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Abandoned Children, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1073

Essay

The film, Bulgarias_Abandoned_Children.avi (presented by the BBC, 2007) discusses the life of abandoned children in Bulgaria, a developing part of the European Union. According to the film, in Bulgaria 1:50 children fall into a non-functioning category; this is the highest ratio of all children from other countries that are also in the European Union. All across the world there are children who, because of birth defects or inherited illnesses, are simply unable to perform under the normal circumstances that are expected of most of society’s children (Save the Children, 2002; Child Serve, 2011). The children discussed in the film were unable to cope with normal children their own age. These children have emotional and functional difficulties: They were unable to display normal movements. They often had tics that are associated with various diseases, inabilities to sit quietly without constant motion, unable to control to bladder and other personal hygiene functions, and displayed various levels of deafness and blindness which left them pretty much paralyzed in a normal society. In addition to the preceding characteristics, the children in this film also displayed inabilities to comprehend the world around them; many of them could not speak intelligibly and others could not process words of any kind. Most of the children could not talk, not because they were unable to, but because nobody had taught them how.

There were also a couple of children who were merely abandoned by their parents, for no particular reasons that were discussed in the film. But it was easy to determine that these abandoned children maintained some functionality; they could have been educated and could probably distance themselves from children with lesser brain functions. Instead, all children placed into these surroundings were treated the same. Among those two children who were merely abandoned, the girl assisted with miscellaneous kitchen duties while the male child helped with laundry. Provided with some education, even if no more than learning more responsibility in the roles they were already assuming, it would be reasonable to believe that once leaving the home, these children would be able to live normal lives.

It was apparent that in Bulgaria, children displaying the features described in the preceding paragraph were simply abandoned by their own parents, left on the street to die, or at very best, they were moved into some kind of government-sponsored shelter. Unfortunately, these shelters were nothing more than human warehouses, places that provided minimal comfort: a bed, clean clothes, and miscellaneous, but unskilled personnel to take care of these 75 children. However, at night a single caretaker had to watch over all 75 children while she worked a 12 hour shift. Also noticeable in the film is that workers were not segregated according to genders. Male and female workers attended to the needs of all children regardless of gender. Certainly as children enter puberty there should be an expectation of separation of genders, both with the social needs of the children as well as in the hygiene needs of both girls and boys. The film showed male workers showering and bathing teenage girls without the help of other female caretakers.

According to the film the children were not considered as individuals to be educated, so education of any kind was not provided. Meals were the same for everybody and the rule of the survival of the fittest applied, as stronger children who were still hungry would grab food from those who were weaker and unable to defend themselves. Within the children, a pecking order was allowed to develop, so like in eating, the bigger children could pick on the younger children.

When the children attained what the government believed to be adulthood, these kids were moved into adult facilities. There were totally separate facilities for men and for women. The film was not too explicit about the care of the adults but it is reasonable to believe that if, as children, this population was considered expendable, then as adults, this population would also be expendable, with little or no hope for future development.

There are other countries in the European Union, Great Britain, for example, where the care of these children is considerably better. There are laws on the books that children cannot merely be abandoned by their parents for whatever reason they choose. Children can and will be removed from parental guidance if the courts so order such removal. However, if such removal should become necessary, most civilized countries will seek nearby relatives with whom to place the children before placing them in government foster care (Save the Children, 2002).

In working with children who have specialized needs, homes have been created in Great Britain (Save the Children, 2002), as well as in other civilized nations including the United States (Child Serve, 2011), where care is rendered only by professional staff. These staff members are skilled, educated, and licensed in working with children who have specialized diseases. Children who are blind are placed in schools for the blind where course work is tailored and presented which will help the majority of these children to become integral parts of their nation’s society. The same kinds of programs are available for deaf children. Schools have also been created for children who have cerebral palsy, a brain-related muscular disorder.

Childhood diseases create huge difficulties, for the affected children, for their families, and for society as a whole. But it has been discovered in the last several decades that merely warehousing children with these dread diseases does nothing for them and provides greater burden to society as a whole. Providing these children, and sometimes their immediate families, with specialized training, and helping these children to become responsible citizens looks after the greater good for all of society. Within every society there may be a few children who, even with training, may fall by the wayside and will need continually specialized care all of their adult lives, but these cases have proven to be few and far between. More often, these children, provided with the care they need and the prosthetics and other health devices available, can lead productive lives as adults (Save the Children, 2002; Child Serve, 2011).

References

Bulgarias_Abandoned_Children.avi (2007). Presented by True Vision Television Foundation. London: British Broadcasting Company.

Child Serve Corporation. (2011). An independent foundation proving services to children and their families. Ames, IA: Author.

Save the Children. (2002). A charitable support group working with children and their families, with the head office in the United Kingdom and branch offices located in the United States. London, UK: Author.

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