Street Children becoming a very serious problem.
We would like to make a very urgent appeal to the public of George to stop giving money to children on the street, and no…please don’t buy them any food either. These children are not your responsibility, so it is not up to you to make sure they have something to eat or drink. It is not the municipality’s responsibility either, it is our responsibility…every person living in George, it is your responsibility to not give these kids anything.
These kids have parents and a place to stay, they are not homeless. Their parents are responsible for them, nobody else!!! They just want money to buy drugs or glue to sniff, they even use the money they get to gamble with the dice. They don’t buy food from the money they get and of that, you can be sure.
They have a place where they can go to for food, and even shelter in Borchards called Kidstop but they don’t want to follow rules or get educated. These children should be in schools getting an education but every time someone gives them money at a street corner, you rob them of that opportunity because you are helping them to stay on the street. Some of these kids get more money in a day than the person giving it to them, and then they only use it to gamble, buy drugs, or glue.
You are not helping them in any positive way by giving them money or buying them food, you are just helping them stay where they are. If I made up to R300 for half a day begging at a street corner then why should I go and work for someone where I have to follow orders and work 8 hours. This is the mindset of these kids.
I asked them one day “Why don’t you go and beg at the robots in your own area?” Do you know what their answer was?? They said, and I quote their exact words “The white people give us more money, the coloured and black people chase us away”. These kids have been taught that the “white people” still owe them something. And where do you think that comes from? Obviously from their parents.
I know we can talk about this subject for weeks and months but the fact still remains that it is not your child so it is not your responsibility. If you want to ease your own conscience and make a real lasting difference then why don’t you take that child home and give him a better life, change his circumstances, and then you will change his life. You don’t do it by giving him R5 or even 50c. Some of them will never get out of the circumstances they are in because you that give to them are keeping them where they are and thus depriving them of a really productive life.
You also make it so much more difficult for us and other organisations that really want to help these children, because the more we try to make an impact the more difficult it gets because they just want to be at the street corners begging for money because they have now already earned a “doctorate” in begging. Some of them are professional beggars already and it is largely because you keep giving.
You know, the last person we helped off the streets of George and sent to rehab 3 years ago was a heroin addict. Her boyfriend died a year after she went to rehab. On the way to the rehab I asked her a question that has been burning inside of me for years, I asked her “Why do all the drug addicts on the street come to or end up in George” Her answer was very direct “Because the people of George is the biggest suckers”. Perhaps we will never get rid of this problem of children begging at street corners because the citizens of George are still the biggest suckers.
As for me, I will continue to chase them home when I see them or call law enforcement to come and remove them. At least I will not be a part of why kids stay on the street, I want to be part of the solution. What is your choice today? Will you join me in being part of the solution or will you continue to fuel and feed the problem, creating more room for kids to become hardcore druggies in the end and then also contributing to the high levels of crime?
This remains your choice, but don’t complain when your house gets broken into or if your car gets stolen, or if you get hijacked one evening or robbed. Maybe that same child that you gave R10 to will spare your life if he breaks into your house after he got high from your money and you catch him red-handed, or he will just slit your throat and smile while he does it because that is the reality.
Please think next time when you are tempted to give money to a child on a street corner, rather give the money to the organisations that are trying to improve their lives. These organisation also struggling to help these kids and that way your money will do more than just feed that child for half a day.