7/19/2012 0 評論
貧窮 - 可以改變嗎？Poverty – can it be changed?
Guess what this girl is worrying about? Is she worrying about how much her monthly pay can be of help to the family?
The mother cried upon our visit, as she unfolded her story. Her husband was a construction worker, who was also the sole breadwinner of the family of five. The girl shown on the picture above was their eldest daughter, who was 16 years old. The middle daughter was still attending elementary school. The couple, hoping to have a son, gave birth to the third child. Unfortunately, the boy was diagnosed with a heart disease.
The eldest daughter has always enjoyed studying, and she used to be the top of the class. Yet the family could not afford the tuition fees, and she had to withdraw from school. She has stayed at home for two years, and finally got a sewing job this year, with a monthly pay of RMB1,000.
Of course you would ask, “Doesn’t the Government provide a 9-year compulsory education?” So is the policy stated, but it does not cover the unregistered children. These children come to the city from villages with their parents to look for a job (i.e. migrant children). Since they still bear a rural account, they are not entitled to the welfares for city dwellers, which include education and health care services. Therefore, migrant children have to pay hundred dollars each month for their tuition fees, which does not include meal fees. As a result, many of them have not joined the meal plan at school; they would rather starve themselves or walk back home for lunch.
Some parents would send their children back to the rural villages, and these children become the left-behind children, where they are being taken care of by their relatives. Long separated from their parents, these children might eat a meal, and skip the next one. Some would even leave home after completion of middle school, and go back to the city for work.
It becomes a vicious cycle: poverty haunts them – generation after generation!
After the visit, my colleague asked, “How can we help them?”
I replied, “Give these children a hot meal!”
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