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It takes you and me to end violence against children

It takes you and me to end violence against children Renowned illustrators invite you to join the fight for a world without violence

In addition to beating, bullying and discrimination, child marriage, child labor, human trafficking are all different types of violence that children face. According to the United Nations, about 1 billion children globally face different forms of violence. Every five minutes a child dies as a result of violence. The United Nations, World Vision and five other major international child-focused organizations have launched a global initiative to address the issue, aiming to eliminate all forms of violence against children by 2030 through prevention, development, protection and advocacy work.

On March 3, World Vision Taiwan launched its campaign to reinforce its child and youth protection work in Taiwan and abroad. As part of the campaign, World Vision Taiwan released the results of interviews with 100 children in Taiwan, who shared their experiences with violence. Physical violence ranked at the very top among the types of violence that children fear. The survey also showed that children from rural areas tend not to seek help in the face of violent acts. Renowned illustrators Mark, Cherng and Duncan also shared their views concerning child marriage, child labor, and girls’ rights during their visit to India in February with World Vision Taiwan. “Many children told me that they dream of helping others in the future. And with just a little bit that we can give, we will help these children achieve their dreams,” said Duncan. Mark saw how vulnerable children become engineers, beauticians, and accountants with the support of child sponsorship. “Children have only one job, and that is to go to school. And the job of adults is to help children focus on their studies,” he said. “When children are empowered with skills, they can realize their potential and become more confident. More children will see the light of hope with our participation,” said Cherng, who immediately decided to sponsor three children after returning from India.

Heavenly Melody, a local Christian choir, supported the campaign by producing the theme song that emphasized everyone deserved to be loved. World Vision Taiwan also worked with EasyCard Corporation to produce 20,000 illustrator-designed charity EasyCards for the campaign, with 60% of proceeds from card sales and 0.5% of every purchase paid using the card going to the campaign. On March 10, World Vision Taiwan organized a charity film screening for the Academy Award-nominated Lion in Taipei and Kaohsiung. On April 29, concerts will be held in six locations across Taiwan, encouraging more people to learn about the issue and support the cause.

World Vision Taiwan Executive Director Jonathan Chen (陳純敬) pointed out that World Vision Taiwan has devoted its resources to a range of child protection work for the past 53 years. “World Vision Taiwan is the only Taiwanese NGO to participate in the campaign to end violence against children. We will integrate existing programs and allocate resources to systematically support vulnerable children and help them stay away from all forms of violence,” said Chen.

With many local industries moving abroad, laborers in Taiwan have been forced to work long hours with low wages. Children from vulnerable families often lack basic necessities and are affected by overburdened parents, said EasyCard Chairman Kenneth Lin (林向愷). Therefore, EasyCard joined the campaign to call on the public to support vulnerable children, he added. “It is the first time we have had the honor of inviting three famous illustrators to design the charity EasyCard. Every payment made using the card will contribute to child protection work.”

Help children in Taiwan stay away from violence

In Taiwan, domestic violence and bullying at school are major threats to children and youth, according to interviews with 100 children conducted by World Vision Taiwan this February. Children said that the types of violence they feared the most were physical violence and verbal abuse. About 80% of children said they would seek help when facing violence, but some children tend to be passive and disregard acts of violence. Most children see help from teachers, family members, the police and the 113 child protection hotline.

Compared to children in Taiwan, children from developing countries face greater threats of violence. This February, renowned illustrators Mark, Cherng and Duncan travelled with World Vision Taiwan to Kolkata and Ranchi in India to learn more about the threats that children encounter, such as child marriage, child labor, and other protection issues.

Childhood on the streets and shadows of child labor and child marriage

Twenty-three years old Lokhi Das used to live on the streets of Kolkata when growing up. At the age of eight, her life began to change for the better when she started to receive assistance from World Vision. She was able to go to school and learned sewing, beauty therapy and other skills. Now, she is able to earn income with the skills she acquired. “Without World Vision, I would still probably live a homeless life on the street,” she said. Moved by her story, Mark aspired to draw her story. “I want to tell other sponsors that what we do will not just change the life of a child. That child is going to influence more people,” he said.

Sakchi Kumari, 12, used to go rag picking with her parents and had even stopped her education for two years to help her family. Through World Vision intervention, her parents now understand the importance of education, and Sakchi and her siblings have been going to school regularly. She dreamed of becoming a doctor one day to help those in need. “Children in the slums were very young but they were so happy to see us. They all have goals now. I remember very well how confident and happy they looked, ” said Cherng.

Duncan visited 20-year-old Sabnam Khatoon, who worked in a coffee shop in a shopping mall. She grew up in a poor family. A few years ago, before Sabnam even turned 18, her father wanted her to get married to help her family. It was after World Vision’s intervention that her father was convinced to let his daughter continue her education. Sabnam also took a part-time job to pay her tuition fees. “She is still working so hard, but she has already dreamed of helping others in the future. I was deeply moved,” said Duncan.

The illustrators visited a range of child protection and children’s rights development projects, including a karate course for girls, children’s theater groups that advocate the importance of ending violence, and a shelter for orphaned children. “In Taiwan, people practice karate to become physically fit, but for girls in India, they learn it to defend themselves. They know how to protect themselves and become more confident,” said Cherng.

Mark was especially touched by children in the shelter, where World Vision helps pay for accommodations and education for the children. “A girl had a stiff smile. It was as if she had been through so much that she forgot how to smile. I asked her to take a photo with me before we left and tried to make her laugh. I don’t know why but the smile was especially important to me,” he said. “When we drew with children in India, they drew mountains, houses and a path to the house. I guess their drawing probably symbolizes their desire to have a happy family and life,” said Duncan.

It takes you and me to end violence against children

World Vision Taiwan invites the people of Taiwan to support vulnerable children around the world and help make their voices heard by attending the charity concert, purchasing the charity EasyCard and illustrator-designed T-shirts, signing our petition, making a donation and sharing the message. Let’s all join the global campaign to help end violence against children!


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