Some people prefer to remain completely indifferent to problems that do not affect their own lives. The events that happen around them do not concern or bother them as long as their families or relatives are not harmed by them.
However, they are willing to sacrifice anything when it comes to their own families. Foremost among them comes their own children.
A lot of people dote on their children; they use every means available for their happiness, health and peace, if necessary. This, of course, is a beautiful, as well as a reasonable attitude. What is surprising is that while these people cherish their own children, they completely ignore other children who live in difficulties.
Indeed, as you read these lines, a large number of children throughout the world are struggling to hold on to life fraught with dangers and hardships.
They become the target of bombs in the ongoing wars and conflicts in the Middle East.
They are exposed to rape and sexual abuse in refugee camps or forced to turn to prostitution to earn money.
They drown at sea while trying to reach European shores while fleeing from war.
They live in misery in poor South Asian or African countries, often devoid of adequate food, clean water, basic health and education services.
They are forced to marry at a young age or to work as slaves in hard labour.
They are frequently exposed to violence from their family or friends.
The cruelty and suffering that these pure and innocent children go through doubtlessly leaves deep scars in our souls. The recent report of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) reminds us once again the gravity of the situation and the urgency for its solution.
According to the report published on the 70th anniversary of Unicef, if necessary precautions are not taken today it is estimated that by the year 2030, probably 69mn children under the age of five will die, and 167mn children will live in extreme poverty, while 60mn children on primary school age will not be able to go to school.
These figures are absolutely appalling; it is unacceptable to witness even a single baby, a single child suffer. So, how can a person consent to the risk of millions of them losing their lives? How can the possibility of millions of them being condemned to hunger and poverty be ignored?
Conscientious, sensitive, earnest, caring and good people can never consent to or remain indifferent to such a nightmare or endure it resignedly. Therefore, a great responsibility falls on everyone, from individuals to states; from companies to international organisations; from the media to non-governmental organisations and universities. Moreover, urgently lending a helping hand is of vital importance.
When the issue of helping indigent children comes up, generally the first thing to be mentioned is the difficulty in procuring funds.
However, the required financial support can easily be provided by the developed Western countries and wealthy Muslim states.
A very small portion of the amount that the developed and developing countries currently allocate to armaments would be more than enough to solve this problem.
Even a modest 5% of the defence expenditures of the US would ensure that 66mn children on the brink of starvation can be provided with adequate and healthy nutrition. Or just six days of the military spending of the rich countries would send all the children in the world to school to receive their primary education.
In other words, finding the funds to finance the solution is actually not at all difficult.
However using the funds allocated to children in need, only for them and without misuse is another important issue.
Additionally, preparing laws by taking child-related issues into consideration is a matter that must be addressed as well; providing them with free healthcare and basic education; taking measures to meet their needs and protecting their rights should be the primary responsibility of governments throughout the world.
Again in the co-ordination of these regulations, planned and systematic studies of all segments of society would provide more efficient results. All of this requires serious efforts and a firm commitment from the governments of the world.
Everyone must contribute to their well-being, happiness and joy.
Developing quick and technical solutions about many issues is possible through today’s modern technologies.
The primary problem is the terrible inequality, injustice, selfishness and lack of love we see all around the world: These are the real cause of the misery and deep suffering of millions of children.
Therefore, the rich and developed countries must put aside the raging and relentless spirit of savage capitalism; they should act in accordance with the good values they advocate such as equality, brotherhood, justice, love and solidarity.
Undoubtedly, indigent children also need emotional support, as well as social political, economic and technological support.
This is often a neglected aspect of the solution. For a thoroughgoing solution, they should be embraced with love and protected with compassion, sincerity and self-sacrifice.
In addition, they should be held dear and respected; they should be made to feel that they are intelligent people who are worth conversing and consulting with.
It is absolutely necessary to inform children — and youth in general — against the falsity of savage capitalism, communism and other harmful ideologies, and to teach them about love.
Nevertheless, some people think that humanitarian aid consists only of financial support. However, in terms of the positive and healthy development of children, all the things mentioned in this article have an essential significance.
Therefore, a great responsibility falls on the families, teachers and close relatives of children, all of whom play a vital role in a child’s personality.
There can be no peace, welfare and stability in a world in which children are not happy, healthy, peaceful and at ease. If their life is in danger, this means the future of society and indeed, the world, is in danger as well.
If innocent children are dying every passing minute in the world while it is entirely possible to help them, it is clear that there is not even a moment to lose to take action in this regard.
Everyone must contribute to the well-being, happiness and joy of children who are in fact the safeguards of our future and work with all their strength to avoid raising “lost generations”.
Adnan Oktar's piece in Gulf Times: