Opinion

Every child deserves better a life

By Ngor Khot Garang

To this day, I still think with ecstasy of a better world where every child will be in school. A world where every child will feel the company of their parents. I feel disturbed and ashamed of myself whenever I think of little children thriving on their own to survive.

Children who should be in school. Children who should be playing and enjoying happy, well nurtured childhood forced to accept harsh realities of life. I feel disheartened seeing these children as young as ten years of age selling water and working as taxi conductors when they should be enjoying their childhood at the comfort of their homes with their parents.

When they should be at home with their siblings. It is something that needs our collective responsibility. The future of this country is in the hands of these children. They are our own children but we have forgotten them. Why not treating them like our own children?  Will you not be happy if you sacrifice yourself to raise one of them?  Don’t you feel the fang of guilt cutting through your body when you see other children well fed, well cared for, and are in school and living relatively comfortable life with their parents?

What about these children who had to spend almost the entirety of their childhood on street because they do not have where to go?  I hope you will be disheartened too. I hope you will agree that these are our children, the society’s children. The ones we have failed to nurture, the one who refer us to as father, mother, sister or brother whenever we pass by them. 

We should not harden our hearts when we meet these kids. They deserve a better life like other lucky children. We need to open our hearts and extend our kindness to them. They are not different from your kids, or your brother’s and sister’s.

Just take part of your time one day and talk to one or two of them. You may learn one or two lessons from them. You will get to know that they resemble your children. You will learn that they are children whose future has been shattered. You don’t need to keep your eyes away from these children because doing so perpetuate the system that keeps these children out of school. And the nature will never ever forgive you for that.

I know you have no idea as to why these children are on street begging from people they do not know but you have a role to play as a citizen and that is to speak against the ills that keeps these children mired in this unbearable situations.

They left their homes due to several reasons; some ran away from their homes due to excruciating poverty, others were sent away by their parents and many of them have lost their parents or they do not know the whereabouts of their biological parents. They didn’t choose to remain on street. They need urgent help for the greater good of South Sudan. In days to come these are the same children who will grow up to be great leaders if we start to invest in them right away and great robbers if we just watch them like that without taking them to school.

The current situation of South Sudan pictures a ten-year-old child as an adult because of the heavy work they are forced to do and the poor diet which limit healthy growth. The number of children who work as bus conductors and all the little ones who hawk sweets under scorching sun of Juba have been taught by life at tender age how to struggle to survive which is very detrimental to their future well being.

Children are supposed to be taught how to work hard in school and when they reach the age of 18, this is when they should be given time and space to decide and plan for their future but these children who do not have parents had to do every thing on their own.

They do not have tomorrow to plan for; they just have to believe in false hope that never comes. We need to open our hearts to them and make them believe that they truly exist for a reason and not to just end up on street.

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