Thu | Jun 17, 2021

LETTER OF THE DAY - Help our needy children, please

Published:Monday | April 2, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

THERE IS a lot of talk about the security of children, but are we doing enough or anything for these children? Are we seeking out the homeless, confused and torn children? Or do we simply turn our heads and look the other way when we see them? Unless we acknowledge the fact that a child needs a helping hand, he or she is going to be an angry person in our society one day.

I met a young boy named Junior who, at age 12, was forced to leave his family home. Actually, his father took him to a stranger's home to stay for a while. His father pretended to be seeking suitable living accommodations for him, while really having no intention of doing so.

Junior was, therefore, abandoned at age 12 by both his mother and father. He tried desperately to join his parents, but they wanted nothing to do with him. He grew up aggressively, and learned how to fight, steal, smoke and drink alcohol. He dropped out of school, got locked up for threats against other children, moved from place to place trying to help himself by doing odd jobs (washing cars, working on garbage trucks, selling wares). He would sleep in old cars or anywhere he could find. He sought employment, but when his employers found out that he had no one to care for him and that he could work hard, they used him, and when it was time to pay him they would turn him away empty-handed.

Taken advantage of

He worked to get food, yet he was deprived of this one pleasure of life with no clothes on his back, no shoes on his feet, no way of satisfying the basic needs of a child.

His case was presented to the Spanish Town Police Station and they referred him to children's services in Spanish Town, yet nothing was done. He is now 16 years old, and still trying to hang on. He has had very little schooling, yet he is still hoping to one day re-enter school. For now, it's only a dream.

Does this child deserve a chance to be happy? Do other children like Junior deserve to live a normal life? Help, please! I am sure that there are others like Junior who are crying out for help, real help. Can you? Can I? Will we?

Patricia Ranger

Kingston