Children in crisis
Millions of children are in crisis all over the world. It is a symptom that something is terribly wrong. Why are children suffering? It was God’s design from the beginning that every child should be in a loving home where they are safe, clean, trained, fed nutritiously and nurtured.
Sadly, many children around the world are suffering because they do not have these basics. It is very difficult to get accurate numbers, but millions of boys and girls are struggling in their longing for food, shelter, education, caring friends, family and a loving God.
The cause may be economic, disaster-related or neglect, but the fact that children are reduced to this situation is a symptom that something is terribly wrong with families and societies.
Children cannot care for themselves. Some try to survive on the street, under bridges, in vacant lots or any shelter they can find. The reasons are endless.
They do not have enough food and space with their family, due to grinding poverty; they come from broken and abusive families; they are displaced due to war and natural disasters; and some run away from rural to urban centres thinking the ‘grass is greener’ in the city, but it isn’t.
Kids look for left-over food after restaurants close. They work by selling flowers, candy, newspapers, cigarettes, their body, or recyclable items such as metal and plastic. They get involved in crime, gangs and drug-using and -pushing.
They pair up and have kids of their own, work in public markets carrying heavy loads, and sleep in push-carts or on cardboard in vacant lots, in front of stores or in public market stalls.
Street kids are in danger of being bullied by older kids, getting hit by a bus or car, getting sick without access to medical attention, malnutrition, becoming a drug addict, getting involved in violent crime, thrown in jail with adults, illiteracy with no marketable skills and losing hope.
However, street kids are like all kids in that they like to make friends, play, laugh and have a family.
ACTION is working with children in crisis in several countries including Brazil, Colombia, Cambodia, Ecuador, Mexico, Philippines, Uganda, Ukraine and Zambia. Ministry programmes include camps, Bible clubs, feeding programmes, medical and handicap assistance, education and vocational training, street outreaches, discipleship, disaster relief, drop-in centres, orphanages and homes.
(The UK acting director is Ingo Abraham: PO Box 144, Wallasey, Wirral, CH44 5WE;