June 15, 2020

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World and affiliates like Gospel for Asia Canada) founded by Dr. K.P. YohannanDiscussing Ashmita, a child laborer living in a constant nightmare, and the house of refuge and hope through the help of authorities and Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported home for abandoned and at-risk children.Gospel for Asia founded by Dr. K.P. Yohannan: Discussing Ashmita, a child laborer living in a constant nightmare, and the house of refuge and hope through Gospel for Asia home for abandoned children.

It burned. Ashmita hurled her exhausted young body into the kitchen. Her eyes stung as she cried out in agony. Chili powder washed off her small cheeks in a red stream as she anxiously tried to recover from the new form of abuse. But the pain in her eyes couldn’t compare to the pain and confusion found in her young, tender heart.

Gospel for Asia founded by Dr. K.P. Yohannan: After the death of her father, Ashmita (pictured) was sent to live with a family as a servant. This became a living nightmare for her.
After the death of her father, Ashmita (pictured) was sent to live with a family as a servant. This became a living nightmare for her.

A Living Nightmare

Ashmita doesn’t remember very much about her life before her father died. In fact, she hardly remembers her father at all. The only thing she remembers is he was ill and couldn’t eat spicy foods, and one day he was gone forever.

After his death, Ashmita and her mother moved into someone else’s house to do domestic housework. After a time, Ashmita’s mom sent her to live with another family as a servant. This became a living nightmare for Ashmita.

From morning to night, she washed dishes, mopped floors and sometimes washed clothes. When she couldn’t do her work, they beat her legs with canes and slapped her.

“The house where I was staying . . . I was very much ill-treated,” Ashmita shared. “When everybody [went] to bed after food at night, the house owner used to watch television. While watching the television, she used to ask me to massage her legs. If I am tired, if my hands are hurting, she used to beat me and ask me to massage her properly. One night, when I was massaging her leg, I was very tired and sleepy, and while massaging, I slept off. She went to the kitchen and brought some pepper powder [chili] and put that pepper powder in my eyes.

“Once my mother called me,” Ashmita remembers. “She asked that [woman] whether [I was] around. Then she told lie to my mother, and she replied that ‘Ashmita is sleeping,’ while I was sitting with them. While she was talking to my mother, she motioned me not to speak and be quiet and continue the work I was doing.”

Ashmita’s mother was of no comfort to her daughter. When Ashmita was allowed to talk with her mom over the phone, the young girl cried and pleaded with her, asking her to take her out of the home she lived in. But her mom told her to do whatever they said. Even though her mom was not involved in her life very much, Ashmita missed her terribly and longed to escape the life she was living.

Gospel for Asia founded by Dr. K.P. Yohannan: When the local authorities found out about Ashmita’s situation, they rescued her from life as a child laborer and brought her to a Gospel for Asia-supported home for abandoned and at-risk children.
When the local authorities found out about Ashmita’s situation, they rescued her from life as a child laborer and brought her to a Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported home for abandoned and at-risk children.

House of Refuge, House of Hope

When the local authorities found out about Ashmita’s situation, they rescued her from a life as a child laborer and brought her to a Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported home for abandoned and at-risk children. Now precious Ashmita is safe from abuse, pain and hopelessness. No longer forced to labor, she lives like a child should.

Gospel for Asia founded by Dr. K.P. Yohannan: Ashmita plays with other children her age, bathes, receives daily meals, learns songs and dances with the other girls at the home. She attends school and likes it!
Ashmita plays with other children her age, bathes, receives daily meals, learns songs and dances with the other girls at the home. She attends school and likes it!

Ashmita plays with other children her age, bathes, receives daily meals, learns songs and dances with the other girls at the home. She attends school and likes it! She especially loves the staff who care for her, and the other girls who help her with her studies.

“I like this place so much; I like all these didis (older sisters). They work hard for me and for all of us,” Ashmita shared. “I like this place and I don’t [want] to leave this place and go to any other place or orphanage because of the love and care that we get here.”

Ashmita is thriving under the love she is receiving—love every child longs for.

“The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow.” —Psalm 146:9

Best of all, Ashmita has learned she is safe in the arms of Jesus. He saw her tears and knew the pain she felt in her heart. By His kindness and love, He brought her to this home. His love is found in the staff who daily look after and nurture the children who have been abused, abandoned, misplaced and forgotten, girls just like Ashmita.


Gospel for Asia founded by Dr. K.P. Yohannan: A child laborer finds hope and joy in a GFA-supported children's home.

Many children, just like Ashmita, experience neglect, abandonment and abuse. Learn how you can help abandoned children by partnering with Gospel for Asia.


*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are Gospel for Asia stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.


Source: Gospel for Asia Featured Article, Young Child Laborer Find New Life

Learn more about the Gospel for Asia Bridge of Hope program and how you can make an incredible difference in the lives of children, bringing hope to their lives and their families, transforming communities.

Learn more by reading the Gospel for Asia Special Report on Child Labor: Not Gone, but Forgotten Millions of Children Trapped between Extreme Poverty and the Profits of Others

Click here, to read more blogs on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

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Notable News about Gospel for Asia: FoxNews, ChristianPost, NYPost, MissionsBox

August 7, 2019

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA) Special Report on forced child labor today: Millions of Children Trapped between Extreme Poverty and the Profits of Others

New Developments to End Forced Child Labor

Supply Chain Enforcement

If this special report accomplishes nothing else, even though it is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, it should make readers aware that every effort to eradicate child labor has failed. That is substantially the reason for the title being “Child Labor: Not Gone but Forgotten.”

Despite consistent failures, new proposals continue to be set forth. The two most recent propose supply chain management solutions.

A number of countries that are major importers, including the United States, have launched campaigns that place the onus on prohibiting the importation of products that have been produced using child labor and all forms of forced labor or debt bondage. The U.S. program is operated under the auspices of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Forced Labor Program.

The results of the program thus far indicate that in FY 2017, ICE:

  • Spent $12,682,597 investigating cases of international forced child labor.
  • Spent $16,660,000 investigating cases of domestic forced child labor.
  • Made 150 domestic and 66 international arrests related to forced child labor.
  • Obtained 120 domestic and two international indictments related to forced child labor.
  • Obtained 73 domestic and no international convictions related to forced child labor.
  • Seized a total of $626,327 in assets from domestic and international investigations on forced child labor.

You do the math. Is there any better way to spend nearly $30 million to aid the cause of child labor?

Blockchain Enforcement

In an effort to combat forced labor, major corporations, including IBM, Ford and Coca Cola, are advocating the use of the current poster child of rapidly evolving technology: blockchain. It is a potentially effective means of ensuring that the products they market do not include child labor or any kind of forced labor from the beginning to the end of the entire supply chain process.

Blockchain proposes to be a secure and accurate digital ledger for recording assets, how and where they were obtained, and by whom.

Theoretically, companies would refuse to purchase from suppliers at any point in the supply chain who use child labor. All assets, locations and employees would be required to be “tagged” so they could be identified as a legitimate part of the supply chain. Miners like Lukasa and indentured fishermen like James Kofi Annan would not be able to work because they would not be registered in the blockchain.

Products sourced from conflict zones or that were created using child labor would not be able to enter the global market.

Exhausted and broken, these children carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Already, more than 152 million children worldwide have exchanged their futures for only a few dollars, and more join them every day. Enslaved in forced labor with no hope of a better future is no way for a child to live. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IGO / © ILO/Joseph Fortin
Exhausted and broken, these children carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Already, more than 152 million children worldwide have exchanged their futures for only a few dollars, and more join them every day. Enslaved in forced labor with no hope of a better future is no way for a child to live. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IGO / © ILO/Joseph Fortin

What Can We Do About Child Labor?

The answer to that question will depend upon who answers it. Well-meaning individuals from the philosophical to the practical will take positions on both sides of the argument of whether or not the practice of child labor can be eradicated. Even the philosophical and the practical will be divided in their opinions.

One thing we do know is that nothing has succeeded thus far. That does not bode well for future success.

But this report does not propose the eradication of child labor. Rather, it is intended to draw readers’ attention to its continuing existence. The issue of child labor is a Gordian Knot, the size of which cannot be cut even with the sword of Alexander the Great.

“…Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me..” —Matthew 25:40

The problem of child labor is inexorably linked to the poverty that enslaves nearly half the world’s entire population. We must take God at His Word; Jesus reminded His disciples that there will always be people living in poverty (see John 12:8). When Jesus referred to the poor, He used a word that specifically describes people who are destitute, helpless and powerless.

Three billion people in the world live on less than the equivalent of $2.50 USD per day. More than 84 percent of those living in Sub-Saharan Africa live on less than $5.50 per day.

3 billion

people live on less than $2.50 USD per day

While various and sundry organizations and institutions attempt to solve the child labor problem, the church’s task remains what it has always been: Be the hands and feet of Jesus to “the least of these” (see Matthew 25:40).

The Lord never called us to eradicate either child labor or poverty. He will do that someday when He returns to earth to rule and reign. In the meantime, we are called to serve.

Ours is not a race to eradicate child labor. It is a journey to provide and care for those who are relegated to the lowest positions in life. Relentlessly ministering to the needs of “the least of these” is visible evidence of the love and grace of God in action.

These GFA-supported Bridge of Hope students are getting ready to begin class after breaking for lunch. As children’s lives are transformed in Bridge of Hope, they bring new aspirations and knowledge home with them, and their families benefit as a result. Even beyond this, GFA’s Bridge of Hope program does much to uplift the communities it serves.
These GFA-supported Bridge of Hope students are getting ready to begin class after breaking for lunch. As children’s lives are transformed in Bridge of Hope, they bring new aspirations and knowledge home with them, and their families benefit as a result. Even beyond this, GFA’s Bridge of Hope program does much to uplift the communities it serves.

God’s Grace in Action at Gospel for Asia

For 40 years, the singular focus of Gospel for Asia (GFA) has been “to take the love of Christ to people who have never heard His name before.”

We must understand that Jesus looked upon people with such compassion that He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see. He didn’t just tell them that He loved them; He demonstrated His love in ways that changed their lives.

Representing Christ on earth requires that we demonstrate the same love and compassion that He did while He was here.

We are, from a heavenly perspective, blessed to be able to feed the hungry, tend to the sick and give a cup of cold water to the thirsty in Jesus’ name. These are people who know they have great needs. The Lord has granted us the high honor to love them and to serve them as His representatives. As He came to us as the “express image” of God the Father, so should we reach out to others in the express image of Jesus Christ (see Hebrews 1:3).

Poverty Alleviation

Poverty, as we have shown, is at the root of the child labor problem. Regardless of any other peripheral factors, poverty is always the driving force behind either willing or forced child labor. Therefore, much of Gospel for Asia’s work among the people of South Asia is related to rescuing families from the clutches of poverty.

Literacy and Vocational Education

The inability to read and write is a major hindrance that, unless addressed, becomes a generational curse. Illiterate people lack essential tools needed to rise above a subsistence-level existence. Furthermore, illiteracy leaves people in a position where others can easily take advantage of their situation, including entrapping them and their children in bonded labor.

