Posted in Family, Ordinarylife, Politics, Port Elizabeth

What is their future?

Ok, once I got started on the Blog Action Day post I thought of something else that has really been bugging me lately.  I was going to put it on the same post, but thought it would get too long. 


I have been looking around and have seen so many street children.  And I know that I am only seeing the tip of the iceberg here.  There are so many more out there, in areas that I don’t visit, in the other cities and in little towns all across our country.  Then there are also the kids from child headed households.  There are the kids who are at home looking after their dying parents.


What happens in the future?  What opportunities will these kids have when they grown up?  They will have no schooling, no education, no moral guidance.  At the moment they are begging for money.  But what about later?  People will stop giving when they no longer feel pity, when they are no longer children but just another beggar.  They will have no hope of getting a job or any means of an income.  Most of them will have no access to their records or any hope of getting an ID Book and therefore no access to social welfare or grants of any nature.  They system will have failed these children.


This scares me!!!  How would you feel if you were in this situation?  I would feel cross.  I think we are breeding a future population of very angry people.  People who have had no guidance in what is right and what is wrong.  People who see you with your mobile phone, your wallet with money in it, your fancy car, your house with a TV and an abundance of food?  Why should they feel any compassion for you?  We wonder why the value on life is so low in this country.  If you had lived on the streets and fought for every scrap you had would you value life?


I feel the crime rate, and the rate of violent crime in this country is just going to get worse!  What can we do about it?  That I don’t know, but I do know that if we don’t do something soon we are all going to drown in it. 

Posted in Family, Hobie Beach, Ordinarylife, Politics, Port Elizabeth, Shark Rock Pier, Triathlon

A Land of Contrasts

Today is Blog Action Day, and the theme is poverty. 


I have started this post so many times and then deleted what I had written.  What can I write about poverty?  Actually there are so many things I could write about it I don’t know where to start, and yet I have not experienced it personally.  I suppose the closest I came was when I was living in England and working in a factory.  I had to budget so well just to make sure I had enough money to get to work in the mornings but that is still not real poverty.  It is not the poverty that we see around us in Port Elizabeth every single day.


In South Africa there are so many contrasts.  Yes, a lot of it has to do with the past policies but not all.  We can’t blame everything on the past.  The present has to take some responsibility as well.  What about the children that are living in child headed households due to the HIV/AIDS policy and non supply of antiretroviral drugs.  The lack of housing, the greasing of certain hands, the inadequate and incorrect spending of various municipal budgets.  But on my blog I stay away from politics, so I won’t go there!


I will just write about something I saw last Sunday.  I went down to the beach to watch a triathlon.  All lined up nicely in the cordoned off transition area were these fantastic bikes.  Some of them worth much more than my car – yes I know bike envy rearing its ugly head again.  I mean if you take what the average triathlete had spent on their equipment it would have been quite a bit.  Even if you take my near the bottom of the range stuff it still adds up.  And there right next to the transition area, taking shelter against a small wall was a row of street children still sleeping under blankets, cardboard and newspapers.  The contrast was huge!  These kids have absolutely nothing.  I don’t know if I have never noticed them before because I am always taking part and so am more focused on setting up or if they are not usually there but it really upset me.  What can these kids be thinking?  Here we are laughing and sucking on our energy gels for extra sustenance.  Those gels probably had more energy in them than the foods these kids had eaten all week. 


The kids I volunteer with at the children’s home really are the lucky ones.  Even though they have probably been through things we could not even imagine they are now well cared for and protected.  There are still so many children that are in desperate need of help.