I Send My Freedom Wish to The Stars

Freedom Wish

Freedom is the best gift I dream to unwrap. I believe in the joy of my laughter. I wonder why I’m so big and stars are so small in the sky. I walk dirt roads, rugged terrain, sidewalks, playgrounds, parks, splash and jump in streams trusting I’m safe. I want the sunshine to stay because dark closets, cold shackles, eerie dusty caves, and dim vans hurt me.

Is It Safe to Dream of Freedom?

Why can frogs, geckos, lizards and slimy things stick to trees, and I can’t? I want to climb a tree and stick to it so the bad people can’t reach me. I will climb higher and higher and be safe with the stars. I will sit at the top of my tree with my wish to be free. I send my freedom wish to the stars in hopes you will remember me.

When the sunshine touches you, eat an ice cream for me. Read a bedtime story to me. Hug me warm with your blanket. Let your heart twinkle. I will smile on the brightest star and know you are thinking of me.

Factory Toil Instead of School Freedom

I am thinking of you, my child. Everyday. I see your tiny hands and arms tremble to hold on tight to the bricks you carry on your head. I see the endless trek to the well and back with buckets of water. I see you crouched digging with small chisels and shovels.

I see you cry.

I know you feel you are alone. I pray you are not broken – emotionally. I cringe to think the light of your kind smile grows dim.

Keep hope dear child of mine.

There Are People to Watch Over You

Freedom Wish

You see there are many who march, shout and organize for your freedom. They want your stifled voice to be heard. People like Kailash Satyarthi, Peace Prize Laureate. He is one of many voices who stand up to your bullies. He urges and is very clear: 

“Unless children are mainstreamed in our policies and budgets, the scourge of child labour cannot be eliminated in isolation.”

I show your picture to anyone, even complete strangers who see a child but not as I know you – the spirit of joy. I go on faith one will hold his/her hand out to help you.

I push on.

I knock on many doors that remain closed. I speak on many sidewalk corners. I am hoarse. I ask others to be aware that:

  1. 1 in 10 children toils long, hazardous hours
  2. Overpopulation and poverty lead to meagre wages
  3. Women and girls are suppressed
  4. Many are taken from rural farms and displaced in urban areas
  5. Government apathy hinders immediate action
Freedom Wish

I show them ways they can take action.

Freedom Wish
  1. Watch or act in interactive plays and shows to feel your trauma.
  2. Shop consciously. Think about where products are made and
    by whom..
  3. Demand greater transparency from all levels of government.

Freedom is to Be Brave

I tell others there are books (Institute for Humane Education) by strong determined souls like you to help open the dialogue for a sensitive issue such as this. Here is a short list below you and I will read together one day when you feel safe to do so.

1. Iqbal by Frances D’Adamo 2003. Grades 4-7.

Iqbal: A Novel is a fictionalized account of a real-life hero. The story is told from the point of view of Fatima, of the courageous Pakistani boy Iqbal Masih sold to a man to weave carpets and fought for the freedom of child slave laborers. 

2, Hidden Girl: The True Story of a Modern-Day Child Slave by Shyma Hall 2014. Grades 7-12.

At the age of eight, Shyma is sold to a wealthy family in Cairo. She serves her owners night and day. When they move to California in the U.S., she is smuggled along. Although she is freed when she is 12, she has a whole new set of problems: she’s uneducated, illiterate, and alone.

3. I Am a Taxi by Deborah Ellis 2006. Grades 5-8.

To help make money after his parents are falsely imprisoned, Diego works as a “taxi” running errands. He is lured by a friend who promises him a well-paying job. He ends up working in the jungle for cocaine smugglers.

Child labour

It’s a start, however small.

When he/she reads these stories I want them to feel your trust.

Trust is a child’s shield within his/her heart and a unseen truth I am love. I want others to give pause to the continual global exploitation of your trust.

Chains of the Past Haunt, Even Today

I rub my temple as I read a new report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNICEF, “…the number of children in child labor has risen to 160 million worldwide – an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years”.

Equally troubling is this fact, “In 1850, the cost of a slave if converted in today’s dollar value, would be $40,000. The cost of a modern-day slave is $90” (The World Counts Blog).

I know there are some who think child labour and slavery are separate things.

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

Slavery is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the state of a person who is held in forced servitude…a situation or practice in which people are entrapped (as by debt) and exploited; drudgery, toil.”

I believe both are the same. Both harm your mental and physical development regardless of nuance.

I can get lost in the facts which scream end this now.

There is Something You Believe In

Whether you know this or not, do not blame yourself. You cannot know what’s in the heart of someone who means you harm. Can you ever really know anyone but you? This is a world of masks.

Each day I hope you believe in your unlimited potential. You feel it even if you don’t have the words just yet to describe it. I know you feel it.

You got to because I feel your freedom wish.

I see you walk across the stage receiving your high school diploma. Your big wide grin and excitement. I wave back. I snap way too many pictures. It saves me from my nightmares. 

Freedom is Hope for A Future

Freedom Wish

It will take a lot from you to remove the sting of a lash from your heart. To say I understand is untrue. I’m unable to walk in your bare feet, sandals or shoes only be here for you.

Your pain teaches me the irrefutable guilt, shame, and poor self-worth created by humanity of which I am a part.

When I hold you, I will give you space to discover there is beauty in your world despite the cruelty. You will step into grace so you can love and honour your mind, body, and spirit again.

As you look out atop your tree, eat as much ice cream as you like; know you will be rooted in strength to grow. Stand confident and courageous in your truth as you journey towards the awesomeness of you.

My child, only when you’re ready, forgive because the light of compassion and love sets you free.

As you celebrate Juneteenth, remember also International Day Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. Because freedom and self-love are at stake.

This young child’s story teaches hope in hardship is more valuable than a brick.

Bricks can be destroyed.

A child’s spirt is forever. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.