Gospel for Asia’s field partners host literacy classes and vocational training classes for adults and youth, equipping them with skills that can break them out of the cycle of poverty. Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers guide class members through an understanding of basic entrepreneurial skills to empower them to create a better future for themselves. In addition, gifts such as sewing machines, fishing nets and rickshaws are just a few of the income-generating resources distributed among families who are in dire need of an income.

Farm Animals

Gospel for Asia (GFA) sponsors around the world give generously to provide farm animals for families in rural Asian villages. Chickens, goats, and cattle produce products like eggs, milk and meat, which can be sold for a good price or used to feed the family. Breeding the animals also allows the owners to expand their businesses, continually increasing their incomes to better serve their families.

Jesus Wells

Clean water is taken for granted by Westerners. However, in Africa and South Asia, women and children spend hours fetching water —not from a faucet, but from a ground source several hours away. In some cases, they must make the journey multiple times each day in order to meet their family’s needs.

By installing and maintaining Jesus Wells within poverty-stricken villages and communities, Gospel for Asia (GFA) provides a source of free clean water that can supply as many as 300 people with clean water for up to 20 years.

Not only do these people now have clean water, but it is also readily accessible. The women who fetched the water gain up to six hours a day that can now be used to obtain literacy and vocational training or to tend to their homes and children.

Bridge of Hope Centers

Children who formerly had to fetch water are now able to attend school, thereby avoiding the illiteracy and vocational poverty their parents and grandparents had suffered.

Enrollment in Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported Bridge of Hope centers is offered freely to children whose parents commit to keeping their children in school. The Bridge of Hope Program is a continuation of the school day, in which the children received enhanced and advanced training.

GFA’s Bridge of Hope Program provides backpacks and school supplies, relieving students’ parents of the pressure of those expenses. Children also receive a nutritious meal each day and free health checkups. As they experience holistic growth through the program, students gain a vision for a life away from the cheap labor in brick kilns and factories—and they are equipped to fulfill that vision.

God’s Grace in Action Through You

None of Gospel for Asia’s efforts to free families from poverty and their children from child labor would be possible without people like you. The prayers and financial support of Gospel for Asia (GFA) friends drill wells; open Bridge of Hope centers; pay for literacy classes, vocational training and farm animals; and equip all of the ministries of national missionaries who are sharing Christ’s love through practical ways that change lives both now and for eternity.

We may never end child labor, but we must never forget it or those working to combat it—and we must remain relentless in being the only Jesus some will ever see.


Child Labor: Not Gone, but Forgotten: Part 1 | Part 2

Source: Gospel for Asia Special Report, Child Labor: Not Gone, but Forgotten

Learn more about the children who find themselves discarded, orphaned and abused, and the home and hope that they can be given through agencies like Gospel for Asia.

Click here, to read more blogs on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

Learn more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | Sourcewatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | Media Room | Poverty Solutions | Endorsements | 40th Anniversary | Lawsuit Response |

August 5, 2019

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA) Special Report on child labor today: Millions of Children Trapped between Extreme Poverty and the Profits of Others

Why Are These Children Working?

Many children work to survive, but it is a combination of perverse incentives and unjust business practices that creates the demand for child labour.

The Families’ Context

Families caught in generational or situational abject poverty are desperate. Some are suffering from the social inequities of the culture in which they live. Others have been displaced by war or famine and have no source of income at all. Either of these exacerbates the situation.

In many cases, the parents are illiterate and have no skills, and whatever jobs they have pay very little. These families are so poor and often in so much debt that they are not likely to recover from either without enlisting their children as breadwinners. They can see no way out of their poverty, so they sacrifice the future (the education and success of their children) on the altar of the immediate (survival now).

This mother and her five children are returning home from a ten-hour work day in the fields
This mother and her five children are returning home from a ten-hour work day in the fields

Some poor families see artisanal mining and other occupations as their chance to rise above their poverty. In fact, families of children working in the cobalt mines of the DRC have proven to be strongly resistant to efforts to establish or enforce child labor laws, as doing so would eliminate a reliable source of family income.

That resistance is not uncommon. A single child working in cotton fields can contribute as much as a quarter of the family’s income. Why would a family want to give up 25 percent of their income when it is already nearly impossible for them to meet their family’s needs for food, clothing and shelter? Their focus is on staying alive.

Partly to blame for their decision to send their children to work is their lack of understanding of the world outside their limited geographic sphere. They have little or no concept of the profits being made at the end of the supply chains that are linked to their hands and feet.

Remember Lukasa? On a good day, he makes about $9 mining about 22 pounds of cobalt. That’s $0.41 per pound. The market price of cobalt reached $80,490 per metric ton in 2018. That is $36.52 per pound or 89 times what Lukasa makes. On a good day.

These people live in desperate circumstances. Losing income will only make matters worse.

The Employers’ Context

Employers are responsible for generating a reasonable return on shareholders’ investments. It’s all about profitability. No business can continually operate at a loss. The highly competitive nature of international trade is predicated on getting products to market quickly, efficiently and at the lowest prices possible for consumers. Each level of the supply chain, from the top down, pushes the entire chain to reduce costs. The key for each link is to acquire at the lowest possible cost and to sell at the highest cost the market will bear.

152 million

children are in forced child labour

When businesses throughout the chain fail to manage this dynamic, they go out of business. When they succeed, the two links at the far ends of the chain suffer the most. The first-touch laborers are destined to subsistence wages or less, and the consumers expend more for the final product. There are no winners at either end of the chain.

Many employers maximize their gain from production by employing low-cost labor. Children are the least expensive labor; they have little or no bargaining power, and they are easy to manipulate. Because of the desperate status of millions of families in developing countries, unscrupulous employers take advantage of their willingness—or force them—covertly or otherwise to minimize their costs.

One hundred and fifty-two million children are in forced child labor worldwide. Children are the least expensive, have no bargaining power and are easy to manipulate. Because of this, many employers sadly see this as an opportunity and take advantage of children.
One hundred and fifty-two million children are in forced child labour worldwide. Children are the least expensive, have no bargaining power and are easy to manipulate. Because of this, many employers sadly see this as an opportunity and take advantage of children.

Other Obstacles to Ending Child Labour

Child labour is a well-known evil, and it is receiving global resistance. In Target 8.7 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, member nations are obliged to take “immediate and effective measures to … secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.”

UNICEF is the UN torchbearer for changing the cultural acceptance of child labour and offering “supporting strategies and programming to provide alternative income to families.” They expect to employ a multi-prong agenda, including legal reform; education; social protection; and access to health services in cooperation with other organizations, including corporate, governmental and NGOs, to accelerate child labour reduction in countries around the world.

Groups such as these are making headway in combatting child labour, but this global problem is not going down without a fight.

Obstacle 1: Lip Service

Maplecroft’s insights and analysis on Child Labour Index exposed the ease with which countries can and do pay lip service to the advancement of child labour eradication and other human rights. They simply sign a commitment that makes them acceptable in the sight of their peers but which they have no intention to keep. For that reason, successful eradication of child labour may be predicated upon the ability to “differentiate between the states taking appropriate action to stop child labour and those that are just paying lip service.”

Obstacle 2: Intransigence

Intransigence is being discovered within all levels of both government and industry.

Pakistan has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and enacted laws to deal with eliminating child labor. However, an investigation launched by Dawn News discovered that the departments responsible for implementing those laws showed little or no concern about doing so.

The laws have been written. They just aren’t enforced.

Article 11 of the Pakistan Constitution states, “No child below the age of fourteen years should be engaged in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment.”

Nonetheless, the Dawn report revealed that around 1.5 million children were engaged in labor work across a single province. The laws have been written. They just aren’t enforced.

In June 2017, the International Labor Rights Union reported that not only is leading chocolate company Godiva not fully onboard with actively reducing the use of child labor, but it is “lagging furthest behind in their commitments and urgently needs an added push to improve.”

In yet another incident, Human Rights Watch reported in 2016 that by the order of local officials in Uzbekistan, classes were cancelled and children as young as 10 years old were removed from school and sent to pick cotton.

As these examples illustrate, economic results were considered more important than the morality of employing child labor.

In Pakistan, economic results are considered more important than the morality of employing child laborers. The laws have been written that no child below the age of 14 should endure work in a hazardous environment. Sadly, these laws aren’t enforced, and many children suffer because of it. © ILO
In Pakistan, economic results are considered more important than the morality of employing child laborers. The laws have been written that no child below the age of 14 should endure work in a hazardous environment. Sadly, these laws aren’t enforced, and many children suffer because of it. © ILO

Obstacle 3: Limited Resources

Sometimes what looks like intransigence is simply a lack of resources.

Laws, regulations, mandates, goals, and agendas require resources to implement, monitor and enforce.

According to the Viet Nam News, “Vietnam was the first country in Asia and second country in the world to ratify the United Nations’ International Convention on the Rights of the Child.” Yet an estimated 1.75 million children are working in the nation. The labor inspectorate there is noted as “chronically underfunded and understaffed,” and if penalties are imposed, they often “amount to no more than a slap on the wrist.”

Although signs are posted, child labor still flourishes. One of the most needed areas of law enforcement is the ability to enforce laws where the laws already exist.
Although signs are posted, child labor still flourishes. One of the most needed areas of law enforcement is the ability to enforce laws where the laws already exist.

Tulane University professor William Bertrand has studied lofty aspirations, including federal and international mandates, and found that some—if not many—are “totally unachievable.” But it sure looks good on paper—especially to constituents.

From a corporate perspective, even if a company or entire industry budgets substantial financial outlays to prevent child exploitation as evidence of their “commitment”, that often does not reflect progress on the ground. One insider observed, “They talk a lot about the money spent on various activities related to child labor, but when we did the calculations, a fair proportion of that money was spent on sitting around and talking about it in London and Geneva.”

Funds spent on pontification in luxurious facilities have no effect on the places where they are most needed.

Included in the “most needed” is the ability to enforce laws where they exist.

Valiant Richey of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, told Reuters, “We can’t prosecute [cases of labor exploitation] fast enough. … The scope of the problem exceeds our ability to respond to it as law enforcement.”

250,000+

Krygyzstani children subjected to hazardous work

A 2018 study by the Kyrgyzstan Federation of Trade Unions (KFTU) found that implementing and enforcing are inconsistent at best. Although it had been 10 years since the country ratified the International Labor Organization convention for the elimination of the worst forms of child labor, more than 250,000 children were still subjected to hazardous work. The KFTU said the lack of ability to enforce the child labor laws is the greatest single obstacle to the elimination of child labor in the country.

Obstacle 4: Pushback

Unfortunately, this problem of pushback is as apparent in the United States as it is anywhere else in the world. In 2011, the Department of Labor (DOL) attempted to update the list of agricultural jobs dangerous for children under the Fair Labor Standards Act, but it was stymied by resistance from farm lobbying groups, including the American Farm Bureau.

