THINK Before giving money to begging children
Why should I THINK before giving money to begging children?
In most cities, you will see children begging on the streets which puts them at high risk of being abused and jeopardizes their futures. You might think that giving them money is helping them when in fact it keeps them on the streets. When you give money, you prevent these children from receiving the support they need to build a better future. THINK about this:
1. ChildSafe recommends to find and support services in your area that help children to leave the streets and be safe.
Friends-International is building a worldwide network of organizations that provide quality services for street children and vulnerable urban youth. Please have a look at the list. Also in areas where Friends-International is not active, search for quality projects. Friends-International recommends to you to look out for the following key characteristics of good organizations:
Buying ChildSafe Certified Products offers an effective alternative to giving money directly to children. Two types of ChildSafe Certified Products exist: They are made by parents so children can go to school, or they are made by youth in training so they can find sustainable, rewarding employment. All ChildSafe Certified Products help to provide a future away from the streets for children and youth and they prohibit the involvement of child labor. ChildSafe Certified Products are available at all Friends outlets in Cambodia and Laos as well as via the website. Read more
3. Eat at training restaurants
Friends runs several nice restaurants which train former street children in cooking and serving food. If you eat at these restaurants (Phnom Penh, Laos PDR and coming up in Siem Reap, Hong Kong and others) you support these training programs and ensure a safe and productive future for the kids. Also other organizations have training restaurants – check them out.
4. Support the local economy
Staying in family run guesthouses, paying fair prices at the market or when you buy from adult street sellers and for local transport supports poor families. With their income, families can support their children’s schooling. Buy from parents – not from kids!
5. Saying "NO" to begging children is difficult. Give a friendly smile instead.
It is nice to learn some words in the local language, so people refusing to give to beggars don’t seem rude but can chat with the kids and ask them whether they know the local organization where they can go to get support.
Read more ChildSafe Tips
What is the THINK campaign?
Pascal Colrat is a French artist who has become extremely popular for his work creating striking images by mixing his photographs with graphic design. He uses billboards, posters, postcards and other forms of mass media to make his art available to the largest number of people. His work is presented in prestigious museums and galleries in Europe and the US. He frequently works with theaters (National Opera in France) and NGOs (Act Up, Reporters without Boarders, Handicap International) in Europe.
Pascal has published books on his travels in Belarus (nuclear contamination of children - 2002), Beirut (after the war - 2007), Laos (political signs - 2006), USA (gangs of southern Los Angeles and the star system - 2005) and the Caribbean (psychological breakdown and slavery - 2005). Pascal started working with Friends-International in 2007 after visiting the Friends project Peuan Mit, in Laos.