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Stacey Dooley Answers Your Questions

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Steve Hornby | 11:33 UK time, Wednesday, 20 January 2010


I asked Stacey ten questions which represent the main areas that lots of you wanted to know about. Many of you were asking how you could get involved so check out below for a number of ways that Stacey suggests.

Thanks for all your questions whether you sent them by Facebook, email or text. 

Shabrina : After making this program-have you been in touch with all the people you came across, especially the kids you helped rescue? What are they up to?

STACEY: First of all a massive thank you for all the kind messages and questions.  I do still speak to a lot of the people I met in Nepal. I have weekly contact with my interpreter Ira, we email and Facebook each other and she was letting me know how Munsuyad was doing when he was in Nepal. The organisation that we brought him to when we rescued him made contact with his family and now Munsuyad is back in India, where he's originally from, studying and so he's now getting a full-time education.

And I still hear how the girls are doing in Dang, because they've gone back there to a girl's hostel to study together. And Parang is still in a hostel, no-one has come for Parang but he is safe in a hostel with the other lads.

I think it's my responsibility to keep in contact with all the guys that I hung out with and I made a definite effort to make sure that I knew what was going on after my visit. I do understand that I was only there for a tiny, short space so I know everything's not hunky dory as soon as we leave.

Sofi: How is Parang doing, the one from Kathmandu?

STACEY: As I said he is still in the hostel, and the hostel is really amazing and I'm really glad that he's there. He's doing really well, he's bright and intelligent and he studies and then plays football with the boys. In my heart I don't think anyone is going to come for Parang, I don't think he's ever had a loving family or affection or anything like that so he's going to have to do his own thing when he grows up. When he's sixteen he'll have to go out and support himself. It's just the way it is which is difficult but at least he is getting an education and he was rescued when he was. But I always say if I make loads of money, you never know I could win the lottery, I'd definitely like to sort Parang out I think.

Jordan:  I'm travelling to Nepal in two weeks time to do some volunteer work, I was just wondering if you had any advice on dealing with seeing children working like this and the poverty surrounding them and possibly not being able to do anything about it.

STACEY: Even if the situation is quite hard to witness I always thought that the tiniest, tiniest help that you can give is better than nothing. The smallest thing could make one kid slightly happier that day so that's a good thing. But yes of course it's extremely difficult and that's where I was a bit of a nightmare because I just used to cry quite often. Then I felt bad because I was like 'Why are you crying?' but it is difficult to witness, I think, especially because we don't see it in England do we? We're just not used to it.

Anon: What has been the hardest thing you've had to do?

STACEY: I think the hardest thing I've ever had to do was listen to Munsuyad... when he pulled on the interpreters T-shirt and just was so desperate for our help it was a real low point for me. Hearing how he used to get battered and beaten by the owner and he's been to hospital with head injuries. That wasn't a very nice day and I really struggled with that because I'd obviously never come across anything like that in my life. Then making the decision that was going to affect his life, you always have to be aware that it's other people's lives that you are making these decisions for. I think that was probably the toughest thing I've ever done but I'm glad we did what we did because he's not in that sweatshop anymore. The whole trip alone was worthwhile because there is one less kid in a sweatshop.  

Hannah & Harry: Were you scared the factory owners would hurt you when you took the children?

STACEY: Absolutely! It's so odd because I am just a sort of dweeby girl so of course I always think I don't want to annoy these men. You don't ever want to get beaten up or put yourself in a vulnerable situation and there were a couple of times when I felt uneasy, But it is just one of those things and you have to take a bit of a risk and I think it's worth it.

Kirstie:  How did you become a journalist? I am interested in entering into this career path and so I am keen to get an insight into your course of study or previous jobs before you came to have you own documentaries.

STACEY: I've just been super duper lucky, I just fell into it really. I was working on promotions at Luton airport and 'Blood, Sweat and T-Shirts' came up two years ago. It was 'Are you interested in fashion? Are you interested in travel?' And I was like tick, tick. So then I went and saw how the British high street produces it's clothes in India and then I obviously stumbled across child labour. And it was something that I really felt completely uncomfortable with so that when I came back to England I made a definite effort to fundraise and just raise awareness. You know I didn't do anything fabulous but just joined some organisations and charities that I felt were quite cool and were doing the right thing. Then I got offered my own journey to see child labour and I was just completely so grateful and just very lucky I think.

Simondo: I would love to get involved in your campaign what can I personally do to help out?

STACEY:  There are a number of charities that we worked with on the series. Rug Mark, that's the charity that is looking after Parang and also Save The Children. There's also an organisation called War On Want that has a campaign called 'Love Fashion, Hate Sweatshops'.

For more information about organisations working to help children, check out:

International Labour Organisation

UNICEF

Global Fund For Children

Child Welfare Scheme

For more information about Kids With Machetes: Stacey Dooley Investigates see the programme page

(This interview first appeared on the BBC Three Facebook fanpage.)

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