Over the past three years a group of children and youths in Sacramento, California, has come together to form the Kids’ Freedom Club. The purpose is to free slaves by raising money, educating others about the problem and advocating for change. We’ve raised money by doing things like a coin collection drive, a pancake breakfast, and a garage sale. We also did a letter writing campaign where we asked people to write to companies telling them to stop using slaves to make their things. Recently, we visited our member of Congress, Ami Bera, to ask him to support legislation and funding to stop slavery.
Here’s what the Kids’ Freedom club members say they learned and accomplished:
- Aliya, Jade, Caydence: “We felt that it was important to tell the representative that we care about slavery so that he can do something about it. He can talk to bigger officials and share with other elected officials and spread the idea and make a difference. He can also make new laws that will stop slavery. When kids visit legislators they will remember our visit and we want to make sure that this problem is on their minds in all the activities that they do.”
- Sage, Evelyn, Maya, Paul, Lottie: “We had a lot of things that we talked with Representative Bera about. We told him the top 10 facts about slavery (that we learned about from the Free the Slaves website). Mr. Bera already knew a lot about slavery, but we members of the Kids Freedom Club were able to expand his knowledge by telling him some of the names used for modern day slaves, such as “attached labor” or “bonded labor.” His staff member, Faith, even said that she learned from us things about slavery that she didn’t know before. We asked Representative Bera to co-sponsor a bill that will make companies check their supply chains. We also asked him to consider slavery in international trade agreements. And finally we asked him to spend more of the tax money on fighting slavery. He said that he would look into co-sponsoring the bill and would also think about the other things we said.”
- Zavian, Linnea, Sophia, Justine, Ben, Alec: “We learned that the government can do something about slavery. Legislators can talk to the president and they can make laws. We think our visit there made a difference because we don’t think most people know about slavery and have ever talked with a member of Congress about it. One of our club members recently went to India and met some former slaves, so she shared a story about one of the women she met. This woman is now part of a self-help group that runs their own business making incense sticks. So we even gave Mr. Bera a packet of these incense sticks and a wooden carving from India. We can do a lot but Representative Bera can also help. He can make a greater impact on things that revolve around slavery. He can sign the bills. He can do the stuff that we can’t necessarily do. He can talk to the president about this and he can make laws and things like that.”
Editor’s Note: Our thanks to the kids and their adult coordinator, Petra Stanton, for this inspiring story as we wrap up Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month! See more ideas for kids throughout the year on our Students Ending Slavery webpage.