He would work 18 hours a day rather than hang out with friends. He would toil for a daily pay of 60 cents rather than gain knowledge inside a classroom. Hamisi gave up his family and his home for a future that only crushed him. But unlike most other stories, our main character is only 11. Hamisi is still a child.
There are 152 million children around the world who have a story like Hamisi’s. These child laborers are robbed of an education, fair pay, and healthy physical development. They are forced to abandon both their futures and their childhoods at the hands of a greedy and selfish world.
I think of Hamisi’s rough, dirtied hands and look at my own. Unlike him, I was undeservingly given a childhood of freedom and ease. Now, it is my responsibility to fight for every child who does not have the same privilege – who was forced or deceived into soul-crushing labor. I hope you listen to every story like Hamisi’s. I hope you advocate for the 152 million lost voices of the world. It is time for child labor to end. Together, we can make it happen.
Youth Leader, Distressed Children & Infants International (DCI)
Connie Xiao was born and raised in Connecticut. She is currently studying towards a BS in International Politics with a minor in International Development at Georgetown University. She hopes to dedicate her future towards aiding vulnerable populations who suffer from hunger, poverty, inadequate resources, and migration crises. Connie has been a youth volunteer with DCI since 2020.