1. Mahar Arar and Monia Mazigh are giving a $20,000 scholarship to Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia. It is meant for a student pursuing studies in social justice. They are moving back to Ottawa next month so this was their thank you gift to Kamloops.

2. This second story is depressing in this day and age: a crackdown – after months of lobbying by parents with missing children – in China on brick kiln factories using people – including kidnapped children and mentally impaired adults – as slaves. Forced to work from 5 a.m. to midnight, they subsisted on pickled vegetables and were prevented from escaping by dogs and guards. They were not allowed to wash or change their clothes. When rescued, their bodies were covered with burns and bruises; some reported fellow workers being beaten to death. One of the factories was owned by the son of the local communist party boss.

Please watch the trailer for Stolen Childhoods, the first documentary on global child labor and trafficking ever made. One of the saddest parts is watching the boys left for months on a platform in the middle of the ocean to fish for shrimp. Alone. Death is frequent due to heavy winds, falling off and the visiting foremen just pushing them off into the water in anger.

These things which won’t leave our minds eventually drop leadenly into our hearts. We can carry them around there heavily or we can let it soften and transform our actions, our prayers and our thinking. Can anyone bear to look at the picture below and not cry?

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