Tag Archives for "street children"
You know by now how important we think it is for children
Casey Marsh is part of a delegation of U.S. Fund for UNICEF staff and supporters currently visiting UNICEF’s country programs in Zambia. She has been reporting on her experiences from the field this past week.
The final few days of our trip to Zambia have been incredible. On Thursday morning, our group flew from Lusaka to Ndola. As we wondered why we were delayed for about an hour, the crew announced that their vehicle had run out of gas on the way to the airport. It is a different world.
Our first stop was the Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital in Ndola. This is only one of two children’s hospitals in the entire country, and there is only one pediatric doctor on staff. That day, he was out of town for meetings, so there were none.
Casey Marsh is part of a delegation of U.S. Fund for UNICEF staff and supporters currently visiting UNICEF’s country programs in Zambia. She will be reporting on her experiences in the field all week.
I arrived this afternoon in Lusaka, Zambia after being ‘stuck’ overnight in Johannesburg. It seems that everyone in our group experienced some type of delay, and we all agreed that we need to adjust to a new cultural rhythm in Africa. Nothing moves quickly.
Betty Chella Nalungwe, the Communications Assistant for the UNICEF office in Lusaka, greeted me at the airport. It was wonderful to see a bright blue UNICEF t-shirt and a warm, friendly smile as soon I stepped into the terminal. I was quickly moved through the VIP/Diplomat line at passport control, which is an indication of the esteem in which UNICEF is held within the country.
Betty gave up most of her weekend to fetch me and the other visitors, which she seemed to do happily. In fact, Friday was her birthday, and she spent many hours at the airport waiting for Sean and Griffin Flannery, 2 members of our group from the Boston area, to arrive. None of that put a damper on her energy, though!
Have you ever visited a city and been followed down the street by a scrum of children asking for money or pens, or desperately trying to sell you gum or some limp flowers? Our visit last week from UNICEF Laos child protection officer, Amy Delneuville got me thinking about one of the world’s saddest, most overlooked groups: street children. Here in the U.S., there aren’t many street children but in developing countries, poor countries, countries fractured by conflict, there are many.
It’s impossible to know for certain just how many children spend their time living in the streets; it’s not surprisingly a very difficult group to track. An estimated number that often pops up often, though, is 100 million. If accurate, that’s 100 million kids living, working, struggling and sleeping on the streets of cities. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be a kid and not know where you’ll sleep that night. Or whether you’ll be safe.
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