Hammers for Peru

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“Let’s work to provide hammers!”
I was eleven years old when I first heard that slogan.
One day in Elementary School, we were gathered in the gym and shown a picture of a young Peruvian boy, who was holding stones in his hands. “This boy works in a Peruvian mine. He must work because his parents can’t work. He has no money to buy tools to break these stones, so he must do it with his hands. It is very dangerous. Without tools, it takes a long time to break each stone, so he can’t break many stones and his pay is very low. “Why don’t we help him? This weekend, we are going to collect rubbish and scrap as usual. This time with the money raised we can buy some tools for this boy, for example, we can buy him some hammers.” A few weeks after collecting rubbish, we got a letter of appreciation from the Japanese Embassy in Peru. In the letter they thanked us very much for our support. With a big smile, our teacher said to us, “Can you see how great the work you did is? Your work changed that boy’s life and now his work goes efficiently.”

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Eight years later, I started University and was studying International Relations. One day in a class, a professor showed us a chart of birth rates in the world. Reading the chart, I noticed that the birth rates in developing countries were higher than those in developed countries and mentioned it to my professor. The professor explained why. In developing countries many families, especially in the poorer regions, live in poverty. A father's income is not enough to support a family and mothers are usually too busy looking after the younger children. So the older children (who are around 5 to 16) are often required to become “workers” to help their families. As a result many families try to have many children, to help support their family. But where do such children work? They cannot work for companies or banks since they don’t have an education. So they have to work in factories...
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