APRIL 2004 Campaign UPDATE

51 students, grades 6-12, from 4 MA schools participated today from 8:30 to 4:30 in a day of action for poor, working children. We did this in memory of the life and dreams of Iqbal Masih.
Back in December of 1994, Iqbal said in our classroom :"All children should be free and in school."

We try to make a small part of that dream come true each school year by building a school in Iqbal's memory in a developing country. We call this effort Operation Day's Work-USA. After we built "A School for Iqbal" in Pakistan in 1997, we were invited by USAID to share lessons learned with other U.S. schools. We accepted and became one of 6 co-founding schools of Operation Day's Work-USA. So far, ODW-USA has provided education for :

2000 rural youth in Haiti in 1999
300 orphans of civil war in El Salvador 2000
252 girls in Nepal 2001
600 children in Ethiopia 2002
280 children in Bangladesh 2003
and this year our goal is ...
1,000 children this year in Sierra Leone 2004


Today is no school because all MA public schools are closed all week to commemorate the battles of Lexington and Concord. Vacation or not, we rallied today, worked today for children.
Outside, on the grounds of our public library we raked away winter's debris and planted a Children's Peace Garden.

Inside the library, a representative (Kadama Kawan) of our chosen NGO "Life for Relief and Development" shared with the public our 2004 ODW-USA project in Sierra Leone. Mix in a U.S. Senator, brownie sundaes, and lap top lobbying for Global Education, a never before seen documentary by Len Morris of Galen films "Stolen Childhoods" on children who never go to school, and finally end with a game Susan Saragi of USAID made available called "World Class from NetAid" and you get a deep, fun day's work and international day. The Children's Peace Garden planted this morning is dedicated to Iqbal Masih. It looks amazing ! Each tiny pansie represents the fragile yet beautiful life of a child. We are definitely helping some to grow.
Today, the Library was raked, planted, swept and lovingly cared for by 50 students, grades 6-12, from ODW-Quincy High, ODW-North Quincy High , ODW-Broad Meadows Middle and ODW-Archbishop Williams High !The International Day this afternoon featured a guest speaker, Kadama Kawan of the NGO we chose this year (Life for Relief and Development) as our project
partner. Kadama drove all the way from Michigan to be with us today. He explained Sierra Leone and our project. He showed us a DVD about Sierra Leone and he answered many of our questions. One memorable question was : "Do women in Sierra Leone have rights equal to men?" His answer :"No. Women are just trying to survive, so are men and children. Rights will come later, if women survive the poverty."He gave us 35 tee shirts. We gave him 6.That didn't seem fair.

To raise awareness among lawmakers about child labor, we joined a global day
of action called "The Big Lobby" sponsored by The Global Campaign for Education. Shannon Sullivan, grade 7 ODW-Broad Meadows member , wrote letters to many lawmakers, inviting them to be "lobbied" today about the need for global education and an end to forced, abusive child labor. Quincy City Councilor Alicia Gardner (local) accepted and Shannon lobbied her today. MA State Senator Michael Morrissey called Shannon ! Finally, 41 ODW-MA members jammed today into Library Director Ann Mclaughlin's office to listen on the speakerphone as U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy phoned Shannon ! Wow ! Senator Kennedy asked us to lobby him! Shannon asked several strong questions of each, but my favorite was "Are we wasting our tax dollars on imports made by child labor ?" Answers varied.

Youth in 103 countries participated today in The Big Lobby. We did, too! To celebrate the Big Lobby and beautiful garden , we had pizza donated by Club 58 and Lazarino's! Then we had child-labor-free brownie sundaes (donated by Ben & Jerry's and Equal Exchange ,,,and baked by grade 7 students Jackie Gore and Elizabeth Fortune )We had Roche Bros. donate cold drinks.We had child labor free/sweatshop free tee shirts donated by Danny Siegel.The tee shirts are a new brand called Sweat-X and we got them unbleached, undyed, sweatshop-free, child-labor-free, no children picked the cotton either ! The tees were puchased from and printed by Mirror Image of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Mirror Image is a union shop. sales@mirrorimage.com

We ended the day playing a very educational yet fun simulation game " WorldClass" made available by Net Aid. The board game is all about the barriers poor working children face getting into schools and the difficulty of staying in school. 50 people can play at once. It takes 45 minutes, perfect for a class period or two is better.The game is reality based ; we each become a real child in India. The game is called "World Class." http://www.netaid.org/

Over 100 million children will never go to school.
Another 150 million children will get into school, but will not make it past 3rd grade.

We dedicated this day's work and our International Day to Iqbal Masih and to those 250 million children.We pray we raise enough money on our pledge sheets in the next 3 weeks to
help 1,000 of those children by re-building 3 primary schools destroyed by Civil War in Sierra Leone.

Donations can be made payable to : BMMS-ODW

and mailed to :
Broad Meadows Middle School
50 Calvin Road
Quincy, MA 02169

God bless each of you. Wow ! It's amazing what youth can do in a day.

Mr. Adams, ODW-Broad Meadows Middle School Teacher Advisor
Ms. Molly Glavin, ODW-Quincy High School Advisor
Quincy, MA 02169


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