AFRICA, MORAL DECADENCE AND WELFARE DEFICIENCY
“The greatest danger to our future is apathy …” Jane Goodall
Africa today is facing an unprecedented level of breakdown in the structured family life as we know it, caused by poverty and “modernization”. This situation is real and is a clear and present danger to our defined social order.
Due to the increasing poverty and modernization, structured family patterns in Africa are undergoing definitive changes. Because of the breakdown in family units, vulnerable youths and children are finding themselves in the metropolitan cities without any support structure, making them susceptible to a plethora of social ills including drug/alcohol addiction, AIDS/HIV infection, and lack of basic education/life skills.
This toxic cocktail makes them ill-equipped to deal with the rest of society and puts them on a slippery path, to criminality, making them non-productive members of society. Continuous exposure to such ills makes it almost impossible for them to escape this system, once they are sucked into it.
Africa due to its historic position of being a “developing” continent is most vulnerable to the problem of destitution. Already it is has been noted with alarm that besides criminality, non-functional members of society drawn from families who are most in need, create and perpetuate a culture of dependency, ultimately costing the government billions in missed opportunities and rehabilitative efforts.
Africa due to its state of poverty and apathy from the central governments has been vulnerable to the effects of increased destitution on the populace. The developed nations have been at the forefront of complicity in destroying the societal fabric by bringing in development, that at times was not matched with the requisite education, leaving societies to negotiate through the labyrinth of newfound affluence without the necessary “skills” to handle the side effects as with the easier access to drugs and alcohol that has led to family breakdowns.
Compassion Soul Winners Outreach International (CSWOI) endeavors to lobby the African government, politicians, churches, and communities to focus on the issue of reducing the number of vulnerable children and youths, and women on the street. South Africa by being the most Naturalized country on the continent must take the lead. CSWOI seeks to build partnerships between Individual Volunteers, groups, and communities to deal with the causes of destitution among families.
The increased incident of homeless street children arises from among others:
- Financial stress through increasing poverty levels in the communities.
- Breakdown of the family structure through moral decadence
- The ease with which illicit drugs and alcohol are getting into massive circulation.
There are approximately more than a million street kids in South Africa at the moment and it is projected that these will double to over three million in ten years. Clearly, this cannot be allowed to spiral unchecked, as the cost in human and capital terms can wreak havoc on the African economy. What are the options?
The world must act now and act decisively! Worldwide governments might consider this an African problem, but unfortunately with the world now a global village, immigration trends have amply demonstrated that the incident of legal and illegal migration will feature strongly and cost the developed countries millions in the ficus each year as mobile nationals escape the perceived ills in their countries to go to greener pastures.
African governments must wake up to the domestic crisis in Families. The central government must explore ways to provide more sustainable social welfare assistance that will protect the vulnerable in society with charity and community organizations. Local governments must compliment government by putting into place legislature that makes it easier for example, for private initiatives to establish “places of safety”, among other initiatives. The Local governments must be more proactive in their support for social initiatives to tackle these social problems, by putting into law measures that will make it easier to establish and run a sustainable charity enterprise Not-self Enterprise only.
Families halfway home” should be given explicit support. This will see homes established and enjoying official support in the form of “tax breaks”, among other incentives. Religious institutions must take the lead in re-establishing the moral fiber of the nation. This can be achieved through outreach programs designed to reach out to vulnerable families to inculcate in them the moral message of hope through the Biblical word-based standards. We should note that it is with prayers and righteousness that Nations are built.
There is a need for more aggressive community involvement in tackling social ills on a day-to-day basis like Joblessness, drug and alcohol abuse, under-age sexual exploitation, school drop-out levels, and truancy, and other social ills be-devilling the community.
The Media Houses of cause must speak out on the importance of social services across our communities and the need to engage community members to help for a drastic social change instead of the current wave of promotion been given to some sexual Music, immoral movies, and activities. We must see these problems as such that requires our collective effort rather than blaming governments, organizations, and some religious institutions.
CSWOI is seeking to network with similar initiatives, organizations, volunteers, sponsors, and donors towards creating a strong community of welfare and health care. Although we have aggressively engaged in children support, counseling, educating children and youths on the dangers of these abuses, and feeding schemes for vulnerable children, we seek to run sustainable fund-raising programs to firmly establish these initiatives.
Get onboard, lets change our societies together!!!