The Problem

The reality that there are LITERALLY millions of abandoned and homeless children living on the streets of cities in the Middle East is beyond our comprehension.  Yet they are there.  How did they get there?

Divorce and Domestic Strife:

One day these innocent children suddenly found themselves without their parents;  a time of altercations led to the divorce of their parents.  Coupled with the pressures of pervasive and insidious poverty, children are tossed into the streets along with the unwanted marriage.

Others live in homes over run with domestic strife and abuse.  Many times the children of such homes “flee” to the streets to escape the pressures and abuses of home.

Divorce and re-marriage:

In this common scenario, children find themselves living in a new arrangement – their father living with a strange woman and/or their mother living with a strange man.  Tragically in some cases, the new husband or new wife do not want to keep the strange-to-them children in the house.

With unspeakable coldness of heart, the children are kicked out of the house and into the streets…abandoned.  Other times, the children are thrown into the streets in the morning with a command to make enough money to feed themselves before coming home;  if they do not, they will spend the night on the street rather than facing a beating at home.

In other cases, the new husband agrees to live with the child/children, but only for the purpose of using them to make money or for his own sexual satisfaction.

Unloved and abused at home, such children of divorce and re-marriage “flee” to the streets.

Common law marriages: 

Common law marriages are illegal in the Middle East, unrecognized by the Governments.  Yet due to the poverty that plagues the region, common law marriages flourish in number.  Naturally, these marriages produce many children, all of whom are also not recognized by the Governments.  These children do not have Government identity papers.  Therefore, they cannot receive Government benefits or go to school.  Because they are viewed as burdens rather than blessings, many children of common law marriages are cast out into the street like yesterday’s garbage.

These children are faceless and nameless in the eyes of Middle Eastern society.  They are despised and abused.

On the street, gangsters capture them and teach them how to be professional criminals.  These children grow up trusting no one, loving no one, and hating everyone.

Kidnapping:

Perhaps the most heart-rending of street children are those who have parents who love them, but they were kidnapped by human traffickers.  Little boys and little girls are stolen, bought, and sold to make money for their captors…usually by prostitution.  And these children are most often kidnapped from Christian homes.