The lobbying association reminded the DOL that “Farm Bureau advocates for the interests of farmers.” The powerful group is composed of farmers and related parties. Those delegates and their representatives seek to protect the farming industry, not to ban the employment of children on tobacco, cotton, or other farms. Farm lobbying groups say that restricting child workers in the agricultural industry threatens the fabric of American farms. Their position is that farms are generally family-run businesses. Evidence, however, suggests that child labor is more of a problem on large, industrially-operated endeavors.

This 17-year-old young woman began working on a tobacco farm in America when she was just 13 years old. She shared, “None of my bosses or contractors or crew leaders have ever told us anything about pesticides and how we can protect ourselves from them...When I worked with my mom, she would take care of me, and she would like always make sure I was okay... Our bosses don’t give us anything except for our checks. That’s it.” © 2015 Benedict Evans for Human Rights Watch
This 17-year-old young woman began working on a tobacco farm in America when she was just 13 years old. She shared, “None of my bosses or contractors or crew leaders have ever told us anything about pesticides and how we can protect ourselves from them…When I worked with my mom, she would take care of me, and she would like always make sure I was okay… Our bosses don’t give us anything except for our checks. That’s it.” © 2015 Benedict Evans for Human Rights Watch

Once again, there is a subtle undertone in pushback that child labor helps the families of these children to have food, clothing, and shelter that would not be available otherwise.

When we understand that this is the nature of the beast in the United States, it should increase our awareness of the severity of pushback faced in developing countries.

There is a subtle undertone in pushback that child labor helps the families of children to have food, clothing, and shelter that would not be available otherwise.

Consider the case of Alternative Turkmenistan News (ATN) reporter Gaspar Matalaev. He is an investigative reporter working undercover to expose the state-run nature of forced and child labor during cotton harvests in Turkmenistan. Matalaev was arrested in 2016, two days after he published a report on the newspaper’s website about the state-orchestrated forced labor of children.

Refusal to contribute to the cotton harvest is considered insubordination, incitement to sabotage and contempt of the Turkmenistan homeland. Reporting on it is even worse.

Matalaev was tortured with electric shocks until he reportedly confessed to filing a fraudulent report. He remains imprisoned in a labor camp and is suffering from ill health as a result of the poor conditions.

There is pushback against attempts to eradicate child labor from the children and their families to the executive boardrooms, to the halls of humanitarian aid institutions, and to the highest national political offices.

This mother is hugging her 7-year-old daughter Daoussiya tightly with a smile full of joy. This is the first time she has seen Daoussiya in four months. The young girl left home with her father to beg in Algeria as a means of living, against the mother’s will. She was caught by police during a migrant round up and was re-united with her mother in Niger. © UNICEF / Gilbertson
This mother is hugging her 7-year-old daughter Daoussiya tightly with a smile full of joy. This is the first time she has seen Daoussiya in four months. The young girl left home with her father to beg in Algeria as a means of living, against the mother’s will. She was caught by police during a migrant round up and was re-united with her mother in Niger. © UNICEF / Gilbertson

Child Labor: Not Gone, but Forgotten: Part 1 | Part 3

Source: Gospel for Asia Special Report, Child Labor: Not Gone, but Forgotten

Learn more about the children who find themselves discarded, orphaned and abused, and the home and hope that they can be given through agencies like Gospel for Asia.

Click here, to read more blogs on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

Learn more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | Sourcewatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | Media Room | Poverty Solutions | Endorsements | 40th Anniversary | Lawsuit Response |

August 3, 2019

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA) issues a Special Report regarding child labor today: Millions of Children Trapped between Extreme Poverty and the Profits of Others

It's important to see child labor's prevalence to gain a realistic perspective on how pervasive it is. We need to understand the definitions of child labor.

In a report written by Lee Tucker, a consultant to Human Rights Watch, about the problem of bonded labor in Asia, a young girl shared,

“My sister is 10 years old. Every morning at 7:00 she goes to the bonded-labor man, and every night at 9:00 she comes home. He treats her badly. He hits her if he thinks she is working slowly, or if she talks to the other children, he yells at her. He comes looking for her if she is sick and cannot go to work. I feel this is very difficult for her.

“I don’t care about school or playing. I don’t care about any of that. All I want is to bring my sister home from the bonded-labor man. For 600 rupees I can bring her home. That is our only chance to get her back.

“We don’t have 600 rupees … we will never have 600 rupees [the equivalent of U.S. $17 at the time of writing].”

Global Overview of Child Labor Today

These girls’ story is heart-breaking.

It is unthinkable that a child would be subject to such mistreatment.

It is deplorable that stories like this are all too common among the most poverty-stricken portions of the world.

It is beyond despicable that an estimated 218 million children as young as 5 years old are employed, and that at least 152 million are in forced child labor, according to basic facts about child labor published by the Child labor Coalition.

The facts also reveal several other startling realities about child labor. Among them:

If the 218 million child laborers constituted a country of their own, it would be the fifth largest country in the world, exceeded in population only by China, India, the United States and Indonesia.

Top ten worst countries for child labor

as listed by the Maplecroft Child labor Index4

1
BANGLADESH
garment factories, farming, manufacturing

2
CHAD
agriculture, military

3
THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
mining, agriculture, industry, military

4
ETHIOPIA
mining, vending, shoe shining

5
INDIA
mining, agriculture, garment factories

6
LIBERIA
hazardous farming conditions

7
MYANMAR
agriculture, construction, small-scale industry

8
NIGERIA
agriculture, street begging, mining, construction

9
PAKISTAN
agriculture, garbage scavenging, carpet weaving, coal mining, brick kilns

10
SOMALIA
fishing, threshing, construction, hawking, begging

The International Labor Organization (ILO) maintains a limited list of National Child labor Survey Reports, Baseline Survey Reports, Rapid Assessment Reports and Micro-Data Sets for a variety of countries taken over the past 20 years—some as recent as 2018.

Although some participation in child labor can be quantified—such as in Nigeria where more than 15 million children are estimated to be child laborers—one of the overriding problems with looking at the issue from a global or even a national level is that it is generally agreed “that census data is likely to underestimate the scale of child labor.”

If the 218 million child laborers constituted a country of their own, it would be the fifth largest country in the world.

In areas where national regulations mandate education for children within certain age ranges, the threat of legal consequences likely deters complete reporting of child labor. Census data typically only includes children living within a family household. Children who are orphaned, or living on the streets may go undetected, even when it is those children who may be in greatest danger of child labor. It is, therefore, expected that the occurrence of child labor is higher than reports reveal.

These young boys, deprived of their childhood and forced into child labor, are working hard on a commercial building structure.
These young boys, deprived of their childhood and forced into child labor, are working hard on a commercial building structure.

What Is a Good Definition of Child Labor?

It is important to recognize the prevalence of child labor in order to gain a realistic perspective on how pervasive it is. We need to understand the generally accepted definitions of child labor. Only then can we comprehend the often-irreparable physical and emotional damage inflicted on children, both presently and in their future.

Some child labor is innocuous and, in fact, may generally be regarded as positive. The International Labor Organization recognizes that activities such as doing chores around the home, “assisting in a family business or earning pocket money outside school hours and during school holidays” can “contribute to children’s development and… provide them with skills and experience… that prepare them to be productive members of society during their adult life.” Therefore, these activities are not officially considered to be child labor.

Child labor is “work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development.”

The ILO further defines child labor as “work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development.”

International law divides child labor into three categories:

“The unconditional worst forms of child labor… defined as slavery, trafficking, debt bondage and other forms of forced labor, forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict, prostitution and pornography, and illicit activities.

“Labor performed by a child who is under the minimum age specified for that kind of work (as defined by national legislation, in accordance with accepted international standards), and that is thus likely to impede the child’s education and full development.

“Labor that jeopardizes the physical, mental or moral well-being of a child, either because of its nature or because of the conditions in which it is carried out, known as ‘hazardous work.’ ”

Notwithstanding a few reasonable exceptions, the ILO Convention Concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment (C138) adopted in 1973 states that:

“Each Member which ratifies this Convention shall specify…a minimum age for admission to employment or work within its territory [that] no one under that age shall be admitted to employment or work in any occupation. …The minimum age specified…shall not be less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling and, in any case, shall not be less than 15 years.”

Similarly, ILO Convention 182 adopted in 2000 defines the worst forms of child labor as:

  • “All forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale or trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom, or forced or compulsory labor, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict;
  • “the use, procuring, or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances;
  • “the use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular, for the production and trafficking of drugs …;
  • “work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.”

Finally, forced labor is defined by ILO Convention 29 adopted in 1930 as “all work or service exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily.”

This teenage child soldier endured painful gunshot wounds in battle, after he was pressured to join the militia movement to avoid further torture or arrest. A surge in violent conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo has forced many people (much like the teenager pictured) from their homes. © UNICEF / Vincent Tremeau

Harmful Effects of Child Labor

Childhood is an essential, formative time of life—one which many child laborers must leave too quickly. Their lives may long bear the physical, emotional and physiological consequences of their early adulthood. Many child laborers, regardless of whether they are considered forced or not, lack the chance of acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to extract themselves from the poverty they were born or thrust into by circumstances. Many enter adulthood with no means of securing a better life and with few options for jobs, which extends the continuum of generational poverty to their own children.

Child laborers are highly susceptible to become involved in dangerous situations that may result in their illness, injury or even death.

If these were the victims of a war, we would be talking a lot about it.

In an article by Voice of America concerning child labor, ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, said, “Honestly, the annual toll is appalling—2.78 million work-related deaths, 374 million injuries and illnesses. If these were the victims of a war, we would be talking a lot about it. Children and young workers are at greater risk and suffer disproportionately and with longer lasting consequences.”

A World Bank report estimated that 10 percent of all work-related injuries child laborers experience are crushing accidents, amputations and fractures.

Annual Toll of Child Labor:

2.78
million

work related deaths

374
million

injuries and illnesses

World Vision reported the story of Jean, an 8-year-old boy who worked in a mine alongside his mother in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, (DRC) where 40 percent of artisanal mine workers are children. He said he had developed a number of physical problems since working in the mines. Children in the mine are susceptible to falling down shafts, being trapped in collapsed tunnels or drowning. Children working in the mine reported having seen other children die at the site. Two-thirds had developed persistent coughs, while 87 percent had been injured or were suffering from body pain. Some girls reported genital infections from working in waist-deep acidic water.

Mired in Mining

An article in Fortune magazine told how 15-year-old Lukasa rises at 5 a.m. to begin his 12-hour workday. He leaves his family’s mud-brick home in a tiny village in the southern region of the DRC, and he walks two hours to a government-owned mining site. He spends the next eight hours hacking away at rock in a cobalt mine.

He typically hoists a sack of as much as 22 pounds of cobalt up and out of the pit, then carries it on his back for an hour to a trading depot where he sells it to one of the Chinese trading companies who dominate the market in the area.

On a good day, the teenager can earn as much as $9 before making the long walk home.

Cobalt is key to the DRC’s economy—it produces an estimated 65 percent of the world’s cobalt supply—but child labor is rampant in its mining industry. The same Fortune story said, “While it is impossible to know how many underage miners there are, Congolese activists working to end child labor say… there are about 10,000 of them.

