Saving Dorsen and his friends

£295 of £1,500 goal

Raised by 11 people in 29 days
This little boy is suffering. He's so lonely. His name is Dorsen and he works in a mine where cobalt is extracted for smartphones. His mum is dead. I watched this report on Sky News. It broke my heart, so much so that we've put a new website online: www.childrenplay.org, dedicated to helping Dorsen and his friends.



There's a chance that your smartphone contains elements mined by these exploited and suffering children. 


Dorsen is 8 years old. He's small,  beaten down, malnourished, depressed, in pain and exhausted. He and his friends work hour after hour in terrible conditions.

The work itself is so dangerous to their health. Lung problems. Cancer. They risk being beaten when they "under perform". 


Dorsen is exhausted and ill.

He says, "When I'm working here, I'm suffering. My mother, she's already dead. And I have to work all day and my head hurts me."



His friend, Richard,  says, "When I wake up every morningI feel terrible knowing I have to come back here again. Everything hurts."



And yet they work and work - but sometimes they don't earn enough to eat that day, or the day before. These kids aim to earn 8p a day. That's what they survive on, if they survive at all. Children die at work. They get drowned or buried in rubble.


After watching the report, my mum and I made a donation to UNICEF who do work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The next morning, I was still haunted. How would I know that this boy, invited by global media to speak of his misery, would be helped by anyone? This is complete despair. And that's why I'm fund raising - for Dorsen and his friends. 

The next time you are texting, or surfing on your phone, perhaps you will think of Dorsen and Richard; their hunger, pain and loneliness. The world is a cruel, unfair place. People are treated so badly. We need our smartphones but these children need something much more important. A break from suffering.

Please, please help me raise money for these children. Let's transform their lives. Watch the Sky report and see how frail this little boy is. 


http://news.sky.com/story/meet-dorsen-8-who-mines-cobalt-to-make-your-smartphone-work-10784120

If you can help, however small the donation, I will make sure these children are helped. I've made a Facebook page so you can follow my progress. 

Thank you so much.

https://www.facebook.com/Dorsenandfriends

Child labour in cobalt mines isn't a new problem.

#SHAME on those who buy #colbalt, not caring that it was mined by frail, abused, ill and starving children. 

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Update 5
Posted by Flinty Maguire
1 day ago
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Hello kind people. We've been busy. We've built a website and sent off emails, tweets and posts to corporate CEOs asking them to help us fundraise for Congolese child cobalt miners. The corporates can help raise funds at the point of sale by asking for donatations, or offering special goods with added value to raise money for these children. I'm being supported by a number of people, and I'm very grateful. I've made contact with Sister Catherine Mutindi of Kolwezi who works, with her colleagues, to bring children away from the mines for food and school. Catherine's organisation is mentioned in Amnesty International's report, This is what we die for, 2016, concerning child cobalt miners in the DR Congo. Would you do me a favour, please? Fill in a very short questionnaire, which is on the home page of our website. It will only take a few seconds. The corporates are tacitly involving us, as consumers, in human rights abuses. Who knows if Dorsen mined the cobalt in one of our phones? It's horrifying. We need to show the corporates how we object to this human rights abuse linked with the products we value. Thank you so much. Here's the link: http://cobaltchildren.org/index.html#questionnaire
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Update 4
Posted by Flinty Maguire
11 days ago
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The website, dedicated to helping Dorsen and his friends, has been updated. A letter has been composed and addressed to corporate CEOs: Sony, Samsung, Apple, Blackberry, Nokia and more. We present them with a solution to helping these children out of the mines and into a childhood. All they have to do is participate. What you can do, is sign our petition which you'll see on the website. Follow our progress, Which companies are going to be heroes? #saveDorsen http://childrenplay.org/20170317_Smartphone_companies_and_child_labour.html
childrenplay.org
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Update 3
Posted by Flinty Maguire
15 days ago
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14 March 2017. Today, I've written a letter to send to Huayou Cobalt, Sony, Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Ford, Volkswagon, HP and more. Here it is in draft form. It asks these companies to support a consumer movement to aid Congolese artisanal and child miners. I need to do a bit mor research before I send it off, hopefully tomorrow. Ideas and feedback welcome. Thank you for all your support.

Here it is:
Re: Human rights abuses in Congolese cobalt mines and the need for a compassionate and practical response from consumers and companies.

The human rights abuses of child and artisanal cobalt miners in DR Congo are well documented. The issue has traction with mainstream media coverage. Recently, a Sky News report by Alex Crawford, identified two child cobalt labourers by name: Dorsen and Richard, resulting in a wave of public anguish, alienation and disgust, evident on social media.

