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How Can Children At Risk Be Helped Young People Essay

In this paper we will be highlighting the major areas of children at high risk, the causes behind and the effect on their lives {as derived from child theology}. Our focus of attention will be the role and responsibilities of church and different organisations working for the rehabilitation as well as reaching out to them with the Gospel.

CHILD THEOLOGY: SOME BASIC ASSUMPTIONS

Child Theology encompasses all children irrespective of their identity, since our God is impartial. The basic purpose of child theology is to see the pressing needs of children, their potential and to take purpose driven action on their behalf.3â

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What are Children to God? Or in child theology? Children are the most numerous and needy people we find on the earth. They are most needy people as they are small, weak, dependant, most vulnerable and powerless.

Children are the blessing of God to the families. God could have easily created prototype of Adam and Eve, instead He told them to multiply (Gen.1:28).

Secondly we also see that they are created in God’s image like any other individuals thus reflecting the nature and character of God (Gen.1:26). Though children are created in God’s image they, among all other human beings are also imperfect because of Fall and therefore needs to be redeemed.1 It is important to note that apart from physical healing they are also in dire need of spiritual healing which is often overlooked.

Thirdly it is very much evident all through the scripture that they are the focus of God and His Kingdom. In the sight of God children are very special. But God cares for them and they are the focus of His Mission. Dr. Dan Brester says that, “they are both key to Great Commission and an expression of Great Commandment”.2

DIFFERENT AREAS WHERE CHILDREN ARE AT HIGH RISK

Street Children:

These children are the once who are on their own deprived of basic necessities of childhood, thus trying to survive by living and working in a particular environment. They are categorised as – Children who live and work on street during day but return home at night, other group who find food, shelter and friends in the street. They are called children of the street. And the third category includes the abandoned ones, completely on their own for material and psychological support, so they are termed as children in the street.4â

Kind of work they do: salvaging recyclables from waste, selling things on road junctions, polish shoes, collect alms, scavenge food from the market, pick pocketing, theft etc.

Problems they go through: They are neglected, abused by any and every kind of people passing by. Lack of roof over their heads leaves them only to be exploited sexually,abused and tortured physically. These children are deprived of proper food, education,and medical aid. They are at high risk of both physical as well as psychological problems since they are homeless and are left unattended if they suffer any health hazards. Many children are open to the dangers of addiction of tobacco, alchohol and all kinds of drug abuse.5 â

Sexually abused Children/ Child Prostitution

There is considerable amount of increase in the sexually abused children in India during last few years. Children are dehumanized, demeaned and are reduced to mere comodities for sale and purchase just to satisfy the need of ruthless and inhuman sexually immature individuals. These children are deprived of their childhood. Prostitution has become a very profitable trade in which million of children are involved specifically girl child. Child pornography has alarmingly increased in our country, so also incest rarely coming to light but very common in our society.

The agony they go through: Apart from being sexually abused they also go through physical torture- beaten up, burnt, deprived of good food. They are kept in small cells or in very small and crowded rooms in unhygenic conditions getting very less light and air. Sometimes they are forced to take drugs to subside hunger and pain.

Reasons: Among many other, povery is the basic reason worldwide. In India we find parents selling child to gain financial aid. Children of sex worker are forced into prostitution. Sometimes parents sexually abuse their children and so they find them “ready” for sex – a good reason to earn money.⁠⁠⁠6â

Effect: Looses childhood and dignity, no future, physical as well as psychological disorder. Psychologically they are depressed, post traumatic stress as disorder, anxiety, psychopathy in later life, poor self esteem, develop self destructive behaviour such as crime in adulthood and suicide. We also find they turn out to be anti-socials. Phisically they are infected with sexually transmitted deseases.

Children effected by Drugs and Alchohol:

Children who are not able to take out their anger indulge in taking drugs. Reason behind children addicted to drug are divorse of parents, family violence, lack of love and support, not being heard of and it is also because of peer presure. In some cases they pick up this habit from their parents.

Effects: It effects all areas of life such as emotional, psychological, spiritual as well as social and physically. they suffer loss of health.7⁠â

Child Labour:

In India 14.4% of children between 10-14 years of age are employed in child labour. It is effecting our society all over the world. They basically work in carpet factories, glass blowing units and firework factories. There are around 20 million child labourers in the country.

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Causes: To alivate poverty families force them into it. According to Prof. Gangrade, child labour is caused by differe⁠nt factors eg. Social tradition, customs, and dearth of schools or parental reluctance to send children to school, industrialization, urbanization and also migration.

Effects: They are mal nourished, deprived of education, viewed as wage earner. It is hazardous to child’s developmental needs both mental and physical. They are also effected socially and psychologically.8⁠⁠â

SOME OF THE ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE WORKING FOR THE CHILDREN WHO ARE AT RISK ARE:

1) VIVA NETWORK: This organization works among the children and do investment for their future in order to break the pattern of poverty and love, equip and support them. They are also helping them to make them free from depression, exploitation and abuse. And for this they engage themselves with mobilizing churches, communities and individuals to play their part in changing the lives of vulnerable children.

2) WORLD VISION INDIA: A Christian humanitarian organization working to create lasting changes in the lives of children, families and communities living in poverty and injustice. They focus on building the community around children so that they have the opportunity to reach for a better future.

3) UNICEF: In India it is working since 1949 and known to be the driving force that builds a world where the rights of every child are realized. The purpose is to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, diseases and discrimination place in child’s path.

4) CEF: An international Christian organization seeks to evangelize and disciple children around the world. They target 10 million children worldwide to hear the good news. One of their main ministries is to do with children of prisoner’s because children of prisoner’s have 70% chance if going to prison when they grow up.

5) DIVYA SHANTI CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATION: Working since 1967 in Bangalore. They search children at market, railway station where the abused and runaway children take refuge. Their ministry is done by a night mobile clinic which is run by a staffed nurse and social worker who addressed the needs of children.

6) CRIN: They envision a world in which every child enjoys all human rights promised by United Nations, Regional Organizations and National Government. They also believe that children have the right to participate and express themselves freely and openly in all mater’s affecting them.

These are some of the organizations but there are so many NGO, as well as the secular organizations which are working for the children. Now these days we also see lot of books on this subject, lot of work has been done but lots have to be done in order to accomplish the need of the children.

OUR MISSION APPROACH

Today lot of churches as well as our government has worked for the upliftment of the children who are at risk. Many churches have come forward to help children in terms of finance, material, and medical facilities and had helped them to get status in the society. Government had also started schemes for children like providing them mid day meals, free education as well as learning institutions where children are equipped to do tailoring, handicraft work from which they can learn and earn also.

But apart from physical healing we need to reach out to them trough the Gospel which will bring spiritual healing. Evangelism to children is a special ministry of the church. There are various ways which church adapt to bring the Good News to children. For example through strory telling, visual aids such as flat pictures, graphics, projected materials, video-tape, Puppet show, music etc.

Therefore being a theologian student let’s stand in the gap for the children at risk and be sensitive about their needs serving and uplifting them in whatever capacity we can, so that they will become responsible leaders to serve the nation in future.

 



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