents to a Thai begging ring and when she wasn’t making enough money, they poured battery acid all over her face to make her a more "profitable" beggar. When she still did not make enough money for them, they abandoned her on the streets.

Thy, now also 14, was asleep with her mother when another woman, jealous of her mother, threw battery acid over them both, killing Thy’s mother instantly. Thy was also severely burnt in the attack and had to be cut away from her mother’s body.

Along with severe facial and body burns, both girls have lost an eye and Waew’s right ear was completely dissolved by the acid. Despite the horror these girls have faced, their courage, empathy and love of life is truly inspiring. They are but two of millions of children who face unbelievable circumstances such as these, every day.

Although it is impossible to calculate the full extent, according to ILO and WHO statistics, it is estimated that 5.7 million children are in forced or bonded labour and 1.8 million in prostitution or pornography. 1.2 million children fell victim to trafficking in the year 2000 alone and the statistics are rising.

East and South-East Asia, Africa and South America are some of the worst offenders, where poverty, family breakdown, the low status and role of children in their societies, lack of educational and viable employment opportunities, gender inequality and discrimination make children particularly vulnerable.

If you aren’t from these regions and therefore think it’s not your problem, think again. A large proportion of sex offenders of trafficked children in these countries, are foreign travellers. Forced, bonded labour of underage children continues because of the worldwide demand for cheap consumer products. This is not just a small problem in a few countries it is an issue that effects the world.

 

What we are doing: 10% of the proceeds of Kingdom of Lost Children: The Book of Ren will be donated to The Grey Man Charity.

The Grey Man Charity, fronted by a former Australian Special Forces Commando, focuses on the rescue of children from traffickers. This is very dangerous work requiring undercover operations, as those profiting off of these children are willing to do anything to keep control over them. The Grey Man has also gone one step further by starting a prevention program to provide funds for education and family assistance, as many children are unwittingly sold to traffickers by parents unable to care for them. To find out more about The Grey Man, view videos of the Grey Man’s work and read stories of the rescue of children, go to:

http://www.thegreyman.org/

 

There are many other organisations that we have given to, feel strongly for, and will hold events and help create awareness of different issues, in aid of their cause. These are:

 

Sunrise Children’s Village is a home for disadvantaged and orphaned children like Thy and Waew. These children are not only cared for, but educated, and offered hope for a brighter future. You can read more of the children’s stories and find out about the village by going to:

http://www.scv.org.au/orphans/stories/

 

OperationSAFE

According to the UN, there are currently 43,000,000 people in the world right now in need of humanitarian assistance. Many of these are children.

OperationSAFE International focuses their efforts toward helping children who have suffered disaster related trauma by the use of art and play therapy. The use of stories, crafts, songs, and games, help children learn at their level, to make friends, share their experiences and regain hope.

http://opsafeintl.com/

 

The National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children

The National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, (NCMEC), is a private, non-profit organization which was created in 1984. The mission of the organization is to serve as a resource on the issues of missing and sexually exploited children. The organization provides information and resources to law enforcement, parents and children, including child victims, as well as other professionals.

http://www.missingkids.com/missingkids/servlet/PublicHomeServlet?LanguageCountry=en_US

 

Invisible Children

The UN estimates that over 30,000 children have been abducted by the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) in the last two decades. These abducted children are tortured and turned into fighters, sex slaves and porters for the LRA. Invisible Children is an organisation working to help in the rescue and rehabilitation of these children.

On the 25th of April, 2011, we were involved in the 25 hours of Silence event to help raise money for this cause and are happy to say that the combined worldwide money raised came to 1.5million USD! You can get a clear breakdown of the history behind the Invisible Children organisation and how the funds are used on our notes page:

http://www.facebook.com/notes/kingdom-of-lost-children-the-book-of-ren/invisible-children-event/203447059686811

Or you can go direct to the Invisible Children website:

http://www2.invisiblechildren.com/what-we-do

 

United Way Worldwide

United Way is a worldwide organisation that focuses on a variety of assistance with Education, Income and Health.

Education:

Almost half of the world’s youth has not completed or does not have access to secondary education and only 4.5 percent of world GDP is dedicated to education. United Way assists however needed, from providing books for classrooms or modular schools in remote areas in South Africa, to educating society about child safety in Hungary or providing corporate-sponsored mentoring and internship programs in Guatemala.

Income:

As many as 1.4 billion people, or one-quarter of the population of the developing world, live on less than $1.25 a day. The number of those at risk of falling into poverty has almost doubled.

To address the obstacles that prevent hard working families from getting ahead financially, United Way promotes community-change strategies to help families meet their basic needs, while gaining the financial capability to plan for, and accomplish, their long-term financial goals. 

Health:

Whether it is a community without potable water, a child needing vaccination, a victim of abuse, or someone struggling with mental illness or an addiction, United Way work to ensure everyone has access to affordable and quality care.

 

http://worldwide.unitedway.org/Save the Children

 

Save the Children

Save the Children is primarily a disaster relief organisation that works to help children and their families, during and after disasters, with medical care, food, education and long-term recovery programs.

http://www.savethechildren.org

 

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity works with volunteers and people from the community to build homes for, and with, families in need. They work on a global scale and have to date built 400,000 houses around the world. Check out your part of the world, to find out how you can get involved:

http://www.habitat.org/

 

 

By purchasing Kingdom of Lost Children, you have helped to make a difference in the lives of a few children, but please don’t stop there. Check out the charities mentioned in this article. If the plight of children in these situations touches you, you can help by volunteering your time and skills, giving a small donation or spreading the word.

You may feel like you don’t have enough to offer or that your contribution is too small to matter, but there are now approximately 7 billion people on this planet. If we each offered a little, imagine what a difference that would make!

 

 

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