Despite the efforts of a great number of club service, such as Kiwanis International, promises from the world’s largest organizations such as UN and the commitment of all states about the Millenium Goals, hundreds of millions of children still live in extreme poverty. The numbers of the report “Child Poverty in the world” Save the Children leave no doubt: 570 milions of children live as “poor”.
Child poverty is a serious problem not only in low-income countries: 73% of poor people live in middle-income countries and even in the richest countries. Such as Japan, one of the more developed countries, where more than three million children live in conditions of underdevelopment and unlikely to be passed to adulthood.
Or in Italy, where there are more than one million children in extreme poverty. “Poverty among children is one of the central phenomena of our time – said Valerio Blacks, CEO of Save the Children – and is much more pervasive than most people realize. Could create serious damage to the future of hundreds of millions of children and of our entire society. We must go beyond the purely monetary parameters of child poverty and combat all forms of exclusion. “
Problems that turn into malnutrition, stunting, lack of education (it is very difficult to learn if you do not eat anything for days ), but also of socialization and many others. “Children Without” of Save the Children shows that more than one child in Italy to 20 (between 1 and 15 years) does not receive a protein meal a day.
In poorest regions of the country such as Sicily, a young man out of 4 (24.3%), 18 to 24 years old interrupted his studies at the middle school due to the state of poverty (the national percentage is 14.7%), a pupil 3 to 15 year old will not reach the minimum skills in mathematics and reading and more than one on two children or boys aged 6 to 17 years do not read even a book per year.
A problem that is increasingly worrying because of economic crisis and the increase of the gap that separates Italy from other developed countries, and southern Italy from the rest of the country. Situations well known for decades, but no one has been able to change it: the result is that mid-Island adults aged between 25 and 64 stopped at middle school level.
Kiwanis Club Panormo denounces this state of things: beyond fine words and promises of the authorities, however, the problem remains relevant. And it will increase considering the number of unaccompanied minors who land on Italian shores as immigrants (in the last year nearly doubled).
In the South, 20 percent of children do not have adequate space at home to do their homework. In Sicily, about 3 out of 4 kids – between 6 and 17 years – have never visited exhibitions, museums and monuments and have never gone to the theater. In these regions 10 per cent of children do not have games or new clothes.
The welfare interventions at national level realized in 2014 have succeeded in reducing the risk of poverty for children under 18 years from 35% to 25%. But this result, however, leaves Italy one of the worst countries in Europe (only Romania and Greece made worse). Again this performance does not consider the differences “within” the countries. In many areas, poor children live in cold, damp and dark all winter. And when, like this year, winter is particularly cold, the situation becomes dangerous.
In Sicily, in Italy and in the rest of the world, the causes and effects of child poverty are the same: discrimination, poverty and lack of services. Similar are also the problems that arise from this situation. No matter if you are in Africa, in America, in Japan or Italy. For the 150 million children living with a disability, the risk of being abandoned and neglected is three to four times higher than the other. Often these children are excluded from educational opportunities: lack of adequate diagnosis, infrastructure, untrained teachers, inadequate tools.
All problems that the Kiwanis Club Panormo intends to bring to the attention of those who pretend not to see. In the twenty-first century, it is unacceptable that, in the words of Save the Children “born in the wrong place it means to lose in the lottery of life.”
It is not acceptable remaining passive and see what’s happening to millions of children. Not abroad in remote countries: it’s happening in our country, in Italy, in Sicily.
Kiwanis Club Panormo