Street children in Cape Town are often misunderstood. Nurtured ignorance often creates space for inaccurate assumptions. What we don’t know can shape our attitude, sometimes in a way that doesn’t help us or the street children. The solution for this is developing a better understanding of their world and challenges the face. A growing knowledge of who they are and their world can help us better come alongside them in notable and meaningful ways. Here are three things you need to know about street children.
Street Children Are Traumatised
These are not naughty children, criminals, nor dangerous individuals. Many Street children do exhibit behavioural problems, aggression and substance abuse issues, but these are coping mechanisms of children who are in a great deal of psychological pain because Street Children are traumatised, children, abandoned, orphaned, chronically neglected, physically, sexually and mentally abused children, children who are exploited by others to beg, for commercial exploitation and other things.
Every street child we know always wants to be back with his family, it’s just that they can’t because of the family situation or because being vulnerable they are being exploited and used by others.
Legally In Need Of Care And Protection
The Children’s act defines any child living, working or begging on the street as a child in need of care and protection. Beyond the law, protection and care for children is not for a few but something we all can do. We can all contribute and make a difference.
Yes under all that aggression, pleading and dirt, is a child. And we need to find that child again.