A National Bureau of Economic Research on child labor found that “most child labor occurs in countries with extremely low per capita GDP and that per capita GDP (and its square) explains 80 percent of the worldwide cross-country variation in child labor.” The GDP per capita for the DRC was $439 in 2017, in contrast to the GDP per capita for the USA in 2017, which was $59,531.

Photo by Compassion UK

Enslaved in Fishing

“Workers at sea are among the world’s most vulnerable,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Various factors, such as working in international waters, produce gaps in applicable laws leaving workers without adequate labor protections in countries like Honduras, Philippines, Bangladesh, Ghana, Haiti, Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand.

James Kofi Annan lives in Ghana. His story is typical of child laborers trapped in the commercial fishing industry.

“I started my working life early. My parents had 12 children, none of whom were educated. By the time I was six years old, I was the only person my father could control. All the others were older and most of them had already been given away to work. As the youngest, I was the only one still available. My father saw the opportunity and gave me away for fishing work. The way it works is that the person who takes charge of you now has control over you.

I was first trafficked with five other children. Out of the six of us, three lived, and three did not. I saw many children die from either abuse or the rigorous work they were obliged to do.

There, I was forced to work excruciating hours catching fish on Lake Volta. On a daily basis, my day started at 3 a.m. and ended at 8 p.m. It was full of physically demanding work. I was usually fed once a day and would regularly contract painful diseases which were never treated as I was denied access to medical care. If I asked for even the smallest concession from my boss, I was beaten. Despite all my hard work, I was often not allowed to sleep because I had to take care of all the other tasks, such as mending nets and cleaning fish.”

It took James seven years to escape his slavery.

Surrounded by Tobacco

Investigations by Human Rights Watch found consistent, significant risks to children’s health and safety who are working on tobacco farms in Zimbabwe, the United States and Indonesia. The children are exposed to nicotine and toxic pesticides. Every child interviewed described having illnesses with specific symptoms associated with acute nicotine poisoning and pesticide exposure, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, headaches, dizziness, irritation and difficulty breathing.

Ironically, it is still legal in the United States for children as young as 12 to work on tobacco farms, as long as they have parental permission. There are no age limitations for children who work on small, family-owned farms.

A 2018 special series on NPR’s “Here & Now” reported finding children as young as 7 working during the picking season in North Carolina where tobacco farming is regarded as a legacy.

These children labor in Turkey’s cotton fields in hard conditions. During cotton season, they cannot go to school.
These children labor in Turkey’s cotton fields in hard conditions. During cotton season, they cannot go to school.

Hemmed In by Cotton, Clothing and Chocolate

Cotton is the best-selling fiber in the world, making the cotton market very appealing.

But according to a New Lanark article, “Children & Cotton”, child laborers in cotton fields and factories may work for up to 12 hours a day, seven days a week during the harvest period for less than $1.50 a day. The article further states, “Without the child workers, the landowners wouldn’t manage to harvest all of their crops.” In some countries, including Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China, child labor in cotton fields is actually sanctioned by the government.

The beatings were a part of my life.

Bithi is a 15-year-old girl in Bangladesh. She began working in a garment factory in the capital city of Dhaka when she was 12. Her job was sewing pockets for designer blue jeans that will be sold “in affluent countries.”

Sewing blue jeans may not seem like a burdensome task, but it becomes one when her production quota is 60 pockets per hour, every hour, every day she works. That’s 480 pockets over an eight-hour shift. For this, she earns the equivalent of about $1.00 a day.

The Food Empowerment Project investigated the cocoa industry, where the supply chain for major chocolate manufacturers begins. Their findings read:

On average, cocoa farmers earn less than $2 per day, an income below the poverty line. As a result, they often resort to the use of child labor to keep their prices competitive. … Often, traffickers abduct the young children from small villages in neighboring African countries, such as Burkina Faso and Mali, two of the poorest countries in the world. Once they have been taken to the cocoa farms, the children may not see their families for years, if ever. … Some of the children use chainsaws to clear the forests. Other children climb the cocoa trees to cut bean pods using a machete. …

The farm owners using child labor usually provide the children with the cheapest food available, such as corn paste and bananas. In some cases, the children sleep on wooden planks in small windowless buildings with no access to clean water or sanitary bathrooms. … Former cocoa slave Aly Diabate told reporters, ’The beatings were a part of my life. I had seen others who tried to escape. When they tried, they were severely beaten.’”

Children just like this young girl suffer verbal and physical abuse while working up to 16 hours a day at brick factory.
Children just like this young girl suffer verbal and physical abuse while working up to 16 hours a day at brick factory.

Burdened in Brick Kilns

A special report by Gospel for Asia (GFA) shared the results of an investigation into slave labor by the International Justice Mission (IJM). After IJM workers helped 260 people—including children forced into labor—escape from one brick factory, a father shared how he and his family were tricked into working there.

Instead of receiving the good salary they were promised, his trapped family worked 16 hours a day, seven days a week. Their employer denied them hospital visits for injuries sustained while mixing or forming the bricks. Children caught playing during work hours received a torrent of verbal abuse and beatings with a pipe.

The cost of child bonded labor is paid over a lifetime through the loss of health, education, and opportunities.

According to an 86-page report by ILO, 56 percent of brick makers in Afghanistan are children.

One of those is 11-year-old Sima. She works 13 hours per day, six days a week. At the time of the report, she had already been working in brick kilns for five years. She has never attended school and is illiterate. Sima’s circumstances are typical of children laboring in brick kilns. Many begin working at the age of 5.

The report also explains the physical implication of “manual handling of heavy weights … long working hours with awkward posture [and] monotonous and repetitive work.” Child laborers in brick kilns have a high risk of developing health problems like as musculo-skeletal issues, poor bone development and early-onset arthritis.

The ILO further observed that “the cost of child bonded labor is paid over a lifetime through the loss of health, education, and opportunities.”

These are only a few of the industries in which child labor continues to exist.

Many children have no choice but to work to survive. This child is taking a moment to eat a stick of bamboo while working in the fields in northern Vietnam.
Many children have no choice but to work to survive. This child is taking a moment to eat a stick of bamboo while working in the fields in northern Vietnam.

Child Labor: Not Gone, but Forgotten: Part 2 | Part 3

Source: Gospel for Asia Special Report, Child Labor: Not Gone, but Forgotten

Learn more about the children who find themselves discarded, orphaned and abused, and the home and hope that they can be given through agencies like Gospel for Asia.

Click here, to read more blogs on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

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May 9, 2022

WILLS POINT, TX – GFA World (Gospel for Asia) founded by K.P. Yohannan, has been the model for numerous charities like GFA World Canada, to help the poor and deprived worldwide, issued this final part of a Special Report on the world’s greatest ‘badge of shame’: Children in Crisis.

Each of their children were suffering and it was all preventable…if only they had clean water. But their nearest source was a contaminated pond and it wasn’t always possible to walk the 3-6 miles to reach safer water, so they drank what was poisoning them. One day though, everything changed.

Kids at Risk of Sexual Exploitation

For millions of children around the world, hunger, thirst and disease are just three of life’s cruel injustices. They are, however, not the vilest or the most horrific.

While an accurate number is difficult to pinpoint, it’s estimated millions of children worldwide—from the slums of Haiti to the sordid child sex industry of Bangkok, Thailand—are victims of sexual exploitation and prostitution.

Millions of kids around the globe are at risk of sexual exploitation
These three children are safe for now in a loving family in the state of Haryana, India, but millions of other kids around the globe ages 10-17 are at risk of sexual exploitation or enforced prostitution.

A report on child trafficking by UNICEF, the U.N. children’s agency, says:

“Sexual activity is often seen as a private matter, making communities reluctant to act and intervene in cases of sexual exploitation. These attitudes make children more vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Myths, such as the belief that HIV/AIDS can be cured through sex with a virgin, technological advances such as the internet [that] has facilitated child pornography, and sex tourism targeting children, all add to their vulnerability.”[32]

UNICEF’s report highlights the following highly disturbing facts:

  • Surveys indicate that 30-35 percent of all sex workers in the Mekong sub-region of Southeast Asia are ages 12-17.
  • Mexico’s social service agency reports more than 16,000 children engage in prostitution, with most of them active in tourist destinations.
  • In Lithuania, 20-50 percent of prostitutes are believed to be children, some as young as 11. Kids from orphanages and children’s homes are especially at-risk, and 10-12 year-olds have been used to make pornographic movies.

“Prostitution is legal in some parts of Asia so the chances of girls being victimized are drastically increased,” said GFA World’s Yohannan. “Many of the poorest families are manipulated into selling their daughters to opportunists who promise a better life for them. But many of these girls are never heard from or seen again. It’s a fate worse than death.”[33]

National Geographic tells the harrowing story of “S” in Asia (name withheld) who left home at the age of 12 with a family acquaintance who promised to find her a job in the city. She was sold to a brothel where she was kept as a sex slave for two years before the police freed her and sent her to a shelter. Six months later, “S” met a woman who promised to take her back home to her family—but sold her to another brothel instead.[34]

A vulnerable young girl
The young and unprotected are easy targets for those who would carry out unspeakable atrocities against them.

The shameful catalog of sexual abuse against unprotected girls is a global disgrace.[35]

According to the Korea Future Initiative (KFI), North Korean girls who escape across the border to China are forced to stay “invisible” and often end up in brothels and the cybersex trade. “Girls as young as 9 are forced to perform graphic sex acts and are sexually assaulted in front of webcams, which are live-streamed to a paying global audience,” says KFI.[36]

In Haiti, many young girls enter into “survival prostitution” because they have no other way to feed themselves.

A church leader in Haiti explained to me: “Let’s say that a girl does not eat for a day. She’s hungry but she will survive. However, the next day, she has nothing to eat. Now, she has gone two days without food. A married man asks her, ‘Can I take you to a restaurant?’ She will not say ‘no.’ The next day, he offers to buy her clothes… a nice dress. Do you think she will say ‘no’? Before long, she is his mistress. She has become dependent on him for food and clothing. This happens all the time in Haiti.

1 in 5 children worldwide is married, according to a startling 2020 report by CBS News.“Many girls practice prostitution in our cities and even in our churches. Their parents encourage them because they are desperate for food, so they encourage their 15-year-old daughters to have sex to bring in money. It’s a desperation trade: ‘You help me, and I will have sex with you.’”

In Haiti, these child sex workers are known as “Degaje.“ In the local Creole language, the term refers to sex workers in survival mode. Their families are known as “Brase,” also a reference to being in a state of survival. Hence, Haitians talk about “Degaje” from “Brase” families.

In nations around the globe, poverty also leads to child marriages, with men frequently marrying girls under the age of 13. According to a report by Gospel for Asia (GFA World), there are as many as 650 million “child brides” in the world today, including adult women who married in childhood.[37]In 2020, a startling report by CBS News stated that one in every five children in the world is married.[38]

“Globally, millions of girls—a number so vast as to defy comprehension—are trapped in a web of exploitation,” said Yohannan. “Girls living in areas of political instability, conflict, or oppression are especially vulnerable to forced marriage and sex slavery.”

