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Christmas wish of freedom

Press release

For immediate release
9 December 2008

Christmas wish of freedom

A Christmas wish of freedom has come true for five young children recently released from detention centres in the Philippines.

These five are just some of the children and youth rescued during the past months from dirty overcrowded prison cells or from sex slavery. 64 children now face a brighter future due to the advocacy and protection provided for them by the Preda Children’s Home in the capital of Manila. Several other children rescued during these months have returned home to their families. Trade Aid in New Zealand supports Preda and its work to protect children from abuse, prison and exploitation.

Fely is 15 years old and is one of 35 girls living in the two Preda Homes. Fely will be looking forward to her first Christmas with Preda as one of several young girls recently rescued from sex slavery. Fely was trafficked to Malaysia and sold to a brothel where she remained for several months before being rescued. Arriving home pregnant with twins, Preda fought for her to be allowed to attend a normal school due to the stigma of her pregnancy. Fely is now excited about looking after her babies, continuing her education and being safe from the abuse of the previous months. The Preda Foundation represents children like Fely in the many various aspects of their lives where their rights are violated constantly and illegally.

The Preda Foundation works to win freedom and new life for children like Fely trafficked into brothels, in jail or abandoned and living on the streets. They have successfully gained the release of dozens of young children not yet charged with crimes. On release from police cells many are delivered back into the custody of their parents. For the children and youth with no home to return to, Preda offers them options for reintegration. These include apprenticeships in welding, organic farming or joining theatre groups where the children write plays based on their lives behind bars. The powerful performances use their own real life experiences to educate other children about their rights.

The Preda Foundation is a trading partner of Trade Aid which has 32 retail shops around New Zealand. The partnership with organisations like Trade Aid provides a ready market for products which are a result of youth being given the chance to learn a skill and earn a living or pocket money while at school, or during the long process of bringing prosecutions against their abusers.

This Christmas all the children and youth touched by the work of Preda can look forward to celebrating with their families or new communities and prepare for a year that is already looking brighter and more hopeful than the one just passed.

Buying products from Trade Aid this Christmas supports the work of organisations like Preda, across thirty different countries. Each Trade Aid gift has its own story of fairness and hope.

Editors notes:

Who is Trade Aid?
Trade Aid is a truly unique New Zealand-based fair trade organisation. We are importers, wholesalers and retailers of fair trade products. We go above and beyond basic fair trade standards and our relationships with our trading partners form the basis of everything we do. We share our profits with our trading partners (it’s only fair!), we help support our partners to increase production and quality and are willing to pay for our product before we receive it through interest free pre-financing. We engage in long term trading relationships and we speak out for greater justice in trade rules – all this plus paying a fairer wage.

Who does Trade Aid trade with?
Trade Aid works with more than 75 trading partners in over 30 countries. We work primarily with family groups, co-operatives and associations often through non-profit development organisations. By forming these groups producers are able to increase their own political power, so enabling them to create change. They are better able to access credit, reduce raw material costs and establish higher and more just prices for their products. Profits are often reinvested into developing their businesses or are channelled into community projects. Through support and income generation these partners are able to make positive changes to their lives and can look forward to a brighter future.

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