Most people will agree that attitude and values of self-esteem have changed since the perpetration of war started to spread throughout the world. Children continue to be the main victims of conflict and their suffering take many forms. They are killed, made orphans, abducted, deprived of education, used as sex slaves, and left with deep emotional scars and trauma.
Lost of life and property, destruction of infrastructure, unemployment, and lack of access to education or work opportunity are devastating results of conflict. Thousands of Liberian children struggle to survive on the streets, and in local communities.
These precious boys and girls struggle daily for food, mostly roaming around with shaggy pieces of rags on their bodies for clothes; most of them are naked, homeless, hungry, and vulnerable to adult predators. They are sexually exploited and despitefully use as domestic workers and bread-winners.
Today, an estimated 85% of children between the ages of 9 and 17 years old living in Liberian post war communities are involved in small trade on the streets and in market places, trying to earn income for households. Some are even as young as 6, selling in the streets, either because the parents are unemployed and can no longer afford to provide food, clothing and school fees; or the parents, if employed, underpaid salary is to inadequate to meet the basic needs for their families. For them, it justifies why children get involved in street trade.
Children in rural Liberian communities were gruesomely affected by war. Aside from the risk of death from cold and hunger, they are constantly under threat of being trafficked and sexually exploited. Some were abducted and forced to render sex or domestic service to their predators.
Children need to break free from this condition. Their mind-set need to be changed. Their hope and dignity need to be restored. Their self esteem need to be rebuilt.
If these children grow without having the freedom and opportunity to go to school and develop their potential to constructively engage in nation building, It will take a hundred years to bridge the generational gap.
What you can do to help: ACL is receiving contributions and donations from passionate and goodwill individuals and organizations. Contribute in whatever way you can by donating cash, clothes, educational materials, footwear, and anything useful. Your donation will help restore their self esteem, hope, and help educate a child and make a them smile again.