Any of you who have travelled in Asia have, on more than one occasion, met children who are trying to sell postcards or any other type of souvenir. They make every effort to be as touching as possible in order to achieve their goal: that you put your hand in your pocket and take out a few dollars. That child draws a smile and walks away jumping for joy. You feel really good. You have done a great work and you have solved the future of this child and possibly of his whole family. You can’t be more wrong.
I am writing this post to try to raise awareness about something that, to this day, is still a problem: child exploitation.
What is the origin of this situation in Asia?
It is understandable that it is difficult to refuse the innocent gaze of a child, but if we understand what is really happening, we may improve the picture.
Children, in some Southeast Asian countries (not all, of course ), are used as the tool of “pity” for tourists to buy them souvenirs or simply give them disinterested money . You will think: “for a dollar, you help them a little so they can study and have a future “. Not at all. Nothing could be further from the truth. With that money we only feed the mafias that exploit them.
Let’s help street children with the Think Twice campaign!
A campaign to help street children in Cambodia, Think Twice, under the slogan “let the parents earn, let the children learn” (something as well as “let parents make a living, let children learn”) has been working for some time on this problem by raising public awareness of the problem and thanks to this, the number of children in school has increased significantly . However, there is still a lot of work to be done. Thanks to them you can find lots of posters, stickers and flags in most of the places where a fair future is demanded for the children of the country.
From here we join the initiative and congratulate all its members for the great work they are doing.
Given the problem this poses for the future of these children, we must take note and act accordingly.
Please do not buy or give money to children. If you want to help, it is advisable to give them school supplies or make a donation directly to any of the NGOs working on it.
When you are approached by that boy selling postcards at the entrance to a temple with a penetrating look, or that girl who offers you flowers at night speaking a few words in your own language, don’t feel guilty for not giving him money. You’re doing her a favor that she probably doesn’t understand now but will certainly value in the future.
It’s more important than it sounds.
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