Some Q&As about Street Children

Many of you might have some questions about street children but probably you don't know where to ask. Or you might want to help but don't know where to start. Well, to give you some brief explanation, here I post questions one of my dear freind Cher Soon in Singapore had asked me and of course, my answer to his.

Cher Soon:
Clara! I just dropped by ur blog n i have to say u take amazing pics!
I'm really curious abt those street kids.
Can u tell me more about their situation?
R they mostly orphans? abandoned by their parents?
or come from disadvantaged families?
do they need financial help? or more of motivation to get back to school?
Tell me more!

Thx u Eddie. Sorry for my late reply, I had to dig a bit for your answers.

Well, kids on the street is a complicated issue. It's hard to figure out their numbers, their exact characteristics, even up until now, we don't have one solid definition bout them that we all may come to agree. Street children in different countries or towns have different nature though they may share some similarities.

As for street kids I have encountered, most of them come from poor families, often worsen by disfuctionality in their families. Some are run-away kids who don't feel themselves fit into society, school, or their families, few are separated and abandoned and practically "orphanage" , some are simply on the street with their families.

Some children are on the street for just a few hours and still go to school, but most of them drop-out, not finishing compulsory education. So it's not surprising many of them are ililterate and those who can read, have a low interest in reading books or even newspaper.

They do need financial help. But financial help alone will not be helping at all. Arita for example, the girl you wrote a postcard to, was receiving scholarships but it didn't work. Her parents wanted her to keep begging on the street while schooling. Not having enough energy to do both, humiliated by her friends at school, finally she gave up school.

Money matters and it hurts you when you have this kid willing to get back to school and you don't have enough money to send him. But it takes more than money.

Some of them aren't interested in continuing their education. Since they find out that they can make a lot on the street. They get used to the freedom, the glue-sniffing, the drugs, and so on. The hardest part is to change their "street-mentality".

I am now running a project called "Library Box" aiming to provide access for street children to good, variative, interesting books. It will be easy and portable, so they can read books right on the street while doing their activities. In the long run, we hope as they begin to fancy reading, they will have more interest in getting back to school. I have to admit, it's a long journey, and just collecting few books is already a pain ^^. Don't worry I'll survive

I've written enough I guess. If you have another questions, feel free to ask me anytime. And gud luck w/ ur job hunting.

Take Care Eddie

p.s may I post your questions and my answers in my blog. I think it's quite informative.


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