Uncle Roger on a visit to Katwe, a slum area in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. Being greeted by families living here.
How is this fair?
The answer is, it’s not fair. In this life things are not always fair, but that can’t and shouldn’t stop us from trying to do something about it. These children unfortunately can’t help themselves in such situations, they are CHILDREN. That’s where we as humans can step up and help those who need it most. The Bible tells us in Galations 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
The hidden and isolated nature of street children makes accurate statistics difficult to gather; however, UNICEF estimates that there are approximately 100 million street children worldwide with that number rising.
On the streets, these children are facing many great difficulties including poor health, sleep deprivation, malnutrition, infection, physical, sexual and mental abuse and sadly the list goes on. Many of the children take up drinking alcohol or using drugs to subside their hunger help them deal with the harsh realities of street life.
New Beginnings works in conjunction with the Uganda Government and police to rescue children living on the streets to reform their lives. At New Beginnings Children’s Village we have heard and seen first hand what living on the streets is like. Being 10 years old, and sniffing paraffin (aeroplane fuel) to ease hunger pangs was once a sad reality for many children now under the care of New Beginnings.
When we don’t hear or know of these children and their stories, it is very easy to ignore. We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.” These children are very real, they are living on the streets with no one to care for and love them. Imagine yourself or a child you know and love in that situation… even the thought is unsettling.
Why them and not me?
Perhaps the most important aspect of living that we sometimes take for granted is the quality of life that we receive by living and working where we do. Your geographical location, meaning where we are born, can determine the life we live and the struggles we will face.
In 2018, CSC launched a 5-year ‘4 Steps to Equality’ campaign – a call to governments around the world to take four steps that will achieve equality for street children.
The 4 Steps to Equality is based on the UN General Comment on Children in Street Situations, breaking it into four actionable steps:
- Commit to Equality
- Protect Every Child
- Provide Access to Services
- Create Specialised Solutions
In 2019, we concentrate on Step 1: Commit to Equality. We call on Governments to recognise that street children have the same rights as any other child and to reflect that in law and policy.
Partner with New Beginnings today and join the movement – let’s recognise & reach out to street children.
If you wish to support the work of New Beginnings to help street children please get in touch by email for more details.