23 February 2018

Talking about the difference between family work and child labour in Africa

When I was six I got woken up around five in the morning. Work on the farm needed doing. It was a three mile walk, which I sometimes walked alone. When it was dark I had to carry fire to help me see where I was going. Sometimes I would cry. It was cold and I didn’t want to get up so early to do work, but I had to get in the rice farm before the birds, so I could frighten them away. Otherwise they’d eat all the rice. I didn’t like this. I didn’t like it at all. My father told me I had to learn about farming – schooling was plan B. If I failed there my only hope of a job was through farming and eventually taking over from my father. It’s the same for the vast majority of children in Africa, where 80% live in rural environments. Child labour does exist and it is a problem.