Children in unsafe Environment
By Akol Arop Akol
Children living in peaceful countries grow up peacefully, but those in unsafe environment always grow up traumatized and become hostile because of the insecurity and fear.
Here in South Sudan, you will get a child holding an artificial playing-gun and be pointing at you saying tui tui (gunshot) because the sound of guns that they always hear make them think it is part of life.
They can even think being a soldier and to hold a gun is the best way of being superior and when they grow up, they will either be soldiers or torontos for the sake of having a gun.
If we look into the matter of unknown gunmen, we would understand that these people are armed civilians who think taking shortcuts is better for survival. Where do they get gun. Maybe the guns are sold or some individuals change their colors at night and rob properties or deal away with innocent lives.
Bringing up our children in this kind of aggressive environment affects their daily lives. They observe the situation and register in their brains that gun-life is normal. They will not be peaceable when they see their elders using weapons to address problems instead of sitting down.
A good tree bears good fruits. The generations that will follow depend on how their forepeople or the ancestors lived to be positively or negatively transformed. When they see people misbehaving around them, they will adapt and pass it on, and in this way we shall not be free of Bad Culture and Domestic Violence.
Our children are the victims. Big ones may fight and if defeated, they can hide or run but young children face abuse and death. Those young ones who lack what to eat and treatment are likely to lose their lives innocently.
We talk of Gender Based Violence as inhuman act that prevents certain gender to defend their rights. It is a practice that hurt children and women who are not able to speak out against oppressors.
Would we be happy seeing our children leaving home, chasing life in sun and rain? Are we happy to see our children begging or stealing because they are hungry?
Our children suffer a lot compared to other children in different countries. There is no country where you will get a child taking about economy that Dollar has sky-rocketed. They only ask for food and see their education until time to get involved in country economic and political issues.
Here, parents are complaining about the poor economy and their children are crying too. What happened? Dollar, fear, hunger and Violence are the problems.
Though fighting has stopped, the past has already affected the young ones. The fear is imparted in them and become mentally disturbed. Unless there is no more destruction, they will not have a peaceful place to feel happy and focus on education.
This economy where young and old talk about is the big story they will be told in their lifetime.
They will one time remember that once crisis caused big burden during their childhood which prevented them from getting their daily needs and access to social activities.
It is because of the broken-down economy that led to separation of families with children when they failed to provide what they want and is the same economy that made life hard where young ones sleep and wake up sad because of empty stomachs. They say happiness starts from the stomach, so if they don’t get what to eat, they will not be happy. And hence there would be no peace.
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