In 2014, the kidnapping of 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria by Boko Haram terrorists grabbed the news headlines, but globally the ongoing, rampant abuse of girls continues largely under the radar:

  • In Bangladesh, a survey of 375 sex workers revealed nearly half of them were child brides, married as young as 11, and trafficked into prostitution.
  • In China, sex-selective abortions resulted in a national shortage of women, fueling demand for child brides and sex workers.[39]
  • In the U.S., more than 200,000 minors were married between 2000 and 2015. Most were girls and more than 80 percent were married to an adult, CBS News reported.[40]
Girls trying to survive in the slums
Maharashtra, India – February 2018: Life is anything but simple for these girls who live in one of the many slums in their state. Survival here is often dependent on scavenging and selling what you can.
Children with their mother collects stones to help earn a little money for their family
West Bengal, India – August 2020: COVID cost their father his job which made his drinking problem worse. Their mother was forced to Delhi to earn money, leaving these three siblings alone and abandoned. Without alternatives, these children at risk of starvation, had to visit the river each day to break up stones to sell to somehow get something to eat.
Little girl selling vegetables in the weekly market
Maghalaya, India – October 2021: This little girl runs her family’s stall to sell various items in the weekly market. Like her, many children have to work to help their family make ends meet. But the practice can hinder a child’s education, especially if they drop out of the school for ongoing work at home.

Children at Risk of Slavery

In addition to trafficking for sex and forced marriage, children worldwide are also highly vulnerable to labor exploitation and modern-day slavery.

Millions of children in Asia, like this young boy, are involved in child labor
Millions of children in Asia are involved in child labor. Some children are forced into it, while others have to drop out of school so they can work to help their struggling families.

Around the world, 152 million children as young as five are engaged in some form of child labor. More than 4 million children work in factories, sweatshops, brick-making kilns, hazardous mining operations, rice fields, domestic servitude and other exploitive, forced labor.[41]

In Southeast Asia, 13-year-old Min Min searches for precious stones at a quarry. In 2020, at least 160 people were killed by a mudslide at a jade mine in the region where he lives. “We risk our lives for these stones,” Min Min said. “A man died last night … I saw it with my own eyes.”[42]

Because of the dire economic situation in Haiti, many young children are turned out of their homes by parents who can’t afford to feed them. Often, these children—some younger than 10 years old—enter into domestic servitude, a form of child slavery, with another family.

Facing neglect and physical abuse, these children are known as “rest avek,” translated “stay with,” and are treated essentially as slaves, expected to rise early each day to do the most menial chores.

Real-life Cinderellas

These real-life Cinderellas don’t have the opportunity to attend school, so they have virtually no chance of escaping their situation.

Bhil boy works in the brick making factory alongside other adults and children.
Bhil boy works in the brick making factory alongside other adults and children.

“Haitians dream of escape,” one Haitian man in the capital Port-au-Prince told me. “If you look at Haitian paintings, many of them depict the ocean. The ocean represents escape… liberty. For Haitians, the outside world is paradise; Haiti is hell.”

But for Haiti’s “rest avek” children and millions more trapped in exploitive labor around the world, there is no escape.

In Asia, nine-year-old Lakshmi worked in a factory as a cigarette roller. But it’s her 10-year-old sister she’s most worried about.

“Every morning at 7 a.m. she goes to the bonded labor man, and every night at 9 p.m. she comes home,” Lakshmi said. “He treats her badly. He hits her if he thinks she’s working slowly, or, if she talks to the other children, he yells at her. He comes looking for her if she’s sick and can’t go to work.”

“I don’t care about school or playing. I don’t care about any of that. All I want is to bring my sister home. For 600 rupees [about $8] I can bring her homethat is our only chance to get her back. We don’t have 600 rupees … we will never have 600 rupees.”[43]

A better life seems like a far-fetched dream to children like Lakshmi and her sister in Asia. At the root of their despair is grinding poverty.

But there is hope.

More than 138,000 children received food, medical care, and an education since GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program began in 2004.GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program opens the door to a life of opportunity for thousands of children whose lives teeter on the brink of hopelessness, exploitation and suffering. Through its community development approach, Gospel for Asia (GFA World) shows children, their families and their communities the love of Christ by meeting practical needs.

Working with community leaders, solutions like basic health care, food, clean water and educational and community service opportunities help break the cycle of generational poverty.

In the next decade, Yohannan says, he wants to see 500,000 at-risk children in some of the world’s most desperate places enrolled in the program—and his organization invites people to sponsor a child, or more than one child, to help set them free from the curse of poverty and its childhood-ravaging effects.

Children at risk living on the street in Asia
God loves each child at risk, each kid in crisis, living on the street in Asia and Africa. He sees their needs and will not ignore their cries for help. Nor will we. Through GFA World’s child sponsorship program, and your support, children are getting their needs met, while finding out that God cares for them.

Redeeming Children in Crisis

Impoverished children from Karnataka, India
Two young impoverished children in Karnataka, India convey the wonderful beauty found in every child, no matter their station in life.

Our world bears a great “badge of shame” for its appalling neglect of and cruel injustice toward children in every nation, on every continent. But there’s an opportunity for redemption—and each of us can do our part.

In Kampala’s Kisenyi slum, one lonely street boy about 10 years old caught my attention as he sat in the dirt, wearing only torn rags. His leg was badly injured, split open, and flies had gathered on the gaping wound. He was inhaling fuel from a plastic bottle to dull the pain. As I crouched beside him, he told me he’d been run over by a car. The driver hadn’t bothered to stop. Maybe God put me on this earth for this very moment? It was, perhaps, the first time someone had actually cared about this boy, the first time he’d experienced God’s love through another human being. It was an honor to clean and bandage his wound. At that moment, God broke my heart for the suffering children of this world. But He did more than that—He showed me that every child reveals His beauty, even when they’re dressed in filthy rags and lying in the gutter.

As Mother Teresa is quoted as saying:

Mother Teresa holding a child
Mother Teresa

Photo by Wikimedia

The child is the beauty of God present in the world, that greatest gift to a family.[44]


Give to Help Support Children at Risk & Kids in Crisis »

If this special report has touched your heart and you would like to make a real difference in the lives of children in crisis around the world, and bring hope to kids at risk of violence, impoverishment, or child labor, then make a generous one time or monthly gift to help kids in need in Asia or Africa.


About GFA World

Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is a leading faith-based global mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across the world, especially in Asia and Africa, and sharing the love of God. In GFA World’s latest yearly report, this included thousands of community development projects that benefit downtrodden families and their children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and teaching providing hope and encouragement available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. GFA World has launched programs in Africa, starting with compassion projects in Rwanda. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://gfanews.org/news.


Read the rest of Gospel for Asia’s Special Report: Children in Crisis — World’s Greatest ‘Badge of Shame’  Part 1, Part 2

Read more blogs on Human Trafficking, Child LaborAbandoned Children and GFA World on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

Learn more about the GFA World Bridge of Hope program and how you can make an incredible difference in the lives of children, bringing hope to their lives and their families, transforming communities.

Learn how to provide a chance for children without sponsors. When you give to help unsponsored children, you help supplement the lack of resources when children in Asia don’t have the sponsors they need to stay in a Bridge of Hope center.

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This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.

May 4, 2022

WILLS POINT, TX – GFA World (Gospel for Asia) founded by K.P. Yohannan, which inspired numerous charities like GFA World Canada, to assist the poor and deprived worldwide, issued this 2nd part of a Special Report on the world’s greatest ‘badge of shame’: Children in Crisis.

Street children resting outdoors exposed to danger and hunger
Without much to call their own, these two boys hold tightly to each other. The streets are a dangerous place for anyone to live, but even more so for vulnerable, and often exploited children.

Child Sacrifice: Boy’s Head ‘Sold by Father For $2,000’

Moses' grave site.
15-year-old Moses went out to buy potatoes and never returned home. His heartsick parents found his body the following week. He is laid to rest here, the cruel victim of child sacrifice and leaves behind not only parents, but his three-year-old sister. This community in Uganda now has a unique alert system that has already rescued two children from a similarly awful fate. ©2014 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren

Other street boys, Kandwanaho told me, fall victim to Uganda’s sinister underworld of child sacrifice. With its roots in witchcraft, child sacrifice is still practiced among both the poor and the rich. Wealthy businessmen abduct a young street boy with few physical blemishes, have him beheaded and then bury the boy’s head under the foundation of a new building “to bring them luck” with their new money-making venture, Kandwanaho said.

A report by ABC Newstells the story of a young mother who found the headless body of her 17-month-old son in a shallow grave in a banana plantation in her rural village near the Congo border. “I pulled my son’s body out of the soil,” she said. “I realized he had no head.” The child’s killer turned out to be his own father, who was given $2,000 by a rich businessman in return for the boy’s head.[16]

Atrocities against street children are not confined to any single country. In Brazil, news reports tell of organized “death squads” that deliberately seek out and murder street children viewed as nothing more than garbage littering the streets.[17]

Kandwanaho showed me where his friends sometimes sleep inside giant, used tractor tires, piled up in a yard. One night, they were swept up in a police “clean-up” operation and transported to a children’s detention center outside Kampala. Every year, hundreds of street kids end up in “remand” centers, juvenile prisons, where they can be detained for months or even years without a court hearing. Their crime? Often, it’s just living or begging on the streets and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Sixty Feet, a nonprofit organization, helps bring smiles back to marginalized and forgotten children.
Sixty Feet serves in the midst of pain and hurt to help bring smiles back to the children most of their society has written off or forgotten. Photo by Sixty Feet

Nonprofit organizations such as Sixty Feet seek to help children in the prison facilities. Their vision is to “provide a Gospel-centered continuum of care for critically vulnerable children that includes minimizing contact with the law, providing for critical needs, and supporting long-term restoration.”[18]

In Uganda, many street kids are from the northern Karamojong tribe.[19] They’ve fled the underdeveloped, famine-prone region to come to the capital, where they live in crowded slums, such as the Katwe slum featured in the Disney movie Queen of Katwe, and beg at the intersections. These beautiful children, especially the girls, are extremely vulnerable to sexual predators.

Every month, scores of Karamojong children and families arrive in Kampala, putting more pressure on the slums and increasing the number of kids competing for handouts.

Kids as young as 3 wander along the streets, their hands outstretched, narrowly avoiding the perilous open drainage ditches. If they collect a few thousand Ugandan shillings, maybe 50 cents or a dollar, it goes straight to their parent or someone posing as a parent. Mostly, though, they’re ignored by passers-by and motorists, many of whom believe they’re simply feeding the problem and incentivizing begging if they give a handout.

This exodus of children from poorer, rural areas to the cities in search of food and work is not unique to Uganda. It’s a global phenomenon in poor, underdeveloped countries across Africa, Latin America and Asia.
Street children begging on the streets of South Asia
Small fingers reach through the jeep’s open window. These children shift through the busy traffic in Maharashtra risking life and limb in hopes a few rupees will be slipped their way.

