The village is now the threatTuesday, May 11, 2021
As we are a few days into Child Month, it is important that we address some of the unfortunate situations that some of our children have to confront occasionally or repeatedly.
The theme for this year's month-long celebrations is “I SOAR (Strive to Overcome Adversities with Resilience). However, there are some hardships that children should not be experiencing in the first place.
Very often we see children being neglected by their parents because they cannot effectively support them emotionally, educationally, financially, and morally. This is understandable, in part, as several children come into this world as products of casual sex. There was little to no planning or consideration given to parenthood. What is worse is that some of these same mothers end up repeating this cycle with different partners, who later abandon both them and the three or four children.
Some people justify procreation with the Genesis 1:28 (New International Version) reference: “God blessed them [Adam and Eve] and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the Earth and subdue it.' ” However, they often forget the principle that they should be good stewards of the Earth, including their own offspring.
Repeatedly we have witnessed the abuse of our children and the infringement of many of their rights. Several of them do not have the support, thus their physiological needs are not met, and they experience a lack of access and equity to proper education.
However, I would like to address some disturbing news that has been circulating in the media recently. There seems to have been a rise in the number of cases of rape and/or buggery against our beloved children. Reports have shown that in under a month some children between the ages of five and 11 years have been assaulted by family members or strangers. We know, though, that there are other cases that have been silenced, either because the adult does not believe his/her child, reporting the case would be too 'embarrassing' on the family or individual(s) involved, or some form of threat has been laid out.
Undoubtedly, greater vigilance is needed to protect our children from sexual predators. Parents ought to be mindful of the people with whom their children interact, even those sharing the same roof. It is obvious that the times have changed. Back in the day, children were protected by the community members. The older folks treated them as if they were their own blood children. The care demonstrated truly epitomised the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Nowadays, it is the village that is a threat to the child.
Thorough investigations should now be conducted, and justice, in the true sense of the word, should be served – no slap on the wrist.
Adversities are good, especially as they lead to meaningful growth and development. However, sexual abuse is not one of the difficulties we want any of our children to experience. Let us protect their innocence.
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