"If we are to teach compassion for all life
in this world, and if we are to carry on
a real campaign against cruelty, and against
the destruction of our environment, we
have to begin with reaching children."
~ Betsy Seeton
In the desperately poor rural community of Ankavandra in western Madagascar, girls of school going age are forsaking their education to earn a few dollars a week from gold panning. Click image or here for a slideshow.
Schoolgirls catch gold feverANKAVANDRA, 9 June 2011 (IRIN) - There is a touch of gold fever in the small western Madagascan town of Ankavandra and schoolgirls are being affected.
Rural poverty coupled with record world gold prices is proving an irresistible pull for young girls in and around Ankavandra who are being lured away from class and into the foothills of the central plateau area by the promise of a few flecks of gold.
Nearly every day a group of five girls, all related and aged 8-15, wake at dawn to begin a two-hour brisk walk up steep goat tracks to one of the many tributaries of the River Manambolo. As they draw closer to their destination their numbers swell to about 20 people, as parents with young children and other groups of girls, some appearing to be as young as five, join them.
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By Betsy Seeton
"If we are to teach compassion for all life in this world, and if we are to carry on a real campaign against cruelty, and against the destruction of our
environment, we have to begin with reaching children."
-- Betsy Seeton