Saving the Children like How?

25 November 2009

Saving the Children like How?
By Anonymous
Created Nov 25 2009 - 9:41am
A damaging report put out this week by Save the Children, an international charity organization which concerns itself about the rights of the child, has indicted orphanages in Africa as fraudulent organizations set up to exploit and abuse little children, instead of providing them with the necessities of life they lack as orphans. The report notes that some institutions coerce or trick poor parents to give up their children. Millions of children are put at risk through living in an institution, and face rape, trafficking and beatings. The report goes on to name Liberia as one of the African nations where orphanages have become a big business, citing that in the last two years the number of orphanages has doubled. The author of the report writes that “it is a myth that children in orphanages have no parents. Most are there because their parents simply can’t afford to feed, clothe and educate them.” We are in partial agreement with the findings of Save the Children report. This is one of the legacies of the 14-year civil war started by Charles Taylor, who promised Liberians a better life but in the end created a generation of former child soldiers, wayward children and teenage mothers. These orphanages became necessary to save abandoned children and were not intended for exploitative purposes. However, child traffickers found Liberia to be a major shopping ground for their exploitative aims as a consequence of the war. They came and fell in league with institutions here, making glowing promises of taking the children away for adoption in America. This has created a national scandal. The Government of Liberia eventually stepped in and placed a ban on adoption by foreigners. It is a historical shame that the people on the other side of the Atlantic continue to make this part of West Africa a shopping mall for their nefarious game in human trafficking. The report says children have become “commodities” in a growing industry and that “unscrupulous institutions are known to recruit children in order to profit from international adoption and child trafficking.” This is condemnable. Orphanages are new in Liberia. Therefore Save the Children ought to have offered help to the government in the form of strict monitoring of the children’s institutions. They ought to have offered more aid and assistance in training, etc. Now that they have packed up and left, they want to decry the lame efforts of those here engaging in the public exercise. We are not unaware of those who are profiting in this international child trafficking business. They will be dealt with. The author of the report notes that “most recently,” she has seen children living in “atrocious” conditions in Liberia, where the number of orphanages has multiplied tenfold in the past 10 years. She cites cases of numerous children sharing a single bed, of 30 children sleeping in a flooded dormitory, and still others being forced to work in the orphanage instead of going to school. Some homes host children and their families. This is one reason why the government is stressing Poverty Reduction Strategy. And with the help of conscientious officials in government, the strategy will succeed. These are revelations to which, we hope, the Liberian Government will pay keen attention and tie them to the Poverty Reduction Strategy by regulating and improving our orphanages.Copyright Liberian Observer - All Rights Reserved. This article cannot be re-published without the expressed, written consent of the Liberian Observer. Please contact us for more information or to request publishing permission.
Copyright 2009 | Liberian Observer Online |


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