Bruce Djite and Dario Vidosic have helped World Vision promote fair trade and tackle the issue of labour trafficking.
Football may be what takes up much of a professional player-s time, thoughts and energy, but Reds striker Bruce Djite and midfielder Dario Vidosic showed they are not unawares of undoubtedly more telling issues facing many people in the world.
Djite and Vidosic teamed up with World Vision Australia in Rundle Mall to raise awareness of fair trade and highlight the truth about labour trafficking, which is rife in many of the every day goods bought and consumed by people. Examples of such products include coffee, chocolate and sporting equipment, which are produced or grown in developing countries where workers, which sometimes include children, receive low pay or are forced to work in dangerous conditions.
World Vision General Public Relationship Manager for SA/NT Rebecca Millard believes holding events like the one in Rundle Mall play a huge role in making people aware of what goes on, adding that is does make a significant difference.
“The scale of the problem is enormous. It is estimated that trafficking enslaves well over 27 million people around the globe,” Millard said.
“We-re here to support and promote fair trade. Fair trade means buying products in which no child labour has been involved, so World Vision gets behind those products and promotes them.”
“We also have a program called Child Rescue and that directly helps those children who have been involved in child labour and child trafficking.”
“We believe that by bringing children out of poverty we-ll reduce the need for trafficking, so that-s why our child sponsorship program is so important.”
Passionate and determined to make a difference, Millard also mentioned the added benefit of having Adelaide United, and particularly Djite and Vidosic, helping to raise people-s awareness.
“We-re lucky enough to have the Adelaide United boys here to support us, it-s a huge part of what we do, because we-re so involved in the industry we think everybody knows about fair trade but unfortunately not many people do,” Millard said.
“Having the opportunity to have events like this, it-s creating awareness and once people become aware, then they tell others.”
World Vision-s objectives are something Djite, who sponsors a child in Haiti through the organisation, and Vidosic are more than willing to endorse.
“I think it-s important to support because some people aren-t as privileged as us,” Djite said.
“I think we-re quite lucky in Australia and I think it-s an obligation that you have to take upon yourself to give back, even if it-s not within your community, to those that aren-t as privileged as you may be.”
Djite-s message is based on encouraging people to think twice in regards to the products they purchase, which in turn sends a statement that they are against the immoral practises that go on in many parts of the world.
“I think the more people that jump on board the better place the world will be in general,” Djite said.
“If people are going to be ignorant about it and not understand how big a problem it is, then it-s going to cause problems for everyone, so I think it-s a responsibility for us as Australians that we need to take, so that-s why I support it and that-s why I back it.”
Over the past few years pressure from organisations like World Vision has encouraged many companies to clean up their supply chains to make sure they are free from exploitation. In Australia consumers can now buy ethically certified chocolate, coffee, tea, sports products, footwear and clothing.
“All of us as consumers can encourage businesses to make sure their supply chains - especially ones that go overseas - are transparent, traceable and free from labour trafficking,” Millard concluded.
World Vision's work across many programs and initiatives supports the protection of all people from trafficking and slavery. Click here to find out how you can help.