Many children in Sadr City shoulder responsibilities beyond their age, some not in their teens yet but earning a living to support their families. School, and a better life, are just a wistful dream. The new school year began recently, but not for Karrar Raad, 12, and his 10-year-old brother, Allawi. They work for car mechanics in adjacent garages that are smaller than a rich lady's closet. Their father is ill and has no job, and the boys have to support eight children and two adults. They earn $2.70 a day, plus tips. "I'm making a living for my family," said Karrar, a willowy kid with nervous eyes and oil-stained trousers. "I'd like to go to school. I've never been in one. Not a single day. My friends tell me school is very beautiful."Yes, it is, something which I hope Karrar and Allawi -- and their peers -- will soon see directly through their own eyes.
25 October 2008
Childhood vs Livelihood? ~ Kids Seeking School...
Jeffrey Fleishman and Raheem Salman of the Los Angeles Times write in their heartrending article, Childhood Cut Short in Baghdad, about the nearly one-third of children in certain areas of the capital city who have dropped out of school, many to support their families. They write: