This is a reprint from the Pete’s Weekly email newsletter for entrepreneurs with a rather sad story. It alerted me to another way to turn cellphones into a useful tool for families which is mentioned below…Ramon

I am deeply saddened to tell you that Sheldean Human’s body was discovered late Monday. I don’t know why this particular little girl, out of the nine children that go missing each day in South Africa, so struck a chord with me. It may be that my daughter, my last reproductive effort, will be born sometime in the next four weeks unless she is as slow as her father and chooses to wander into the world in April, 2008.

One of the things I have learnt since arriving in the United Kingdom is how the local community gets involved in every case involving children — often using lots of technology. And the perpetrators usually get caught quickly. We have some of that technology available in SA, yet we choose to throw the responsibility onto the shoulders of others – particularly the police.

I believe that we parents have an obligation to all children to protect them, not just our own. And if we ignore that duty towards other youngsters, how can we expect others to look after our nestlings when they get lost. Please, I beseech you, if you have young children, please join and put a panic button on your phone, and your children’s phones. (And if you’re feeling cynical today, I have not been offered anything to make this appeal. And I would be insulted if I was.)

I hesitate before giving any life advice, because it seems that I always manage to offend somebody. Right now, however, I don’t give a darn. If we don’t stand together right now, we will all fall at some point. If we stand together, not only will we continue to stand, but we can make a difference.

At the risk of insulting other efforts, I don’t think we can blame the police. Frankly, I don’t believe any of us could work in the conditions that they are faced with each day. And no, I don’t believe there is much point in blaming the politicians either. They are so far away from the problem that I don’t think they understand it, and no amount of driving with our lights on, or sending e-mail petitions (which, forgive me, are “signed” by a few “rich” people who can afford PCs and the Internet), or doing those delicate protests that we (white) people manage to do with so little effect, are going to make any difference.

I genuinely believe that the only difference we can make, is for each one of us — that’s you and me — to do something. Today.

I know that you have heard the story, but I’m going to repeat it, because I believe it highlights the apathy that we South Africans share — wherever we go. (I am allowed to say that. I am one.) I know this because every time I publish anything, on any subject known to man, I receive a barrage of e-mail telling me how wrong I am. If we don’t take action ourselves, we cannot blame others.

A man was walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As he walked he could see a young boy in the distance, as he drew nearer he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things into the ocean.

As the man approached even closer, he was able to see that the boy was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time he was throwing them back into the water.

The man asked the boy what he was doing, the boy replied,”I am throwing these washed up starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die. “But”, said the man, “You can’t possibly save them all, there are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast. You can’t possibly make a difference.” The boy smiled, bent down and picked up another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied.

“I made a huge difference to that one!”

Sheldean was just such a starfish – one of 279 that will get lost on a beach this month. You, and your observant eyes or cellphone, might be the one chance my child needs. What are you doing to look after the children that are our future?

A reminder to visit the eblockwatch website today.