Monday, October 21, 2019

Mexican Orphans as a Vulnerable Group-Can we do something?

Orphan children don't have the natural protections that come with being part of a family, community, and people who support them. For one reason or another, they have lost their families. Sometimes it is circumstance, while at other times it is because the children have been seriously abused or neglected. No matter what their horror they are vulnerable to all types of mistreatment and need the protection of caring and loving people.

Without help most of these kids are likely to continue their lives as homeless, sexually abused, malnourished or exploited in some way. It is hard to imagine a world without anyone at the tender age of 10 or even 7 years old. They do what one has to do to survive on the streets avoiding the constant traumas from a harsh world. The pain of life's poorly dealt cards may crush their sole before they are old enough to have a chance.

I think its important to reflect on this for a moment. When you were seven what were you doing? Playing with toys, hanging with friends, watching movies, playing soccer and having birthday parties? These kids have no clue about what a "normal" life looks like and some of them need to spend their time finding food versus watching cartoons.

In Mexico there are over 700 orphanages with over 650,0000 children (1,2). That number isn't accurate as other figures put the numbers between 400,000 to 1.8 million (2). Many may not find themselves in the protective environment of an orphanage and those that do still may not have enough resources for a descent life.

A lack of records makes any real projections as to what happens to orphans when they leave the orphanage on their 18th birthday. Well run orphanages like Corozon de Vida provide a sense of family so the children have some place to return even when they become adults. Those that are working or going to school have a home are always welcome and many of these adult orphans come back to help their "siblings".

Without education, holding the baggage of a tough background, most will slip back onto the streets.  The goal at Corozon de Vida seeks to end the cycle of poverty and crime through educational programs. The non-profit will pay for college or skilled trade programs so that they give these children a chance to succeed in life.

Not All Orphanages Succeed

Mexican orphanages are not always well run and the U.N. has declared the situation to be a humanitarian crisis. While the people of these orphanages are doing their best they don't have access to resources, have little oversight and few records. Under these gruesome circumstances the good hearts of the people who are trying to help can only do so much in the often violent and chaotic environment these kids live in. Squeezing money for donation is difficult out of pressed budgets.

What can you do?

Much of it is about money to provide basic food, clothing, facilities and education. Other times it is more akin to encouraging our officials to put pressure on Mexico to do more for their orphans. It is a little like fighting an uphill battle where the children's concerns are below all the other stakeholders in society. They don't have much of a voice and it takes people like you and me to give them one.

The U.S. give approximately 290 million a year to Mexico (5) of which much is for narcotics. A lot of drugs move their way across the border to high priced markets in the U.S. The victims of drug wars and narcotics are these kids who have no parents directly due to fighting. They are also America's kids who have addict parents and have been neglected. I wonder if there is a way to rearrange the aid a little to help fund orphanages or other activities for kids? We love to give money for the drug wars and other pet projects but may be overlooking the people directly affected by this money. My argument is that the kids are true victims and by helping them we show the U.S. has concern over the young people in the world and wants them to think of us as partners to their futures.

If you want to Donate You can Do it Here

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