The Dark Side of Chocolate

Author’s note: This is a guest post by fellowONE Mom Chelsea Hudson who blogs at Do A Little Good. I got to know Chelsea and her work online as part of a wonderful group of Mom bloggers who advocate and support ONE, a grassroots NGO whose aim is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. I read this post recently on her blog and have been considering the issue ever since. Here is a story that is bound to make you think especially with Halloween coming up soon when millions of dollars of this kind of chocolate is being sold. 

Screen Shot of huge chocolate company, Hershey's, Halloween page.

Screen Shot of huge chocolate company, Hershey’s, Halloween page.

The Dark Side of Chocolate by Chelsea Hudson

I just watched the documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate. It hit home on many levels…

First, it’s about children. Children as young as seven years old.


You see, I have children. I have a seven-year old. So when I hear about violence and injustice happening to children anywhere, it matters. Deeply.

Secondly, it’s about the source country where children are trafficked from – Mali, West Africa.

Map of West Africa. Photo source: Wikipedia Free Commons

Map of West Africa. Photo source: Wikipedia Free Commons

You see, I spent a summer in Mali in 1997. In Timbuktu, to be exact (Tombouctou). When I was there, I made a little friend in a boy named Josef. He was probably 7 or 8 at the time, maybe younger. I can still see his face in my memories and heart. I gave him my watch (a cheap digital watch from Walmart) and his parents kept it safe so older relatives would not steal it from him. I left a part of my heart with that watch. I wrote back and forth with his mother, through a missionary translator, for several years after I was there, keeping up with Josef’s well-being and family. What if it had been Josef who was trafficked?? You see, he matters to me. Deeply.

Issues of injustice in our world seem far away, out “there”, wherever out there is, until we can see a face, or picture ourselves or someone we are close to in the midst of that injustice. Somehow, then it matters more. It seems real. Because it IS real.

Moms and Dads, you have children. This issue should matter to you. After all, it’s simply by luck of the draw that they were born where they were and your children were born where they were. 

If you are having a hard time grasping the significance of this issue, like I had for a long time, please take the time to watch this 43 minute documentary sometime this evening. Yes, its hard, its sad. But its real. And it matters. THEY matter.

And then come back here later this week for some FUN, EASY, CREATIVE and age appropriate ways to include your kids in this fight against injustice.


You don’t need to go into graphic detail, but I think it’s perfectly legit to tell your kids that as a family, you can’t, in good conscience, buy mainstream chocolate because those companies use kids just like them to work really hard for almost no money, that they often get hurt, and that they can’t go to school because of chocolate.

Let’s change the status quo by impassioning their generation to practice ethical buying now.

476536_10150614149688195_141794894_oChelsea Hudson is a mother of three girls, wedding and portrait photographer and passionate abolitionist. Chelsea’s journey into activism began 3+ years ago as her eyes, mind and heart were opened to the atrocity of human trafficking, both domestically and abroad. As an ordinary, suburban American women, she struggled to find her place, specifically as a mom of three small children, in this critical fight for justice. This quest led her to start the website in an effort to share the creative, simple ways she was discovering she could, and did make a difference by doing her little bit of good right where she was. “No man makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he can do only a little.” ~Sir Edmund Burke

Child Labor, Marriage, Education and Survival Global Issues SOCIAL GOOD

Teaching your kids the value of giving back: Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF

Some of my fondest memories of a child growing up in the 70s was trick-or-treating on Halloween with my siblings. Me, my brother and sister would walk for hours around our suburban neighborhood knocking on doors for candy. We’d come home exhausted yet smiling with pillowcases filled to the rim with sugary treats. We would pour our goodies onto the floor and would eat one a day for months to come.

Imagine if the candy could be replaced with donations. Donations to the children served by UNICEF.  Imagine the impact it would have on impoverished children around the world if only half of the candy was donations and we all participated.

Global Non-Profit Organizations and Social Good Enterprises SOCIAL GOOD