When a corporate gets back to you in the shape of a human, it is always very encouraging. Since the Sky News report on the cobalt children of DR Congo came online, millions have viewed the film. Many thousands of people have also expressed shock and dismay on Facebook, asking how they can help these children.
This week a Sky News investigation found that children as young as four are working in Congolese mines to find cobalt which is used to make your smartphone work
Posted by Sky News on Sunday, 5 March 2017
Sky news has been responsive. Africa Editor, Nick Ludlam, a colleague of Alex Crawford’s who filmed Dorsen and Richard, has been in touch. Nick’s also spoken with Ian Harvey, director of the charity, Congo Children’s Trust which runs the project, Kimbilio in Lubumbashi, DR Congo, to support street children who have no adult to look after them. With the help of Sky News, Ian hopes to locate the children in the Sky News film to offer them support. He will be making the journey to DR Congo late June. We need to raise funds so that we offer support to these children.
For all the children and adult artisanal miners (called creusseurs) who mine cobalt in dangerous and slave conditions, we need to keep this story alive. They have been exploited for years, to our shame. Corporates and consumers can no longer deny the ugly backstory of human rights abuses to enable our technology.
The corporate culture of denial must end
The most proactive way to deal with the harm that has happened is to be open, accountable and take action. In my experience, corporates have found “sorry” to be the hardest word, fearing accusations of culpability and litigation. An attitude of humility is both courageous and honorable and sets an example for others to follow. Congolese artisanal and child miners must be helped to a way of life where they are free of exploitation and abuse by corporates and consumers. It shames us all.
We need your support. Even £1 or $1 will help enormously.
At the moment it takes Dorsen 12 days to earn the value of £1, working 12 hours a day. He starves. He works when he’s exhausted and in pain.
If you can give £1 or more, that would help Dorsen, Richard, and other children like them who suffer working in the mines. £1 will mean a day away from the mine, food, and a whole lot more.
Wouldn’t it be uplifting to see these children smile because they had a happier and safer future? Wouldn’t we all feel better if we were not part of a toxic infrastructure that abused them in the first place?
I’m liaising with the Congo Children Trust and will soon have donation buttons, so that funds can be raised for Dorsen, Richard and children like them.