Three stories about orphans in Africa in today’s news are overlapping interestingly.
The first is a follow the the story I posted recently on the new flap over Madonna’s efforts to adopt again, and the reaction of a guy named Nutt from Save the Children.
He’s now ramping up the media attention with an appearance on CNN and rehashing his hash.
Well, would it not be better to solve the problems of Malawi and help Malawians solve their own problems by educating their children and feeding their children and helping their children so they can get off that cycle of poverty? Not just literally transporting the whole population of Malawi.
That dovetails nicely into this report out of Ghana that starts off with numbers:
Available statistics collated by Ghana AIDS Commission indicate that about 160,000 children have been made orphans through HIV/AIDS in the country.
Then, this one out of Kenya states that 2.5 million orphans in that country will be shifted from children’s homes to relatives.
It seems that the Kenyan government is looking to “trace the orphan’s relatives” because, according to the Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs, “We want to ensure that these orphans lead a humane life. We want to link them with relatives, where they will live a good life with other children.”
Good luck with that.
How families as poor as most in Kenya are are to be expected to absorb 2.5 million children, in addition to the large families they already have, is a question not addressed, although the country is in the process of amending their Children Act to penalize abusers.
“We have had an increase in defilement, child labour and child neglect cases, and the amendments will ensure the perpetrators are equally punished,” she warned.
… Kenyan children were at a higher risk of trafficking since the country was a transit, selling and receiving centre.
Unhelpfully, Mr. Nutt chose to lob a crap grenade into any potential discussions that might include the fact that there are so few options for so many children:
But we know from our case studies in working in Liberian orphanages that in many cases, these children are [picked] off the Internet, without much research going on, and sometimes it doesn’t work out, and the children can be sent back to their own country. And all that has happened is that that child’s life has been messed around with.
I’d like to see his stats on that, then sit down with some Liberian kids without families their opinions.
So … what do we have here?
Save the Children attempting to prop up the notion that organizations like theirs have it within their power to turn Africa around and make it a peachy place to be born … soliciting donations all the way.
Ghana trying hard to address the issues of the devastation of AIDS in their part of the continent through education and development projects … just up Save the Children’s alley and part of their mandate for the past 30+ years. And, gee, problem solved, heh?
Kenya passing the buck big time as they shove 2.5 million kids off their rolls and into homes where they will do little but add to the strain of families barely making it, thereby guaranteeing that many of these children will be worked, starved and abused.
Three stories, one news day.