Wednesday, June 09, 2004


Today’s post is focused on the plight of orphans.

A few years ago, a group of orphans from war-torn Sudan and other countries in Africa arrived in Australia to start a new life. But the transition from one culture to another have proved to be extremely painful and confusing for some but positively rewarding for others.

While the majority of the young men and women have been successfully re-settled, thanks to the efforts of the humanitarian agencies; a small minority have slipped through the safety net. Obviously, dazzled by the city lights, drunk with youthful exuberance and a misguided sense of freedom without parental control, they have taken to the streets and popular entertainment venues; presumably to have a “good time” and “Take things easy”. But, generally speaking, life wasn’t meant to be easy, as the former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser once said.

Although some are barely out of puberty, this “lost generation” of African orphans in Australia are struggling to survive and are doing it tough. Some are still roaming the streets; searching for money, food, and shelter and a sense of belonging. They are yet to find themselves in the new society.

Thus, for this hardcore group of orphans, education and training is not a priority, despite the tremendous opportunities available here (some have dropped out of school, and out of work). And people in the emerging African communities in South Australia are genuinely concerned about the future of these kids.

In fact, it seems to me that being so young and restless and poorly educated is a recipe for disaster in a highly competitive post-industrial economy like Australia. But it is not too late to rescue these orphans from the brink of disaster and provide for their physical and emotional needs in a supportive environment.

What do you think? Any suggestion?

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