miércoles, 5 de junio de 2013

Talking point: Street children

This week's talking point is Street Children. The idea for the topic stems from a post on Feride Hekimgil's The prop room in mid April.

Before getting together with your friends to discuss the topic, go over the questions below so that ideas flow more easily in your conversation session and you can deal with vocabulary problems beforehand.
  • What do you know about the problem of children living on the streets?
  • Is it a serious issue of concern where you live?
  • In what areas of the world is the problem of street children more serious?
  • Why do children end up on the streets?
  • What problems may these children face?
  • How do you think street children survive?
  • Are street children budding criminals?
  • What can governments do to deal with the problem?
  • What can the man in the street do to help?
To gain further insight into the topic, you can watch a promotional video for the Street Children campaign in Ukraine, and a The Guardian video with accompanying article on the way some street children live in Kiev. I have been unable to embed the latter video, but you can watch it by clicking on  The Guardian link. You will find the transcript for both videos below.

    Street Children from banda on Vimeo.

    The problem of street children in Ukraine is reaching a catastrophic dimension. Due to non-official data there are about 200,000 homeless children in the country. They are under the poverty line: ill and poor. Unfortunately, most people ignore them. According to the Unicef report, police even gathers street children together and removes them outside the city. So what are we doing with something we do not want to see. We simply remove it. Out of your sight, out of you mind. Like some litter in the streets, we just want it clean any reminder about the problem away. But it does not help. A piece of paper is easily removed, but the problem of street children will stay.
    We encourage you to remove it, so you realize that the problem actually cannot be removed. You do not want to get involved but you already are by tempting people to rip off the picture and create the impulse of removing it we raise the awareness of the problem and make people think. Now it will stay in their mind.
    Of course we do replace the ripped-off figures. Of course we easily do continue the same interactive mechanic media.
    Today internet is the new reality we live in. That’s why it is so important to bring the mechanic here into life too with pop-up and banners. We want people to feel that they try to remove a matter that bothers them now it will waste future lives. Soon homeless children will appear back on the streets and only your support will lead them back to society.
    Of course, we use the full possibilities of the internet, especially social media. We created a page on the Facebook and added popular users and celebrities as friends. The idea is really simple. We enter their profile, capture any picture taken on the street posted by the user and enter the print of homeless kids into the file, then replace the picture back to the album and tag it. The picture appears on the user’s wall and his or her numerous friends can see it. The owner of the picture now faces a dilemma. To remove it off his wall or keep it. This is how it works. Minor efforts bring huge awareness.
    These simple street acts raise public awareness of the homeless kids problem an effective advert excites actual interest in Ukranian society to the problem. Donations for homeless children hotline help and support of any homeless kid on the street.

    I met 17-year-old Seryozha outside a church where he’d been begging. I asked him why he didn’t use the shelters. He said he felt trapped in them. He agreed to show me where he lived.
    He shows how he gets through.
    Head first through here.
    Seryozha shares his basements with two other young homeless people.

    It´s just scraps of food that they found. It’s very, very dark and it’s stuffy and it’s hard to breathe but notable thing is just how many tubes of glue there are lying around.
    They told me that three of those tubes is enough to keep them high for the whole day. I imagine it’s quite a big dose.
    They said the glue they sniff takes away feelings of cold and hunger, but it also causes brain damage.
    It’s hard to know what to say. This is a very profound and depressing place.
    No one could tell me how many street children there are in Ukraine. As I discovered they live hidden lives.