The street children in the eyes of a child
Have you met or seen a street child?
Irene thought for a moment. “On television only.”
“I learned from World Vision that a child has basic rights like food and shelter. The street children I see on TV have little to none of these. That’s how I see their rights violated,” Irene continued.
Irene lives in a rural community in Albay where most families rely mostly on government support and whatever part-time job the father could get to support the needs of the family.
Though poor, Irene’s village has no street children.
World Vision has been working in Irene’s community for nearly five years. World Vision’s sponsorship program offers poor children the chance to attend seminars and trainings that teach them their basic rights, good values and love of God.
These trainings that Irene attended opened her eyes to harsh realities that other children in other communities and possibly in her community face. This prompted her to be part of her community’s development. She is currently the president of World Vision’s children’s group called the Barangay Children’s Association (BCA).
A BCA member is often consulted and offer solutions on issues affecting children. In some World Vision communities, a BCA member became representatives at the municipal and barangay committees on child protection.
Irene’s concern over street children became the topic of a storybook that she and her group made during a mini-storybook creation seminar facilitated by World Vision’s Child Protection Specialist, Flor Algo. The storybook entitled “Si Putot ang Batang Palaboy (Putot the Wanderer)” tells the story of a street child and how he was saved from street dangers by a government agency. The story ended in a good note, with Putot being given a chance to go back to study and live in a safe shelter.
“We decided to write a story about street children to raise the issue of the danger of living on the streets. We hope that our story will become a book someday and be read by parents and teachers,” Irene said.