Sunday, 18 October 2009

Stacey Dooley; Where Did She Pop Up From?

... and I don't mean Luton Airport (like Lorraine Chase).

With little else to watch on the 40 or so channels I receive on TV, I was channel-flipping when I came across a programme, Stacey Dooley Investigates. As it was about Cote d'Ivoire, I stopped flicking and kept one eye on the box.

My immediate impressions was that the investigator was a young air-head looking for fame. Oh, how wrong I was!

Stacey Dooley may be young, but she is no air-head wafting in from Luton Airport. She is not a "professional" broadcaster, but what she lacks in experience, she more than makes up for with genuine passion and feeling for kids who are unscrupulously exploited for the desires of the developed world - fashion clothes from India and chocolate from Cote d'Ivoire.

OK, it is true that only a small number of children in a small village will benefit from her efforts. She managed to re-open a classroom at the local village school. One more and the school will be recognised by the government and will then be supported.

One small step. But it also brought home to us, the fashion-loving, chocolate-munching developed world, just how we get these delights that we don't even think about.

How kids are working 12 hours a day to produce T-shirts. How small kids with machetes are harvesting the beans to make our chocolate. Now, I look at a bar of chocolate and think of those children.

Judging from comments on Stacey's Facebook and on YouTube, I guess I am not the only person to be moved by her programmes.

So, all I can say is 10/10 for effort, Stacey. I hope you take up a career as a reporter of child exploitation in the future (if you haven't already). And I hope that you will visit us in Kenya one day. We could show you a thing or two.

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