Every now and then we get to take part in truly amazing opportunities.
A few years ago this involved sending a pile of headbands (and directing awareness) to Ethiopia in support of the work of the charity Imagine1Day - a not-for-profit that seeks to provide quality education to all children in Ethiopia (read that story here).
In June of this year KOOSHOO had the chance to return to the great continent of Africa, once again for a much-belated cause: eradicating child slavery. This time the headbands traveled to the summit of Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak.
Our friend Melanie Trepanier, one of those types of friends that constantly inspires, was looking for support in her journey to climb Kilimanjaro. The trip was a fundraiser for World Vision and their world-changing work combating child slavery. Melanie was climbing on behalf of her employer, SierraSil Health Inc., and was joined by celebrities like Rick Campanelli, host of Entertainment Tonight Canada and Cheryl Bernard, Olympic Silver Medalist in Curling. KOOSHOO headbands were provided to protect (and keep dry) under the hot African Sun and the trip was an incredible success.
Melanie also ended up the expedition's de facto Yoga Instructor.
The fundraising goal was an ambitious $150,000 to fight child slavery - a goal they are now only a few thousand away from meeting. As per the World Vision website, donations "will help provide education, skills training, counselling and more to women and girls facing domestic abuse, forced marriage or many other forms of exploitation".
And if you think child slavery is an issue of the past, you may be floored to hear that 170 million children are involved in child labor today (11% of the global population of children!!) with 6 million of those working in "foced labor" conditions, according to the International Labour Organization. Think about that: 1 in 10 children work as child labor and 1 in 200 are in forced labor. That's both shocking and totally unacceptable.
If you'd like to get involved in the campaign, or would simply like to better understand the problem of Child Slavery, check out the campaign page here.