注册 登录  
 加关注
   显示下一条  |  关闭
温馨提示!由于新浪微博认证机制调整,您的新浪微博帐号绑定已过期,请重新绑定!立即重新绑定新浪微博》  |  关闭

南桥的博客

Be the change you want to see.

 
 
 

日志

 
 

Care for Children Left Behind in Rural Areas  

2012-08-12 11:11:12|  分类: English |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |
When visiting home, I saw folks worried about a certain "problem boy" aged about 5 years. A grandma in her 60s takes care of the boy because his parents have left to work in a city as migrant workers. "The boy is way too naughty and out of control. I don't know what I can do now," sighed the weary grandma.

She works harder than most grandparents to raise the child. I have nothing but sympathy and respect for her as she desperately tries to do the best for the child.

I spent some time with the boy, and found him to be neither bad nor dumb. He has just one "problem": He has tons of energy to burn. I suggested installing something like a ping-pong table or a basketball wall mount in the courtyard. The grandma shook her head: "Then all neighbors' kids will come to play and turn my courtyard into a public playground." That could be a worse problem to handle.

There are millions of children like this boy in China. They are labeled "left-behind children" (liushou ertong). These children are raised by aging grandparent(s) while their parents become migrant workers, returning only during major holidays. Grandparents in the countryside are usually poorly educated. As a result, such children grow up without proper care and attention.

If Sigmund Freud is right, such a childhood would lead to issues later in life.

China is losing vast areas of its countryside to urbanization, with shopping malls, karaoke bars and teahouses, along with apartment complexes, mushrooming everywhere. Yet few people care to build facilities to cater to the needs of the left-behind children. These children also suffer development problems. Someone should care. We all should, considering how lives of people get interwoven in numerous ways, and how we as fellow human beings should care for each other in the first place.

It takes money, effort and a loving heart to make a difference in the lives of these children. Other countries have gone through similar stages of development and we can probably learn a lesson or two from their experiences.

One notable example is the Police Athletic League that started in New York City in 1914 as the police commissioner sought to find safe places for children to play. He ordered a search for empty lots that could be turned into playgrounds. In addition, he designated some blocks as playground blocks where children could play sports without having to worry about the traffic. This is a brilliant way of directing at-risk children's energy from street temptations to sports and other healthy activities.

In suburban United States, there are sports programs, free playgrounds and sports facilities that children and youths can use for after-school or summer recreation and exercises.

The left-behind children in China are at great risk. They are vulnerable to poor parenting (grandparenting, to be more precise) practices, unhealthy food sold at local stores, and the lack of the basic infrastructure for education, sports and recreation. Many of these children are bright and their growth can be stunted by the environment. They deserve better.

The situation is getting worse every year. Because of the shrinking pool of students, rural schools with insufficient enrollment are closed, merged or used for other purposes. In my hometown, for instance, a primary school has been turned into a Buddhist temple.

I am calling for greater involvement of governments, businesses, schools and non-profit organizations to do something about the situation. People with resources can do grand things such as building rural activity centers equipped with facilities for sports and healthy recreation. They can also do small things like installing basketball hoops on vacant lots.

In the countryside, there are many cemented lots for drying crops and are used mostly during harvests. When vacant, they can be used as a playground with some small investment.

It is difficult to get local officials to earmark funds to develop recreational and sports facilities for the local community because such development does not yield quick economic results. Carefully designed and implemented programs to care for left-behind children could also create social entrepreneurship opportunities, or even create jobs and business opportunities.

More importantly, investment in left-behind children is a gift to the community that will keep on giving. Think of the impact on the lives of these children!

As Frederick Douglass once said, it is "easier to build strong children than to repair broken men". Inaction now will create bigger problems in the future, and such problems will require much more resources to fix.

  评论这张
 
阅读(7558)| 评论(4)
推荐

历史上的今天

在LOFTER的更多文章

评论

<#--最新日志,群博日志--> <#--推荐日志--> <#--引用记录--> <#--博主推荐--> <#--随机阅读--> <#--首页推荐--> <#--历史上的今天--> <#--被推荐日志--> <#--上一篇,下一篇--> <#-- 热度 --> <#-- 网易新闻广告 --> <#--右边模块结构--> <#--评论模块结构--> <#--引用模块结构--> <#--博主发起的投票-->
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

页脚

网易公司版权所有 ©1997-2017