“Chemical. Nuclear. Biological. These are all weapons that we hear about but today I want to talk to you about one of the world’s deadliest weapons…that many people will have come into contact with today. Some people will have bought one. Some may have even walked into this room, past security, with the weapon…I am not talking about a gun or a knife. I am talking about a bar of chocolate.
There are very few subjects that affect as many people as something like chocolate. Who doesn’t like to indulge in a bar from time to time? …Yes, there’s always one who doesn’t but we know that it is at the top of the supermarket list, at birthdays, Easter, Christmas, for Valentine’s day, for Mother’s day, for Father’s day, to say thank you and inevitably to say sorry.
But very few people realise that they are fuelling one of the fastest growing industries worldwide involving over 2.4 million people when they buy their bar of chocolate” supporting an industry that “violates human rights, that has no respect for a person, that treats people like objects, that splits families and that destroys lives. It supports human-trafficking.
Human Trafficking is to be deceived or taken against your will, bought, sold and transported into slavery for sexual exploitation, sweat shops, child brides, circuses, sacrificial worship, forced begging, sale of human organs, farm labour, domestic servitude. It is where parents can receive as little as $20 in exchange for their children.”
Are the parents to blame? The vicious people willing to accept $20 for their children? Or is it as simple as that? “As parents, if somebody offered your child the chance of a better life, where they would have clean clothes, enough food and a good education, would you refuse? Would you deny your child of these things? If you were offered a little money that would also buy food for you other children or provide some medicine for your ageing parents, would you refuse? I would not. I could not.
…How could we not raise awareness of such atrocities happening in the twenty first century? How could we not help to tackle this problem that is relevant in even our own country? How could we turn a blind eye? The ‘how could we not’s’ did not feature for a long time in our minds. Very quickly, it turned to ‘How could we make a difference?’”
On the back of getting unsatisfactory answers from an original campaign to Nestle, Thomas aimed at getting 300 letters to them from every student in his academy. This has extended to every person taught in or who works in an Oasis academy. “Wouldn’t 10,000 letters be annoying? Wouldn’t 10,000 letters show Nestle that we were passionate about ‘traffik-free’ chocolate?”
“Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes.” Thomas’ is the humble chocolate bar. What’s yours?
Read more about our Chocolate campaign here www.stopthetraffik.org/chocolate