The Foundation for African Children Education, or FACE, aims to empower and provide opportunities for children in rural parts of Africa. FACE is determined to bring educational opportunities to as many children as possible. Education is often the starting point for breaking the cycle of poverty in rural areas, thus FACE focuses on funding children to go to school whose parents would not be able to afford it otherwise. Education may not be the key to stopping poverty altogether, but it is a way of fighting it. Education is a powerful weapon which can be used to change the world. The money raised in this foundation is delivered directly on an annual trip to the villages in rural Ghana. FACE meets the children they are sponsoring first-hand as well as their families. The money raised goes towards backpacks, textbooks, shoes, writing utensils, lunch money, and anything else needed for the children to go to school. FACE is able to empower a small portion of the population and grant them futures and will eventually learn to help people in their own village.
The Under the Same Sun is a local organization that helps to raise awareness and improve the lives of Albanese individuals living today. This presentation brought insight to an issue that I was not entirely aware was going on in Tanzania. The issue that people with albinism are being brutally attacked for their body parts to be exported and used for black magic. People of albinism, especially children, are being put at risk and have to take on great caution in their daily activities and are often not allowed to go anywhere alone. Children are extremely vulnerable to these attacks as some parents may not understand the extent to the risk that the people with albinism are in. Often children with albinism will be abandoned at a young age as the parents do not want to take on the responsibility of taking care of them. The Under the Same Sun organization helps people with albinism by raising awareness and making information available, granting education bursaries, and providing health care and other community support to assist with their condition. It is important to get the word out with this kind of issue and other issues similar to this as people, including myself, may not know the extent to what is going on in other places of the world. I now take precautions when myself or others around me use the term “albino,” as negativeness or mockery often come with using this word.
People assign meanings to how we look – mostly describing one’s “master status.” For example, race is socially constructed, and in many cases individuals will be pre-judged by the colour of their skin before knowing anything of their personality. Reality exists independent on an individuals’ perspective or creation of it. Differences – such as ethnic group, gender, and sexual orientation – and meanings ascribed to these differences are socially constructed. Individuals being told they act a certain way over and over will begin to associate with these stereotypes. Often if individuals do not act according to their given attributes or stereotypes can be “otherized” as they do not follow what is portrayed to be the norm. The media can often reinforce and overemphasize these given stereotypes. For example, making homosexual men act overly flamboyant or giving women typical “mothering” roles. Stereotypes and false images of particular groups or individuals represented through the media can influence our labelling or what we expect of these individuals in everyday life.
Social Constructionism indicates that there is nothing natural or normal in the world we inhabit, but rather reality is socially constructed by individuals and the way we perceive things. People can create and ascribe their own meanings for objects or a particular phenomenon. For instance, what we know as a pencil is only an object until it is labelled as a pencil and given a function. Social reality is multidimensional, thus having multiple meanings and perspectives from numerous different individuals. False meanings can often be ascribed to particular individuals or groups which can lead to misrepresentation and stereotyping of that particular group. There is nothing inherently good or bad about particular individuals, there is only what we perceive to be “good” or “bad.” What may seem normal, or “good,” to one society may be completely bizarre to another – thus leading to ethnocentrism about a particular society doing things “properly.”
The Global Sociological Imagination outlines that what we do and every day choices that we make can affect other parts of the world, or the “global village.” Making small changes and being aware of our daily actions can ultimately benefit each corner of the global village in the long run. By thinking globally and acting locally, our actions can have a positive effect on individuals across the world that we may never even cross paths with. Charles’ cocoa bean story largely reflects the idea of thinking globally an acting locally. The cocoa seeds that Charles planted years ago are now providing nourishment to those eating chocolate in different parts of the world. Had Charles not planted these seeds and had people not been buying these chocolate products, Charles may not have had the opportunity to come to Canada. By coming to Canada, Charles is able to share his story and educate a small portion of the population who can then spread their knowledge to others – thus causing a ripple effect and being beneficial in the long run. The Theory of Duality indicates that everyone is the captain of their own shit, but the choices that they make – whether good or bad – decide the path of that individual.
Elderly individuals with retired drivers licenses that continue to drive has become problematic. Today most people are dependent on an automobile to transport them places, especially for elderly individuals not wanting to walk or take public transit far distances. It is unsafe for those no longer suitable to be driving to be on the road. The amount of older drivers is correlated with those that have health problems rely on vehicles for their primary needs. Elderly people unable to drive themselves around are often worried with burdening family or paying for other services to drive for them. Despite this, there is a great number of elderly people on the roads that are equally as capable of getting in an accident as a teenager on the road. Older drivers will often be at fault for any accidents caused. Many elderly people still driving take great caution and are less likely to take risks on the road. There is also the issue that most seniors are not entirely willing to give up their licence until they absolutely must do so. Elderly drivers are required to retake tests and renew licences to ensure that they are suitable enough to be driving. In my own community, the bus that runs from Ladner to Vancouver had been replaced as of recently with one that runs part way to the Canada Line. Surveys have been done showing that there has been a decrease in elderly people commuting from Ladner to Vancouver by public transit for this reason. In this sense, even the availability of public transit can be inconvenient or unappealing to seniors trying to get around, especially traveling by themselves. More chauffeur services could be set up and advertised in order for the elderly to be more willing to give up their licenses and be driven around in a safer manner.
Human trafficking is the illegal selling and purchasing of humans and is a problematic issue that is still occurring today. The continuously extending black market of human trafficking earns the United States about 32 billion dollars. Exploitation of labour has become a global issue rather than a regional one – human traffickers are transported around the world and are thriving within countries. Human trafficking also flourishes within certain countries due to economic issues or halts thus they will exploit labourers as an easy way to gain money. Trafficking can come about by individuals putting out advertisements to help those in need financially, only to discover that it is a scam luring victims into this business and shipping these individuals to foreign countries. The type of people that involve themselves in this kind of business are those that view human beings as natural resources that we can recycle and sell for a profit thus is incredibly dehumanizing. Women are at particular risk for exploitation as prostitution, where it is legal, and sex trade business can be very profitable. Children are also particularly at risk as they are taken advantage of for labour and work well with military services. Individuals involved in human trafficking go through both physical and mental harm. People in charge of these human trafficking businesses will target those who they deem as weak, thus the pattern of mostly women and children being captured. Addressing the problem: targeting those who are weak. Individuals forced into human trafficking are dehumanized as they lose identity and are treated as objects used for profit. This problem needs to be addressed more sternly as there are alternative ways to benefit the economy rather than exploiting human beings and taking away their rights to freedom.