Children at Risk of Starvation

Children in poverty from Haiti walks by mud cakes drying in the sun
Haitian children walk by ‘mud cakes’ drying in the sun. The cakes, made of dirt, salt and oil, make a cheap food to stave off hunger. At 2 cents each, they’re the only affordable food option for thousands of Cite Soleil kids at risk and other impoverished residents. Photo by Crossroads Foundation, Flickr

When crops fail due to drought or other calamity, or work opportunities dry up, children and their parents often face a stark choice: move… or starve.

Driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of young children around the world suffering acute malnutrition, a polite term for starvation, was expected to skyrocket by 20 percent in 2020, according to a report by the U.N.[20] That’s an additional 10 million starving children worldwide. “Children living on the streets are particularly at risk,” the report says.

In Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, I’ve watched children eat “mud cakes,” sun-dried cakes made from dirt mixed with salt, water and a little margarine.[21] Mud cakes are a symbol of the despair children face in this Caribbean island nation—a sense of hopelessness that continues into adulthood.

“Ask a Haitian, ‘what do you think you’ll be doing in five years?’ and he will laugh,” a Haitian doctor told me. “Our people do not think about tomorrow; we do not plan for the future. We live from day to day. We are a people in survival mode.”

Around the world, humanitarian agencies such as GFA World (Gospel for Asia) have increased efforts to feed the most vulnerable children and their families during the pandemic as millions of day laborers have been laid off from jobs or unable to work because of lockdowns.

The Texas-based agency has distributed food to tens of thousands of families on the edge of starvation in Asia and Africa, filling a critical gap for parents facing the near-impossible task of feeding their children amid total loss of income and with no safety net to fall back on. “The situation in our village is terrible,” one parent told Gospel for Asia (GFA World). “We don’t have any work and we’re unable to provide food.”

Child hunger is also growing in rich nations, such as the U.S., where more than 11 million children live in “food insecure” homes and don’t have enough to eat, according to the U.S. Government.[22] A staggering 18 million children in the U.S. could go hungry in 2021 because of the pandemic’s economic impact, according to the No Kid Hungry campaign.[23] In the U.K., 1.8 million school-age children—one in every five kids—is at risk of hunger.[24]

These children and their family struggle with hunger due to poverty
Uttar Pradesh: Most of the families in this neighborhood live in small houses in the surrounding fields, and typically struggle to make ends meet financially. Parents often earn 50-60 rupees per day as manual laborers, meaning that the family goes hungry, including their children, like these young ones shown here.

Thirsty? How About a Cup of Feces-contaminated Water?

Small boy collecting unclean water from an open water source
Sinduhli, Nepal, March 2021: As the water levels underground start shrinking, people collect water from small puddles in the forest for drinking. This small boy was asked by his parents, who were working in the fields, to fetch water for drinking from a puddle in the hills. But the water collected from these open puddles can be full of germs and bacteria, as other animals and birds use them too, often causing fatal illnesses.

Hunger is dreadful, but for millions of children, the most immediate threat to their health and survival is the lack of safe drinking water. A staggering 2 billion people, mostly in Africa and Asia, get their drinking water from feces-contaminated ponds and watering holes, leading to often-fatal diseases such as cholera and dysentery. Children under the age of 5 are the most at-risk.[25] The World Health Organization (WHO) says nearly one in every three people in the world doesn’t have access to safe drinking water,[26] and the U.N. predicts that by the year 2050 up to 5.7 billion people worldwide could be affected by water shortages.[27] Drinking contaminated water can lead to many deadly diseases, such as typhoid, hepatitis A, and diarrhea. Globally, diarrhea kills almost 2,200 children every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).[28]

Organizations like World Vision and Gospel for Asia (GFA World) have made clean drinking water a top priority.

More than 38 million people have received safe, pure drinking water through GFA World’s clean water initiatives.GFA World drills about 4,000 new community wells called “Jesus Wells” every year, providing safe drinking water for entire villages. Over the past two decades, the organization has drilled more than 30,000 wells and distributed more than 58,000 BioSand water filters that remove 98 percent of water impurities.[29]

The organization’s Jesus Wells supply safe drinking water to approximately 37.5 million people across Asia—roughly equivalent to the entire population of California.

Dr. K.P. Yohannan, GFA Founder
Dr. K.P. Yohannan, GFA Founder

“We offer clean, life-giving water to all people,” says Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founder, K.P. Yohannan (Metropolitan Yohan). “The Lord has used our efforts to bring clean water to the suffering. They receive healthy, life-sustaining support. This gift of free water is one more way we are able to demonstrate the love of Jesus for those in need.”

Jesus Wells are deep wells, drilled in remote villages in Asia where girls often have to trek miles on foot every day to the nearest watering hole or pond to fetch water, putting themselves at risk of sexual assault and even tiger attacks.

“Our family members were suffering from diarrhea and other [waterborne] diseases,” says Arnab, father of three girls and a boy, describing the difference a Jesus Well has made in his village. “Our children who were sick are healthy now.”


Give to Help Support Children at Risk & Kids in Crisis »

If this special report has touched your heart and you would like to make a real difference in the lives of children in crisis around the world, and bring hope to kids at risk of violence, impoverishment, or child labor, then make a generous one time or monthly gift to help kids in need in Asia or Africa.


About GFA World

Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is a leading faith-based global mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across the world, especially in Asia and Africa, and sharing the love of God. In GFA World’s latest yearly report, this included thousands of community development projects that benefit downtrodden families and their children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and teaching providing hope and encouragement available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. GFA World has launched programs in Africa, starting with compassion projects in Rwanda. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://gfanews.org/news.


Read the rest of Gospel for Asia’s Special Report: Children in Crisis — World’s Greatest ‘Badge of Shame’  Part 1, Part 3

Read more blogs on Human Trafficking, Child LaborAbandoned Children and GFA World on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

Learn more about the GFA World Bridge of Hope program and how you can make an incredible difference in the lives of children, bringing hope to their lives and their families, transforming communities.

Learn how to provide a chance for children without sponsors. When you give to help unsponsored children, you help supplement the lack of resources when children in Asia don’t have the sponsors they need to stay in a Bridge of Hope center.

Learn more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | SourceWatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | 10 Milestones | Media Room | Poverty Solution – Farm Animals | Endorsements | 40th Anniversary | Lawsuit Response | International Offices | Missionary and Child Sponsorship | Transforming Communities through God’s Love

Notable News about Gospel for Asia: FoxNews, ChristianPost, NYPost, MissionsBox


Read what 25 Christian Leaders are affirming about Gospel for Asia.

This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.

May 2, 2022

WILLS POINT, TX – GFA World (Gospel for Asia) founded by K.P. Yohannan, whose heart to love and help the poor has inspired numerous charities like GFA World Canada, to serve the deprived and downcast worldwide, issued this first part of a Special Report on the world’s greatest ‘badge of shame’: Children in Crisis.

Children are in crisis right on our doorstep, in our own neighborhoods, wherever we live in the world. And the problem is growing worse.

A shocking U.S. Border Patrol video showed human smugglers dropping two unaccompanied children—sisters ages 3 and 5 from Ecuador—over a 14-foot section of the border fence in the New Mexico desert.[1] The smugglers ran off, leaving the young girls alone and stranded.

Migrant children and their desperate parents enter the U.S. illegally
Migrant children and their desperate parents enter the U.S. illegally on June 15, 2019 by crossing the Rio Grande in rubber boats near Los Ebanos, Texas. Photo by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Flickr

Another young mother from Central America thought she was on the cusp of giving her 9-year-old daughter a better life in the United States. They’d traveled a long, perilous journey and had just one more hurdle to cross: the Rio Grande River separating Mexico from Texas. Tragically, it was a step too far. The little girl apparently drowned before reaching the other side, NBC News reported.[2]

Desperate to escape extreme poverty and surging gang violence in their native countries, thousands of migrant children from Latin America continue to flock to the U.S. southern border, with or without their parents. The journey is fraught with dangers that include becoming prey for human traffickers and ruthless drug cartels en route.[3] Every day in Spring 2021, U.S. border officials were detaining more than 600 unaccompanied migrant children trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, with many children risking their lives to do so.[4] According to a CNN report in April 2021, there were more than 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children in the custody of U.S. officials at that time.[5]

The plight and peril of migrant children seeking refuge in the U.S. is a stark reminder that “children in crisis” are not restricted to far-away countries.

Children are in crisis right on our doorstep, in our own neighborhoods, wherever we live in the world. And the problem is growing worse. Until we take steps to protect and prioritize children, their neglect will be a shameful legacy for the nations of our world.
SANTA TERESA, N.M. – U.S. Border Patrol Agents responded to a potentially life-threatening situation involving two female tender-aged toddlers mistreated and abandoned by human smugglers just west of Mt. Cristo Rey. Camera technology observed a smuggler dropping two young kids from the top of the 14-foot-high border barrier, and then immediately fleeing the area after abandoning the helpless little girls on the north side of the international boundary line around March 30, 2021. Video by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Public Affairs – Visual Communications Division, dvidshub.net

The sight is too much to bear for many Western visitors: A frantic teenage mother, with a newborn strapped to her back, looking for a handout to feed herself and keep her tiny baby alive.

1.2 billion children worldwide are considered “at risk,” vulnerable to a host of calamities, abuse, hunger and diseases.But this real-life scene often isn’t what it appears to be. The baby is not hers. She has actually rented the newborn from its mother or guardian so that her pleas for help solicit greater sympathy from passersby.

Renting out “babies-to-beg” is a common practice in Kampala, Uganda’s capital, where hundreds of children and teenagers from outlying areas—some with parents, many without—descend on the city in the hopes of scraping together money for food. Every day the ritual is the same: hustle, beg, scavenge or steal to survive.

If she’s fortunate, this desperate teenage girl, who is extremely vulnerable to sexual exploitation and prostitution, will solicit enough sympathy to purchase a Rolex. Not the luxury wristwatch Rolex you and I might think of, but an egg-filled chapatti, similar to a burrito, that’s served on nearly every street corner.

Her plight and the fate of the baby she carries on her back are intertwined. Both face a life—likely a very brief life—of perpetual struggle. Both face the threat of abandonment and exploitation. Both girls are continually at risk.

That so many of the world’s children in crisis live without compassionate considerations or safeguards from harm is tantamount to being one the world’s greatest “badges of shame.”

They’re among the estimated 1.2 billion children worldwide who are considered “at risk,” vulnerable to a host of calamities, abuse, hunger and diseases—a toxic combination driven largely by poverty and supercharged by the COVID-19 pandemic.[6]

2021 Global Childhood Report
The 2021 Save the Children Global Childhood Report highlights the toughest places on Earth to be a child, and examines the many factors that rob children of their childhoods and reveals where greater investments are needed to save children from poverty, discrimination and neglect. Photo by Save the Children

According to Save the Children, more than half the world’s children are at risk of poverty, conflict and discrimination against girls.[7] A report by the international charity states that one billion children live in poverty, 240 million live in areas impacted by conflict, and 575 million girls live in countries where discrimination against women and girls is common.

