There are times when as a specie, humans react to children in danger, and as one soul, people try to help, pray and offer their talents for the sake of children.
The case of the 12 children and their coach trapped in a cave in Thailand was one of those cases when humankind reacted and waited until they were all safely out of harms way after two weeks.
Individuals, professionals, government agencies from around the world were present to help, while people throughout the world prayed and waited. There was much hope in the world when people everywhere can feel the pain of the children and their families suffering under the tragic circumstances.
Likewise, people from all over USA and abroad reacted to the families separated at the border and the children taken away to different parts of the country, caged, and vulnerable. Children crying, not understanding the politics behind the acts, but just knowing that their parents, the familiar faces, the embracing arms that had cared for them through times of pain, scarcity, etc., were no longer by their side.
People everywhere reacted against a government policy that was taking a high toll on families and particularly on children. Even now not all children have returned to their families, and for some whose parents have been deported, it is uncertain whether they will remain under custody of the state. Somehow children affected in those two cases spoke to our hearts and we were all willing to say and do something about it.
But, why don’t we recall the children from Syria, where millions of children grow up facing daily violence. During 2018 alone 1,000 children have been reported killed or injured. Thousands have been maimed and others live under permanent fear of the bombs.
And in the case of Africa, according to UNICEFF, of the world’s out-of- school children (33 million) live in Africa. Also pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea account for 40% of all under-five deaths in Africa.
In regards to Central America, we forget that during the civil war, which pitted leftist guerrillas against the U.S.-backed right-wing governments, raged for 12 years, killed 75,000 people and caused millions to flee. During that time, children as young as 9 were recruited by the guerillas and the army and now are recruited for gang membership. According to the Department of Homeland Security, a record 17,512 unaccompanied Salvadoran children were apprehended at the U.S. border in the fiscal year that ended in September
In the USA statistics show that an estimated 3 million American children per year are exposed to shootings. Witnessing shootings can have a devastating impact. Children exposed to violence, crime, and abuse are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol; suffer from depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder; fail or have difficulties in school; and engage in criminal activity.
Let’s also consider that for the last year the Trump administration has systematically terminated TPS for six countries including El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan, which will lead to the forced deportation of more than 300,000 immigrants legally working and raising families in the U.S. They are the parents to more than 273,000 U.S.-born, American citizen children, who will also be separated.
What happens when the kids suffering are not our kids? Do we still care about children even when they happen to be born elsewhere? Recent history shows that we do care; we just need to act accordingly.
We could strive to be better members of the human specie by always raising our voices against any violence against children while remembering that violence is not only armed violence, but also poverty is a form of violence that permeates most layers of human behavior.
Let’s look for ways to help wherever we are and beyond to make sure that children are safe, loved and well taken care of everywhere.
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