There is nothing more grim than imagining children living and working on a toxic dump. Amongst the festering dirty decomposing rubbish; dirty nappies, discarded syringes, broken glass and other filth, with nothing but the clothes on their back and fending for themselves. There is no need to imagine this, sadly this happens – every day, and I a am shocked and ashamed that there are children as young as three years old living in this way. Amy Hanson from the UK was so shocked and ashamed by this, she has made it her life purpose to do something about it, she has called it the Small Steps Project.
On a trip to Cambodia in 2008 Amy could not believe the unimaginable hardships and conditions small children faced every day literally scavenging for food and recyclables at Stung Meanchey municipal rubbish dump in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Almost overwhelmed by the enormity of the problem, Amy started with small steps, raising money to buy children wellington boots and hygiene kits in hope that one day she could help them off the dumps in which they live and out of poverty.
Through film, Amy aims to raise awareness of the plight and unacceptable hardships faced by them. “People should be outraged. The only reason this exists is that people don’t know about it” Amy said “if everyone did something little, we can make a change”.
Small Steps Project is now a registered charity (in the UK) and aims to deliver shoes and hygiene kits to enable children to take small steps off rubbish dumps and to protect them while they are working there. They work closely with locally established NGOs to cement a network of all projects working to improve the wellbeing of children living and working on landfills or scavenging for survival.
So what can you do? Do your something little and donate this week’s coffee money to Small Steps Project. For as little as $15 AUD you can buy wellington boots for FOUR children living on a dump. Imagine that, for the price of four coffees instead you can help FOUR children.
Read more about Amy’s journey to setting up Small Steps Project here