The problem is this: while governments and corporates struggle to find a way to address and resolve this issue, days, months and years go by. This time is occupied by real people: artisanal miners and child labourers mining cobalt in order to survive. They are damaging their physical and mental health, suffering harsh, hazardous, sometimes lethal work for pitiful financial reward.

The solution isn’t simply to extract artisanal and child miners from the supply chain. These people need this work to survive. The solution is to resolve these terrible human abuses by removing children from the workforce whilst providing for their welfare, and to provide artisanal miners with formalised work, safe working practice, proper equipment and fair remuneration.

I agree with Bryce Lee, the new manager for responsible sourcing for Huayou Cobalt Ltd. who says: "The problem cannot be fixed by one company. So, I think it's great, surprising even, that so many companies have come together.”

There is encouraging progress to identify these issues but resolution is a long way off. It is heartbreaking that vulnerable children and workers continue to suffer terrible human rights abuses. For as long as this goes on, the consumers of the downstream products: the lithium-ion batteries contained in smartphones, laptops, cameras, smartwatches, electric cars; are positioned to be complicit with the human rights abuses of the Congolese miners. This is unacceptable.

However, companies are not the only solution. What is needed is practical intervention and money to support that intervention. This is a human problem. It requires humanity from all: companies and consumers.

Sky News reporter, Alex Crawford, introduced Dorsen and Richard into the discourse of child cobalt miners. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=JcJ8me22NVs If you haven’t already watched this film, I urge you to view it. I don’t think anyone with a shred of decency could fail to be moved by the plight of Dorsen and Richard. These boys focused attention on the subject of human rights abuses. We need to share the responsibility of addressing them.

I propose companies of responsibility, creativity and caring, join a campaign to highlight the plight of artisanal and child miners. At the point of sale, companies should display information relating to the plight of artisanal and child cobalt miners. A donation may result from the consumer. A lapel pin, badge or case might be sold, proceeds going to projects supporting Congolese children’s welfare and investment in artisanal miners. Liaison with charitable organisations like UNICEF would be welcomed, I’m sure. Product slogans might be: #endchildlabour, #dorsen #conflictminerals.

There are endless possibilities. Individual consumers, like me, can raise a little money in aid of Congolese artisanal and child miners, but it’s a drop in the ocean and the responsibility is overwhelming. There are an estimated 40k children working in Congolese cobalt mines. Corporates can constantly highlight this issue at the point of sale, in their advertising and through specific merchandise. This is a campaign of companies who care, for consumers who care: people like me, who would willingly contribute. We are part of a movement that wants and needs consumerism married with responsibility, ethical practice and compassion. There are a lot of us, and we can sustain a campaign to make change happen and bring practical relief to suffering people. We need you to be part of this movement.

Be heroic. Make your logos symbolic with humanity and good practice. The issue of child labour and exploited artisanal miners is real. It needs money to solve it. Consumers want to help. Organise and collect our contributions. You have the infrastructure to do this. We all owe it to these workers. The Congolese minerals are not ours to exploit. The Congolese artisanal and child miners should not be destroyed because we need smartphones.

Please, please support this movement. I am publishing this letter and will publish your response which I hope will be positive.

Many thanks and all good wishes

Flinty Maguire
Childrenplay.org
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Update 2
Posted by Flinty Maguire
18 days ago
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Lovely people continuing to give. This will make a difference. Children surviving on 8p a day are earning less that £30 p.a. if they work every day. We have £260 online, and another £400 pledged. Working on small children getting paid 10p a day for every day of the year, already we have collected enough to give 18 children a year's payment each. This is worth doing. Would like to arrange funds to be collected without the 5% charge from GoFundMe though. Need a charity bank account. Will investigate this further. Please keep caring. #Dorsen has no shoes. He has headaches. He has no mum. He works 12 hours a day feeling ill. He goes without food - and all for cobalt in our smartphones. The DR Congo is in turmoil. The government lets the people down. Laws are flouted. People are desperate and the corporates: Huayou Cobalt, Sony, Apple, Samsung, and many more, are apathetic about the problem and put shareholders above children. The question is: do we? Please sign our petition to set an example to these corporates: http://childrenplay.org/sign_our_petition.html Thank you.
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£295 of £1,500 goal

Raised by 11 people in 29 days
Created February 28, 2017
£10
Anonymous
1 day ago
JR
£5
Jenny Reynolds
16 days ago
1
1
JT
£10
Jolene Ann Turner
16 days ago
1
1
JT
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Jolene Ann Turner
17 days ago
1
1
£10
Anonymous
18 days ago
1
1
AM
£20
Andrea Mitchell
18 days ago
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1
£10
Anonymous
21 days ago
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1
MT
£100
Michael Thorne
27 days ago
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1
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Anonymous
27 days ago
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Shaun Daniel
29 days ago
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