25 February 2008

25 FEB 2008 The cycle of dependence

This article from Stars and Stripes discusses the creation of a generation of beggars in Iraq. Children begging for candy and money is something I've seen in Europe, South America, the Caribbean, and in parts of the U.S. It is almost a defining characteristic of the third world to see the child's upturned face and open palm. In many cases, I can usually spot the parasitic adults waiting in the shadows to take whatever haul the children bring in. I used to give out candy, but it didn't always keep well in unpredictable conditions, and honestly I worried about making bad teeth worse! Now I usually give out crayons and scrap paper. In Haiti, it was amazing to see how overjoyed a child would be to get a single crayon with a rolled piece of paper around it. I think of the hundreds of dollars of unused toys there are in my home, and how just a single crayon seemed like a windfall to a poor child. The article makes the point well that the Iraqi government has to start providing for its own to avoid the creation of a beggar state.

(Thanks for sending me this article, PAC, you knew it would be right up my alley.)

3 comments:

lainy said...

What a wonderful idea with the crayons. Kid's love that kind of thing.

To bad kid's have to beg in the street's anywhere, even in our own country

Bongi said...

interestingly enough the children beggars are not as common here. That's not to say you don't get them, but you don't see them every day. Maybe i just don't hang out where they are found.

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