Thursday, May 19, 2011

Street Children - Are they belong to the street or to a Place called HOME




I am deeply saddened by those parents who keep on having children almost every year even they knew the reality that they can’t afford to feed them and give them a better life.  Yes, Family Planning program is one way to educate those parents to have a clearer plan and ideas in building their family especially for their children’s future. However, the key is still on their hands if they will follow those educational plans and advices.  How many children they want? How to raise them? What kind of life they want for them? Are they born to suffer poverty? Or they were born to experience the goodness of life. Everything must be considered before starting a family. For me, raising a children is not a trial and error case. It is a serious responsibility by the parents/guardians. It is not like, ooppss here you go, and you see the sun and you can go anywhere you want.

                                                                                            Image source

On the other hand, I am grateful with those charities, non-profit   organization, churches, orphanages and individuals who give their timeless effort and support for the street children. Cited in Wikipedia, in the Philippines  alone, there were 1.5 million street children, walking in the street daily seeking for a place to stay and to rest their body. The report was taken last 1998, which means it must be increasing by this time and will go higher if properly action will not takes place.Here are some of the List based on my opinion and observation why this problem exist and why we find many children wandering in the street like nobody cares, own and love them.

Lack of attention – Lack of attention from parents and from the rest of the family member makes the child be rebellious and will run away from home and tend to seek attention from their peers. As we seen on movie which is can be also applied into our real world, the children were not only satisfied with the material things that the parents provided for them. They need time, recreation, and a simple talk with a bowl of ice cream with her mother or father. Parents need to communicate with their children,recognize their weaknesses, appreciate their success and be an ear to their problem.

Conflict in the Family – Fights of parents in front of the children has another effect in child’s growth. Of course, a child wants to have a harmonious and peaceful family. It is very pleasant to their eyes if they see their parents argued less and devotedly more on  happy moments. There are parents who were trying to hide their couple’s war from their children and I highly respect those parents who were  having this kind of standard. Parents who always argued with each other will cause a child to find a place which is quiet and free of stress.

Poverty and Famine – As what I observed, these two things are the main causes why there are many street children in the city. Out of poverty and famine, the abandonment is present. Parent’s abandoned their children because of the inability to feed them. Difficulty in sending them to school and providing their basic needs. I am sure parents of these children don’t want to see their children in that way. But if you were in the situations that even them, the parents having a hard time finding a good and decent job because of the lack of education and job opportunity  maybe we will say NO CHOICE. Of course, we always have a choice. I read a book before and there was a dying man who left a message to his family saying “We always have a choice”. If you will ask them why they let their children walk across the street under the bloody heat of the sun asking money from people, gathering garbage to sell, etc, they will answer you, Life is Hard.

Abused inside/outside the Home Premises – It involves physical, sexual abuse and exploitation by adults. A child will run away from his/her house  if she/he feels unsafe at his/her own home. The effect of abused within the household is very traumatic and if not be treated properly will led into a child life’s destruction. Abused children within the family, wanted to go far as they can from home.  Running away from home at an early age will make them landed in the street and counted as street children begging for money and food from people. 

What we can do to help? Not all of us have the financial capacity to build an orphanage and adopt those children. But we can help them in our small little ways.
- We need to be responsible within ourselves and in building our family. Plan ahead of what kind of family we want. Think and plan about our children’s future. Are we able to provide their needs, send them to school and give them health care?
- For the street children, if we have enough money we can give an ample amount to orphanages and non-government organization that cater the needs of the street children
-  We can give them some of our free time. Gather them and give them free basic education, Lesson about life and most of all led them to God.
-  If you can afford, choose one of them and sponsor them for school.
One of my visions is that all the children have a chance to go to school to learn and live like a child when they are younger. That no more street children can be found in the street, instead you can find them in school, reading, drawing and playing in the school playground



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