According to Save the Children, Singapore and Slovenia are the best places to be a child, where childhood is most protected.[8] In contrast, Save the Children’s latest Global Childhood Report for 2021, “The Toughest Places To Be A Child,” lists 10 sub-Saharan African nations as the worst places to be a child, “where childhood is most threatened.”[9]

Perhaps surprisingly to some of our readers, the United States is ranked 43rd on the list, behind Russia, Lebanon and Belarus. According to Save the Children’s report, “The United States badly trails many other advanced countries in helping children reach their full potential.” Nonetheless, it ranks among the top 47 countries in the world where relatively few children miss out on their childhoods. The report states, “Countries with similar scores include Bahrain, China, Montenegro, Qatar, Russia, and Slovakia.”[10]

Save the Children says millions of children are being “robbed of the childhoods they deserve.” The agency states that every child has a right to childhood free from fear, safe from violence, protected from abuse and exploitation.

The concept of childhood is defined in the (U.N.) Convention on the Rights of the Child. It represents a shared vision of childhood: healthy children in school and at play, growing strong and confident with the love and encouragement of their family and an extended community of caring adults, gradually taking on the responsibilities of adulthood.[11]

But, the report acknowledges, “This ideal contrasts starkly with the childhood many experience.”[12]

Poor children in Asia walking along the street
These children, just like almost every child in their Haryana slum, set out early each morning in search of garbage in their area. They go around looking for empty plastic bottles, cans, metal, and the like which they then can sell to make a little money to help their families.

Fatherless Kids in Crisis: The ‘Epidemic’ of the Street Children

Around the world, one of the most critical issues affecting children is the surge in the number of kids living on the streets, with no one to protect them or care for them.

Child abandonment is a worldwide crisis. Globally, the “epidemic” of absent fathers, especially, is a major cause of child neglect, often leaving children without a male role model, protector and provider.[13]

Combined with the tribal practice of having multiple wives or concubines, it’s not unusual in some African countries for one man to produce upwards of 30 children.[14] Many of these children grow up never having any relationship with their father, or even knowing who their father is.

An abandoned child in the slums of Kamapala, Uganda
An abandoned child sits alone and neglected next to open sewage in the slums of Kamapala, Uganda in July 2007. Photo by SuSanA Secretariat, Flickr

A report published in 2020 by the African Network for the Prevention and Protection Against Child Abuse and Neglect revealed that child neglect and sexual violence were the biggest issues facing kids growing up in Uganda, one of the lowest-ranking countries.[15] In 2015, a study of street children in the capital city of Kampala revealed that most kids, the large majority being boys, began their life on the streets between the ages of 5 and 10. Seven out of every 10 street kids had come to Kampala by public taxi or bus. They came for a myriad of reasons. Some came to find work and advance their prospects; others were orphans or victims of abuse or neglect who’d fled horrible home environments; and then there were the rebels and runaways. Almost two-thirds of the kids had lived on the streets for at least a year, and many of them had been on the streets for four years or more. More than half of the children reported they’d been physically abused on the streets, and one in every four said they’d suffered sexual abuse.

Many street boys have nothing more than torn rags or sackcloth to wear as clothes and no shoes on their feet, leaving them vulnerable to puncture wounds that quickly become infected, causing their feet to swell grotesquely. Many of them carry a constant companion tucked inside their ragged clothing—a plastic bottle containing fuel, dipped in a filthy piece of cloth. Every few minutes, they inhale the fumes from the bottle, their eyes floating upwards as the cheap “drug” takes effect. It’s the only way they know to dull their senses and take away the pain and suffering in their lives.

Young boy from Africa collecting garbage to help earn some money for his family
Young Kandwanaho (not pictured) fights for survival by working excruciatingly long hours searching for cardboard to sell. Sometimes he has nothing to show for it at the end of the day and, if so, goes hungry. But even on the days when he makes enough to eat, Kandwanaho still has to join the thousands of other children searching the streets of Kampala for somewhere safe to wait out the night.

I once met a boy named Kandwanaho who told me how he searches the alleys of Kampala from daybreak until dusk, collecting discarded cardboard boxes. He visits the alleyways behind the local market stalls and shops, picking up boxes that once held soap, sodas or other goods. Sometimes, he’ll “strike gold” and find a giant TV box. When he’s gathered several boxes, he takes them to the sprawling downtown marketplace, known as Owino Market, and sells the cardboard to the shoe salesmen. They cut the cardboard into sole-size pieces and slide the card into the footwear to help the shoes keep their shape. If Kandwanaho works a 12-hour shift, he makes just over one dollar.

There are times he roams the streets alone all day—dodging taxis, stubbing his bare toes on the cracked roads, inhaling exhaust fumes, hoarse from thirst—and does not find a single box to recycle. On those days, he has nothing to eat unless he dives into the garbage piles to search for a scrap of anything edible among the competing stray dogs and cockroaches.

For Kandwanaho, and many like him, the most troubling time is nightfall as the city’s hectic rhythm subsides. It’s as if everyone is returning home, except for the kids who live on the streets. They have nobody, and nowhere to call home. The dimming light is their cue to find a place in a drainage ditch or empty shack for the night. It’s their hour to poke around the trash piles for any bits of food ditched at the end of the day. As the light fades, their reality mirrors the approaching darkness.

In Uganda, because street boys are viewed by many business owners as thieves and troublemakers, they’re chased off, beaten up and, in extreme cases, even murdered. The reality that human life is cheap and expendable on Kampala’s volatile streets is clearly evident.

As the lowest of the low, street kids are most often the “whipping boys” when anything goes wrong. Kandwanaho told me that a group of his friends were once caught stealing copper pipes they intended to sell. They were kicked in the head, beaten unconscious, soaked in gasoline and set alight, Kandwanaho recalled tearfully. At their burial in a paupers’ graveyard, he and other street boys were the only mourners present.


Give to Help Support Children at Risk & Kids in Crisis »

If this special report has touched your heart and you would like to make a real difference in the lives of children in crisis around the world, and bring hope to kids at risk of violence, impoverishment, or child labor, then make a generous one time or monthly gift to help kids in need in Asia or Africa.


About GFA World

GFA World (www.gfa.org) is a leading faith-based global mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across the world, especially in Asia and Africa, and sharing the love of God. In GFA World’s latest yearly report, this included thousands of community development projects that benefit downtrodden families and their children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and teaching providing hope and encouragement available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. GFA World has launched programs in Africa, starting with compassion projects in Rwanda. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://gfanews.org/news.


Read the rest of Gospel for Asia’s Special Report: Children in Crisis — World’s Greatest ‘Badge of Shame’  Part 2, Part 3

Read more blogs on Human Trafficking, Child Labor, Abandoned Children and GFA World on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

Learn more about the GFA World Bridge of Hope program and how you can make an incredible difference in the lives of children, bringing hope to their lives and their families, transforming communities.

Learn how to provide a chance for children without sponsors. When you give to help unsponsored children, you help supplement the lack of resources when children in Asia don’t have the sponsors they need to stay in a Bridge of Hope center.

Learn more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | SourceWatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | 10 Milestones | Media Room | Poverty Solution – Farm Animals | Endorsements | 40th Anniversary | Lawsuit Response | International Offices | Missionary and Child Sponsorship | Transforming Communities through God’s Love

Notable News about Gospel for Asia: FoxNews, ChristianPost, NYPost, MissionsBox


Read what 25 Christian Leaders are affirming about Gospel for Asia.

This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.

February 8, 2022

WILLS POINT, TX – GFA World (Gospel for Asia) founded by K.P. Yohannan, which inspired numerous charities like GFA World Canada, to assist the poor and deprived worldwide, reveals on a shocking new report, from U.S. border to South Asia, 1.2 billion children in crisis face ‘horrors,’ exploitation on sickening scale.

Children in Crisis: World's Greatest Badge of Shame, released by Texas-based missions GFA World, reveals child exploitation on a global scale
CYBERSEX TO CHILD SACRIFICE: The humanitarian crisis on America’s southern border featured in a shocking new report that examines the horrors facing the world’s children in 2022. “Children in Crisis: The World’s Greatest ‘Badge of Shame'” (www.gfa.org/press/KidsCrisis), just released by Texas-based mission agency Gospel for Asia (GFA World), reveals child exploitation on a global scale.

America’s humanitarian border crisis is featured in a shocking new report that examines the horrors facing the world’s children in 2022.

Many migrant boys and girls fall prey to human traffickers, smugglers, and drug cartels en route to the U.S., according to the report “Children in Crisis: The World’s Greatest ‘Badge of Shame‘” by Texas-based humanitarian agency Gospel for Asia (GFA World).

The report highlights a terrifying U.S. Border Patrol video that shows human smugglers dropping sisters – 3 and 5 years old from Ecuador – over a 14-foot section of the border fence in the New Mexico desert. The smugglers ran off, leaving the young girls alone in the dark.

The border situation, says the report, is a “stark reminder” that children are “in crisis right on our doorstep … wherever we live in the world. And the problem is growing worse.”

Situation Critical

The report estimates 1.2 billion children worldwide are vulnerable to a host of calamities, including abuse, hunger and diseases. It’s a “toxic combination” driven largely by poverty and supercharged by the pandemic, the report says.

Among the horrors are child slavery, sexual exploitation – including the online cybersex industry – and even child sacrifice.

In Uganda, a young mother found the headless body of her 17-month-old son in a shallow grave. The child’s killer turned out to be his own father who was paid $2,000 by a businessman in return for the boy’s head, the report says. It’s believed the child’s head was considered by him to be a “good luck” charm.

The report highlights the following disturbing facts:

  • 30-35% of sex workers in the Mekong sub-region of Southeast Asia are 12-17 years old
  • Mexico’s social service agency reports more than 16,000 children engage in prostitution, mostly in tourist destinations
  • 20-50% of prostitutes in Lithuania are believed to be children – sometimes as young as 11 – and orphans have been exploited to make pornographic movies
  • North Korean girls, some as young as 9, are forced to perform sex acts in front of webcams, live-streamed to paying customers worldwide

Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is helping children escape poverty and protect themselves against such vile abuse and atrocities,” said the organization’s founder K.P. Yohannan, also known as Metropolitan Yohan. “Unless we act now to protect all children and show them God’s love is real, the consequences will be unforgivable.”


About GFA World

Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is a leading faith-based global mission agency helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across the world, especially in Asia and Africa, and sharing the love of God. In GFA World’s latest yearly report, this included thousands of community development projects that benefit downtrodden families and their children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and teaching providing hope and encouragement in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. GFA World has launched programs in Africa, starting with compassion projects in Rwanda. For all the latest news, visit the Press Room at https://gfanews.org/news.


Read more blogs on Human Trafficking, Child Labor, Abandoned Children and GFA World on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

Learn more about the GFA World Bridge of Hope program and how you can make an incredible difference in the lives of children, bringing hope to their lives and their families, transforming communities.

