A child’s fate depends on adults, a fact that is so elementary, we sometimes take it for granted. The result of this dependence on adults is sometimes disturbing, as it is in today’s Washington Post story: “In China, Children of Inmates Face Hard Time Themselves” but it is far more often heartwarming and optimistic — the grist of success stories — every success story.

The Washington Post story I mentioned above speaks specifically about the lack of assistance or support on the part of the government of China, for the children of people in their prisons. China has over 1.5 million people in prison, and those prisoners have an estimated 600,000 children; children who are basically left, without government assistance, to the mercy of another parent, extended family or charities.

From the Washington Post article:

“The children of China’s 1.56 million prisoners are often neglected, as the stigma many Chinese feel about crime discourages many families from taking them in. The country also lacks clear laws governing guardianship of these children, prompting a number of non-governmental organizations to step forward and provide homes for them.”

As heart-wrenching as this story is, it really needs to be looked at in perspective. China has a population of over 1.3 billion people — the most populous country on earth.Those 1.5 million people in prison combined with their 600,000 children equal less than two-tenths of one percent of the population. When you consider the tragedy that could be represented by such a staggeringly large population you will have to admit that they have a very small problem.

Not that the suffering of a child, any one child anywhere, is less than tragic. Those of us who would lay our lives on the line to save a child’s life, those of us who daily sacrifice what we want and need so that a child can have a little extra; our hearts bleed for the unwanted and un-cared for children in all countries and would urge you, the reader, to do two things:

1) If you have anything, no matter how little, to give to a charity, give it to a charity that will help a child.

2) Remember that charity starts at home; if there is one starving, neglected or abused child in your city, community or village, THAT is where your charity should begin.

Links:

“In China, Children of Inmates Face Hard Time Themselves”

Children’s Charities of America

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