Meanwhile in Afghanistan…

This year American’s will choose who is going to represent the United States and it’s interests, in the 2012 Presidential Elections. As the rhetoric begins to become heated, one thing that I have noticed is that the candidates are generally safe. They are guarded and monitored, to protect from physical attack and sometimes even from verbal attack. We have all seen the hecklers being scurried out of a debate or speech. I tend to laugh shaking my head and nodding at those around me to show my disapproval of their outburst that made news at 5pm. One recent example of our security in America occurred just a couple of days ago; when a plot to destroy the U.S Capital buildings was stopped due to the vigilance of the FBI. I am not going to say that our modern systems are perfect and that we live in a wonderful bubble of protection, but overall we have the liberty of knowing that it does not take much courage to stand up for what you believe in, as the potential for harm fairly low when your in the spotlight.

Meanwhile in Afghanistan, the representatives of the people who are going up against the terrorists,  don’t have the luxuries that the U.S candidates and representatives do. I am pretty sure that the heckler is the least of the active threats against the members of the Afghanistan parliament.
Today I saw a glimpse into the work of Fawzia Koofi. She is an MP in the Afghan parliament and has endured not only the threat of danger but also the acts of assassination attempts on her life. I’m talking real threats, not the ones that claim to shine a light in the shadowy past of a politician. In an interview on BBC’s “HARDtalk” with Tim Franks she explains the reasoning behind her life threatening work as a politician in Afghanistan.
She explained that she is willing to die for her causes. “We die anyway”, was her response to the question of why is death a price to pay for her beliefs. Being a martyr is extreme but knowingly putting oneself in a situation where martyrdom is a possible promotion is pretty gutsy.I am thankful for my American security when I hear about the lives of the activists from a place lacking in freedoms such as mine, but Fawzia Koofi’s story makes me wonder. How many modern American politicians would there be leading the citizens, in a

cred. BBC - "HARDtalk" with Fawzia Koofi

third world state of being? In America’s past there have been many who lost their lives, striving to contribute to positive change. And in the history of Earth we know of many who gave the sacrifice for their beliefs. From the Bible to Encyclopedias we find names upon names dying in the name of God, politics and humanity. These names have inspired movements that have freed humanity from oppression, eradicated slavery and broke  through walls giving way to democracy. Maybe the heckler’s outburst is evidence of courage I am overlooking, at least they are ready to die socially for a moment in time, as I smirk in living room.

My question to you is, what beliefs are you willing to die for? If we don’t truly believe then can we really complain?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/hardtalk/9697340.stm

BBC. “Female Afghan MP on Death Threats: ‘We Die Anyway'” BBC News. BBC, 20 Feb. 2012. Web. 21 Feb. 2012. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/hardtalk/9697340.stm&gt;.

Meanwhile in South Africa…

This weekend America lost a music icon, Ms. Whitney Houston. For decades fans have witnessed her tumultuous career and personal life. Her life in the lime light also ended in the limelight as she passed away at the age of 48, leading to an explosion of media in her remembrance and news stories galore.

Earlier this week I was reminded of a story about a young child which I had heard about a few years ago.

In 2006 my husband went on a humanitarian trip to South Africa. During his time there he and the group of college students had the opportunity to work at a day orphanage. A day orphanage is very similar to low-income day care. Children will spend all day at the orphanage for free while their parents work for meager wages. The children are provided with security, food and education. A majority of the children get to go home with their families and spend the evening at their homes.

Mokumba 2006

Throughout the few days that the group was at the day orphanage there was one child who began to cling to the group. His bright eyes and loving smile brings childhood and innocence to mind. Mokumba was 3 years old in 2006 and was already beating the odds of his fate. Mokumba was an orphan whose mother passed away from AIDS. Since Mokumba’s mother did not receive antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy his life expectancy was only a few years as HIV was passed from his mother to him during birth.  A treatment that could extend his life only costs $25 from Global Strategies, an HIV prevention charity and had his mother received the $100 dollar treatment there would have only been a 5% chance of Mokumba becoming infected (Global Strategies for HIV prevention). Africa’s Children continue to die from HIV and until there is a cure the efforts of prevention are the child’s best chance of survival.

Today as I read about the past performances of Ms. Whitney Houston and the tragedy of her life, I am also thinking about the fate of the child named Mokumba. I am putting his life in the limelight in an effort to save the future children of countries affected by infancy HIV.  We don’t know if Mokumba is still alive today but one thing that I do know is that the tragedy of his life has led me to give and I hope it leads you to become more aware of infancy HIV.

If you would like to donate and save children from the tragedy of Infancy HIV please go to:

http://www.globalstrategies.org/index.html

“Save a Life.” Global Strategies for HIV Prevention. Web. 13 Feb. 2012. <http://www.globalstrategies.org/savealife.html&gt;.

Meanwhile at the Super Bowl…

The Super Bowl has come to an end with the victorious NY Giants having proven their worthiness of the championship. The fans are cheerfully raising a toast in their honor and polishing off the last of the guacamole. Myself being a 49er fan, watched with slight interest… next year will be ours!

While we celebrate and recap on Madonna’s colorful show,

“Shadows in the Light”  by Razz 2006

there are under aged girls being prepared to be solicited in the very city that the celebration is taking place. The girls are being solicited for Sex.

Sex trafficking is running rampant in the United States of America and it increases with events such as the Super Bowl. Under aged American children and teens are being coerced into prostitution and being brain washed to obey.  The girls and boys range from runaways searching for a way out, to young mislead girls and boys thinking fame will follow if they just give up their bodies for the “mean time”. Many are forced by their older “boyfriends” and even more twisted, by a controlling family member. Life lead in this manner is fragile and the potential to succeed decreases as the power of the controlling pimp increases.

This week in Indianapolis, the city of this year’s Super Bowl, volunteers took matters into their own hands and worked to rescue the adolescents who have fallen into the darkness of this epidemic. StudentReach, a non-profit organization from California, which empowers high school and college aged students to make a difference in this world, joined the volunteers who placed over 10,000 human trafficking stickers on bars of soaps. These soaps were then placed in the hotels surrounding the Super Bowl Stadium and provided the number to a human trafficking hotline. Last year 9 girls were rescued from the grips of human trafficking from the soap outreach and this year 14 were brought to safety.

14 Girls! That is 14 future women, 14 future wives, 14 future mothers and maybe even 14 incredible leaders. This is a fight that we can all easily join in. You don’t have to be a women’s rights advocate to care about helpless girls and boys. You don’t have to be a diehard volunteer. You just need to be vigilant and help spread the awareness. If you know of a situation that sounds like, feels like or looks like Sex Trafficking of a minor inform your local authorities. Stop the brain washing before it begins. If you have an appropriate relationship with an at risk adolescent tell them that letting someone else persuade them into sexual activity with others is wrong and dangerous to both their safety and health.  Inform the parents/guardian of the victim that this is not the victims fault, they may no longer have control over their activities and their life is at-risk.

If you are a teen with a friend in this situation please notify an adult to help save your friend. Let the adult know that something is wrong with the way your friend is being treated.

If you are the victim do not feel shame, get out and get to a safe place; see the number below for more information.

We need must take back power from the modern-day pimp.

Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 888-3737-888 for professional help with this matter and to report incidents.