Learn how to provide a chance for children without sponsors. When you give to help unsponsored children, you help supplement the lack of resources when children in Asia don’t have the sponsors they need to stay in a Bridge of Hope center.

Learn more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | SourceWatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | 10 Milestones | Media Room | Poverty Solution – Farm Animals | Endorsements | 40th Anniversary | Lawsuit Response | International Offices | Missionary and Child Sponsorship | Transforming Communities through God’s Love

Notable News about Gospel for Asia: FoxNews, ChristianPost, NYPost, MissionsBox


November 19, 2020

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founded by K.P. Yohannan, whose heart to love and help the poor has inspired numerous charities like Gospel for Asia Canada – Discussing the loneliness and rejection that filled a young girl’s heart, and a Gospel for Asia (GFA) Bridge of Hope Center that shared the loving God who cares for her.

Madura smiled when she was in the company of others. From the outside she pretended everything was OK—but it wasn’t. Loneliness and rejection filled her aching heart. Madura hadn’t experienced what every child longs for: to be loved by a mom and dad.

Discussing Madura, the loneliness & rejection that filled her heart, & a Gospel for Asia Bridge of Hope Center that shared the loving God who cares for her.
Madura never experienced the love of parents. As a way of coping with her sorrow, Madura hid her tears behind a smile.

Worried and Alone

Madura was just a little girl when her mother died. Her father, who often gave himself over to the influence of alcohol, also beat her for no apparent reason. Thankfully, Madura’s aunt and uncle intervened and arranged for Madura to enroll in a Gospel for Asia (GFA) Bridge of Hope center. When she was in eighth grade, Madura attended the program daily, while living with her brother and sister-in-law.

Madura held a buried hurt deep within her heart. When she was around her friends, she hid the tears she wanted to cry. She felt alone but put on a brave face, masking her sorrow with a smile. She longed for love but felt deep inside that no one truly cared for her.

One day, Madura asked her brother to come to the Bridge of Hope center with her. They were having a parents meeting and all the other students’ parents were planning to attend. It deepened Madura’s sorrow when her brother never showed up. This became too much for poor Madura. She couldn’t keep back the tears any longer.

Loving staff members at Gospel for Asia (GFA) Bridge of Hope centers like these men and women, dedicate their time to love and care for children like Madura. They play a very influential role in their lives.

When the staff noticed Madura’s broken floodgate of tears, her sorrowful words tumbled out: “I don’t have any relatives who can love me.”

Madura shared her feelings through her sobs to the attentive staff at the Bridge of Hope center. She told them how she was not getting enough food at her brother’s house and had to do much of the housework.

With compassion, the staff comforted Madura.

“God has given you this project center to take care of you in every area,” they assured her.
Knowing the young girl’s deep anguish, the staff met with Madura’s brother and asked him to be proactive in helping Madura with her studies and life. They shared the love of Jesus with him and showed they truly cared for his sister. Madura’s brother responded positively to their words and encouragement.

“I am coming closer to my vision,” Madura shares. Through the success of her hard work and the nurturing love and care of the Bridge of Hope staff, Madura is doing well in her studies.

Coming Closer to Her Vision

Today, Madura is growing in her talents and is doing so with happiness. Now Madura knows she is loved and has a community of those who genuinely love her well.

Madura now has a dream for her future. After she graduates, she wants to become a teacher to help the underprivileged children around the world.

“I’m coming closer to my vision, and I believe that God is helping me towards my vision,” she says. “It stops my tears . . .”

No longer does Madura have to hide her tears because she knows if she is sad or disheartened she has people who care for her.

“I thank God and the project staff for their encouragement, motivation and blessing through their teaching,” Madura says.

Bring Them Love

You can play a crucial role in showing love and care to a child, like Madura, through Gospel for Asia’s Bridge of Hope Program. Sponsor a child today and help them understand they are loved and never alone!


Learn more about the Gospel for Asia Bridge of Hope program and how you can make an incredible difference in the lives of children, bringing hope to their lives and their families, transforming communities.

*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are Gospel for Asia stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.


Source: Gospel for Asia Featured Article, Drying the Tears Behind Her Smile

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August 30, 2020

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World and affiliates like Gospel for Asia Canada) founded by Dr. K.P. YohannanDiscussing Suhana, a victim of child marriage, the desperate need for clean water, extreme poverty, illiteracy, and the Gospel for Asia provided Jesus Well that brought stability and hope for a future.

Discussing a victim of child marriage, the need for clean water, poverty, illiteracy & the Gospel for Asia Jesus Well that provided stability

Nine-year-old Suhana stood in her bridal dress, her childish face masked under heavy kohl eye liner, and the red powder on her forehead signaling her entrance into the adult rite of marriage. Her young husband, closer to adulthood than herself, placed a floral garland around her neck. After the ceremony, Suhana moved to her husband’s village, where another newcomer had arrived just a couple years before her—a Jesus Well.

Harmful Customs Sustained by Need to Survive

Suhana

Suhana’s people lived in rural forests, mountains and valleys where they practiced the same traditional way of life for thousands of years. Predominantly farmers, they cultivated their land to produce rice, vegetables and cotton, which were their main economic resources.

The goal for these farmers was simple and straightforward: survive. But there were many obstacles to overcome. Ponds, which irrigated the fields and provided water for households, dried up during the summer and were reduced to mud holes. Sometimes the area experienced droughts so severe entire villages had to relocate, leaving behind anything they could not carry and becoming poorer in the process.

The need for clean water is not unique to Suhana’s people; it is an urgent issue for 783 million people worldwide.

The lack of fundamental needs, such as water, traps many communities into a life dedicated to obtaining basic necessities. Initiating community development projects, like drilling wells or educating children, are unattainable luxuries for many families. The effects of poverty are especially strong on young girls, who are not seen as able to contribute to the family’s survival—and are subsequently married off at a very young age, making them the in-law’s responsibility to support.

783 million people worldwide don’t have clean water
Open sources of water quickly become polluted when hundreds of families use them for everything from washing clothes and watering animals to cooking and bathing.

Village Welcomes Two New Residents

After her wedding, Suhana set about the household tasks she had been trained to do by her mother. For many of her tasks, Suhana utilized the Jesus Well that had been drilled just outside her home a couple years before she became a bride; it was one of the first Jesus Wells ever drilled by Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers. Suhana did not understand it then, but this Jesus Well would slowly transform her new village in ways no one could foresee.

Suhana established herself in her new community and joined the other wives in daily visits to the well. She balanced water jugs on her head as she carried back clean water for cooking the family meals.

Before Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers installed a Jesus Well, this village faced the same hardships as the one Suhana came from—ponds as a sole source of water for bathing, irrigation, cooking and drinking, and summer droughts that evaporated the dirty pond water. There had been a well in the village, which was a huge relief to the community, but it went from providing clean, clear water to brown polluted water after only a couple months. It had become no better than the ponds. With no one around to maintain the well, it was abandoned and sat as a reminder of the one resource they needed most but had too little of.

When the Jesus Well came, everyone rejoiced in the immediate benefits, but the long-term benefits had not yet been imagined.

Gospel for Asia (GFA World and affiliates like Gospel for Asia Canada) founded by Dr. K.P. Yohannan: Jesus Well
Suhana visits with a neighbor while she gives her cow a drink of water at the Jesus Well. This well, located a stone’s throw from Suhana’s home, was constructed shortly before she arrived in the village as a young wife.

Consistent Water a Stabilizing Influence

Within a year of becoming a wife, Suhana became a mother, and then quickly had two more children in the next few years. She worked hard on her daily household chores and earned extra income doing manual labor at construction sites working with bricks, sand and cement. Her husband worked as a painter, and they both cultivated their land to feed their growing family.

The Jesus Well assisted Suhana in almost every task, from watering her crops and animals to washing dishes and cooking food. Since the Jesus Well was nearby, Suhana did not have to spend extra time hauling water back and forth from a distant water source.

With their basic needs taken care of, Suhana could send her children to school rather than to the fields or to earn money as daily laborers.

The Jesus Well blessed more than just Suhana’s family. People from all over the village came to the Jesus Well every day. During summer droughts, the Jesus Well faithfully poured out clean, pure water, attracting people from other villages whose water supplies had dried up. Even with the additional burden of more people drawing water, the Jesus Well flowed continually, giving life to Suhana’s community and many others.

Suhana uses water from the Jesus Well for almost all of her household tasks, like preparing a meal for her family. The Jesus Well has eliminated the water crisis in Suhana’s village and brought stability to the residents’ daily life.

“This Jesus Well water is more than sufficient for the entire village and also for some neighboring villages,” shares Suhana. “It never dries up during summer, whereas many other water sources dry up. The more we draw water out of this well, the cleaner and purer the water comes out. Everybody comes here and takes water every day, and good water keeps coming out of this well. Everybody is satisfied with the water.”

Village Steadily Transforms

As years went by, Suhana’s children grew and so did the community’s dependence on the Jesus Well. With a reliable source of pure water, children weren’t as sick and missed fewer school days. People could grow their crops and did not have to leave their homes looking for water, and children didn’t need to help their parents earn money.

Eventually, a girls’ school was built nearby, and the daughters of the village attended school instead of preparing for marriage at a young age. Each day on their breaks, students would come to the Jesus Well for drinks and to play and laugh in the cool water.

Suhana and the Jesus Well have lived in this village for almost 20 years now. They have both become part of the fabric of the community.

A local Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor, whose church building is located next to the Jesus Well, shared the impact this gift has made in the community.

“I feel very happy to know that this is one of the first Jesus Wells…” — the local pastor

“I feel very happy to know that this is one of the first Jesus Wells,” the pastor said. “It’s not easy to have a well maintained for this many years; because anybody can install a well, but maintaining it for almost [20] years, where it still gives clean and good drinking water, it is not easy. That makes me very proud and happy, and I am so glad that this well is [by] our church.”

The Jesus Well has brought stability and health to this village and surrounding villages, serving hundreds of families, including Suhana’s, whose children now have the option of continuing their education and no longer have to give up their dreams in exchange for the daily struggle to survive.

Gospel for Asia founded by Dr. K.P. Yohannan: Over its 20-year life, this Jesus Well has served hundreds of people thousands of gallons of pure clean water.
Over its 20-year life, this Jesus Well has served hundreds of people thousands of gallons of pure clean water.

Each person that comes to well is presented with the Scripture declaring Christ as the Living Water: “Jesus answered and said to her: ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”—John 4:13–14

You can help bring relief to an entire community through a gift towards a Jesus Well, establishing a legacy of God’s love and goodness for hundreds of people.

Donate to Jesus Wells

$1400 USD provides a well that produces clean water for an entire community, saving people from waterborne diseases for years. $140 can help 30 people, $700 can help 150 people, and $1400 can help an average of 300 people.

Jesus Wells are a wise investment and we keep the costs low too. For only $45, you can provide clean water for up to nine people for around 20 years. See more ways to provide clean water »


Learn more about how to provide pure, clean water to families and villages through Gospel for Asia Jesus Wells and BioSand Water Filters.

*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are Gospel for Asia stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.


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