C is for…Childhood

Well, I’m going to use a c-word… I was thinking of  writing about ‘cod’, ‘Caracas’ and ‘comedy’ – all aspects of my life I’d like to blog about, but tonight a programme on TV really had me thinking hard about what it means to be a child. So yes, this blog has been a challenge because it’s raised some issues for me!

I am child-free by choice, but that doesn’t mean I am not grateful for my childhood.  In the grand scheme of things, I probably had a fairly ‘normal’ upbringing – loving parents and siblings, good relationships with friends and extended family. Pets…there were a few. We had cats, guppies and a rabbit called ‘Pookie’…And of course, the benefit of a good education and a safe environment in which to live. Sadly, that is not the case for many children across the world who face poverty, neglect and abuse.

Poverty. According to UNICEF, 24,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.

Neglect.  It’s estimated that the number of children in the world  is roughly 2.2 billion. Of that number, almost 50 per cent (1 billlion) are living below the breadline. Worldwide, 2.2  million children die each year because they are not immunised, and 15 million children are orphaned due to HIV/Aids.  This is equivalent to the total number of children in countries such as the UK.

Abuse. Despite the fact that we live in a so-called civilised society (another c-word) children are still sexually exploited and damaged by the adults who bear a responsibility for nurturing them. Every year, 1.2 million children are trafficked into the sex trade. This cannot be right.  Like animals and elderly people, children very often do not have the resources or faculties to defend themselves. It cannot be right for children who are raped to think they are to blame. It cannot be right for children to be raped.

Every child and young person has rights, no matter who they are or where they live. As adults, it’s our responsibility to ensure that these rights are protected – whether we have children or not.

2 thoughts on “C is for…Childhood”

  1. Great blog. This is a topic near and dear to my heart since my wife and I have one biological child and an adopted one.If anyone has any room in his/her heart to love a child, please consider adoption. There are thousands of children in your own country and around the world who are waiting and hoping to be loved. If you're single or married, gay or straight, please consider adoption if you're interested in having kids.If you're not interested in having kids, please consider a mentoring program where you spend a little bit of time with a child each week. There are lots of children who need a positive role model in their lives, a word of encouragement, a supportive tutor in a difficult subject. If you're ever had someone who supported you as a child, please consider returning the favor.

  2. Doug – thanks so much for sharing this. My best friend at school was adopted, and I have always thought of this as a great and viable alternative for people who couldn't conceive. I have the utmost respect for you and your family deciding to adopt in spite of having a biological child – you've given A the gift of a great family!!

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