Sojourner's Place

am i not human? obodo n'ezu ezu azu nwa  

Posted by SjP in

"Obodo N'ezu Ezu Azu Nwa"

We have all heard the English translation of this Igbo Proverb: "It takes a whole village to raise a child." Yet, on any given day, across this great Nation, over 1 million children the street is their village. They are hungry. They are vulnerable. They are helpless. They are homeless.

Far less wealthy industrialized countries have committed to end child poverty, while the United States is sliding backwards. We can do better. We must demand that our leaders do better. ~~Marian Wright Edelman, Children's Defense Fund

For several weeks now, we have woken up to the news of yet another American company, industry, or bank requesting their slice of the "bailout pie" appropriated by Congress. We have seen the Big Three auto company CEO's plunge their hands into the cookie jar in an effort to preserve their standard of living and protect their sometimes 6 figure golden parachutes. We have cringed with fear as our neighbors, associates, friends, loved ones, or even ourselves on face the loosing their homes - or worst - loose their homes. All the while the mortgage companies and banks garner riches from us the tax payer and do nothing to help keep roofs over the heads of our citizenry. They stand there watching the tornado-like destruction of lives and do nothing. Yet, for those whose roofs have been hurled from over their heads, there are no "ruby red shoes" to click three times but they do know that "there is no place like [a] home"; for they have none.

Even before the economic melt down this fall, nearly 800,000 children were without homes in America. Whether runaways, throwaways, or part of a family unit the fact remains that they are homeless. Today, nearly 40% of the homeless population. If "children are our future" then how can we as a society turn a blind eye to them?

Although counting the exact number of homeless children is difficult, a consensus is emerging among researchers. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 1.2 million children are homeless on any given night. Supporting this figure are estimates from the U.S. Department of Education that report almost 400,000 homeless children were served by the nation's public schools last year. Since more than half of all homeless children are under the age of 6 and not yet in school, a minimum of 800,000 children can be presumed to be homeless. On the basis of these data, the National Center on Family Homelessness concludes that more than one million American children are homeless today. (Source)

According to Anne-Marie O'Connor of the LA Times:

Homeless people have nothing to lose, and the very experience of homelessness is one of feeling abandoned and rejected. The forces that are exerted on homeless people, ...all work to the effect of reducing the self-esteem of those individuals who become homeless, ultimately putting the great majority of them at risk of developing mental illness and drug addiction.

The end result are people who are reduced to the level of animals determined to survive, who will resort to desperate means such as crimes which cross the thin veneer of what it means to be civilized.

If we don`t stand up for children, then we don`t stand for much. ~~Marian Wright Edelman, Children's Defense Fund

The National Center on Family Homelessness
reports, from their recent research, the impact of homelessness has on children. I am sure that the list below is in no way exhaustive or truly illustrates the issues and dangers these children face on a daily basis.

Homelessness makes children sick
Homelessness wounds young children
Homelessness devastates families
Homeless children struggle in school

To this list, I would add the following at minimum:

Homelessness makes children vulnerable to predators
Homelessness denies children a sense of well-being
Homelessness robs children of their innocence
Homelessness robs children of their lives - both literally and figuratively

America’s Homeless Children…Are They Not Human? Am I Not Human?

It Takes a Whole Village To Raise a Child...Obodo N'ezu Ezu Azu Nwa

Photo credit: Stone Soup Station
Video credit: America's Homeless Children from ModelShootist

Sojourner's Place joins with other bloggers on the 27th day of each month in denunciation of human rights violations across the world, and particularly Darfur. As part of the Am I Not Human? campaign, information and tools are provided throughout the blogosphere to bring to the forefront the atrocities that continue to occur in our world.This Campaign continues until such time that measurable, sustained, and progression changes occur. Please go to Roots of Humanity, this Campaign's Virtual Headquarters for more information or you may email organizers at: Virtual Campaign headquarters can be found at:
Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old SjP
ain't got nothin' more to say...

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This entry was posted at Saturday, December 27, 2008 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

4 sojourners hollin' back

Thank you SjP for helping me and Msladydeborah raise the banner for children and against poverty, violence, and homelessness.

December 27, 2008 at 2:32 PM

I just read a novel by John Gresham called 'Street Lawyer' in which the story revolved around the homeless. We take so much for granted in our own land...

Anyhow, I appreciate the information and the message. I hope you will participate in the 'Am I Not Human?' campaign each and every month...

peace, Villager

December 27, 2008 at 3:01 PM

you wrote:

"Igbo Proverb: "It takes a whole village to raise a child." Yet, on any given day, across this great Nation, over 1 million children the street is their village. They are hungry. They are vulnerable. They are helpless. They are homeless."

Yes, and thankyou for saying it.
Your voice is very much appreciated Thankyou for being a part of the Am I not Human campaign.


December 28, 2008 at 5:30 PM

@ Revvy Rev, I am glad to do my part in this effort to save our children. You and MLD, just holla and I'll be there!

@ Villager, Love Gresham's books. That sounds like a good one.
...plan to!

@ PurpleZoe, much obliged PZ! Don't be a stranger!

December 29, 2008 at 2:50 AM
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