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Iqbal Masih and Betty Makoni
Transcript of Iqbal Masih and Betty Makoni
She became a teacher. Girl Child Network
Created The Girl Child Network was first created in a meeting after school in Betty's classroom where women and children came forward with stories of sexual harassment and abuse. The Girl Child Network was created for girls age 0-16, but many ages can be involved. By 1999, there were at least 10 active clubs in Chitungwiza. In 2000, safe houses began to be built where women could come for refuge and rehabilitation. Many women and a few men completed a 17-day march against child sexual abuse. In March of 1999, the Girl Child Network was formally established. Betty's mission was to help girls who have been abused to become survivors with full potential. There are over 900 girls' empowerment groups in just Africa. Other countries involved with the Girl Child Network include Uganda, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Ethiopia, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Canada, the UK, and the USA. The Girl Child Network became the Girl Child Network Worldwide in September 2007. Betty Makoni was honored by CNN as a hero, and here is a video that was created about her and her actions. She received many other awards for herself and the Girl Child Network. Childhood In 1983, Iqbal was born in the community Maridke right outside of Lahore, Pakistan. The community was very poor.
His father left when Iqbal was very young, and his family struggled financially. In 1986, Iqbal's brother was going to be married, but they needed money for the event. A businessman loaned money to the family, but when the debt went unpaid, Iqbal was sold into child slavery. No matter how long he worked, Iqbal couldn't pay off the loan. Interest increased the debt, and money was always added for food or housing. Iqbal was put through abuse and constant work. At age ten, Iqbal and a few friends escaped. They went to the police with their story, but the police returned the children to their owner. Iqbal found a way to attend a freedom day celebration. Iqbal learned about his rights and that slavery for debt had actually been outlawed! A leader named Ehsan Ullah Khan helped free Iqbal and others from the slavery. Eshan was part of the Bonded Labour Liberation Front (BLLF), a group that helped children like Iqbal. Fighting Child
Slavery Iqbal studied at a school run by the BFFL for previous child slaves. Soon he became one of the top leaders of the Pakistan anti-slave movement. Iqbal would sneak into factories and ask children about their experiences. It was extremely dangerous. He was also sent to speak at businesses and demonstrations all over Pakistan. Iqbal spoke all over the world about child debt slavery, and he was given many awards. After visiting the USA in 1994, he went back to Pakistan, studying to become a lawyer. “I would like to do what Abraham Lincoln did… I would like to do it in Pakistan.” -Iqbal Masih On April 16, 1995, Iqbal went to visit his family in Lahore for Easter. Iqbal and some of his cousins went to see their uncle that night. They were riding bikes and Iqbal was shot, dying almost instantly. It is said that he was shot by a local farmer who was in a compromising position with a donkey, probably high on drugs. Others say he was murdered by the leaders of the carpet industry. It is a mystery. Iqbal was buried on April 17, 1995. Kids are still put through slavery and torture every day, just like Iqbal. It hasn't ended yet.
It is estimated that 15 million children in just India are in child slavery. Iqbal and Betty Makoni both showed amazing courage, strength, and determination. They helped improve the lives of thousands of people in their own ways.