Displaying items by tag: Children

Thursday, 07 September 2023 21:12

A generation of children’s mental health

Shelter states that two-thirds of families living in temporary accommodation (TA) have been there for over a year; some families have lived in TA for more than ten years. TA is usually overcrowded and of very poor quality. Children share beds with siblings or parents, with little to no space for belongings. Youngsters have no room to play safely or even learn to walk. Older children have no privacy, nowhere to do homework or have friends over. Parents struggle to feed their children nourishing meals without suitable cooking facilities, relying on expensive, unhealthy takeaways or what they can heat up with a kettle or a microwave if they have one. Children attend school tired, or late, or hungry; many travel long distances from their TA. Families are cut off from support networks. Families live in limbo. They move frequently. Uncertainty and insecurity hang over them. Their children’s mental health suffers.

Published in British Isles
Friday, 28 July 2023 10:14

Record number of children homeless

Many are made homeless from ‘no-fault’ evictions when their landlord decides to sell. The Government promised to ban these types of evictions in 2019 but has not done so yet. Evicted families are placed in temporary accommodation. On 31 March almost 105,000 households, with over 131,000 children, were in such accommodation (hotels or bed and breakfast). This latest figure is the highest since records began. Sitting outside a hotel in Plymouth earlier this month, the BBC found several homeless families keeping each other company. When people are in temporary accommodation, there is nowhere for them to move to. The root of the problem is lack of housing, exacerbated because local housing allowance rates have been frozen for the past three years. Amid soaring rents, that choice has left much of the country unaffordable for any household needing housing benefit to help pay their rent.

Published in British Isles
Friday, 28 July 2023 09:26

Yemen: portraits of resilience

They fled war and violence to find safety. They lost their homes, family members, neighbours and friends. They live in makeshift shelters, not knowing when they’ll be able to return home. In Yemen, millions are trapped in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, hoping for a better future. Abidah said, ‘We fled Hudaydah because the war was affecting my daughter. The sounds of rockets hitting the port terrified her. She screamed and could not stop. Now we’re in Aden, she has started talking again.’ An elderly father of ten said, ‘The war made us lose our humanity and value. Life in Aden’s camp is tiring. But complaining to someone other than God is humiliating. We have no future, it’s gone. I hope for a future for our children.'Thousands of children have been killed or maimed since the conflict began. Thousands more have been recruited into the fighting. Years of conflict, misery and grief have left millions in need of mental health and psychosocial services.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 09 June 2023 09:59

France: four children stabbed

On 8 June, in a shocking incident, four children, aged between one and three, were stabbed in a playground in Annecy.  Police overpowered and arrested the knifeman, who also stabbed two adults.  The victims are in hospital; three are in a critical condition.  The suspect is a 31-year-old Syrian who had refugee status in Sweden. He has no criminal or psychiatric record, and there is no sign of terrorist motivation. When applying for asylum in France in 2022, he said he was a Christian, and seemingly invoked the name of Jesus during the attack.  In recent years, France has become accustomed to knife attacks, often carried out by solitary young men with backgrounds in petty crime and some Islamist connection. It is clear that this attack is of a different nature. So far, most politicians are being careful not to leap to conclusions, but it is inevitable that the attack will feed into the debate on immigration.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 25 May 2023 23:47

Ten men charged with 76 crimes

Ten Rochdale men charged with 76 crimes appeared in court on 19 May as part of an investigation into child sexual exploitation between 2003 and 2008. Jurors heard that the victims were 'mere objects' to be groomed, humiliated and sexually abused by the defendants. But on 23 May judge Tina Landale dramatically discharged the jury of seven men and five women. The trial, which will resume once a new jury has been sworn in, is scheduled to last up to 12 weeks. See All the defendants have pleaded not guilty, and deny all the charges brought against them.

Published in British Isles

Texas has passed a bill that would allow public schools to hire chaplains in addition to school counsellors. A version of the bill sailed through the state Senate last month, and the House passed an amended version on 9 May in a vote to give school districts all the help they can muster to combat mental health problems and other crises. The Democrats' amendments to require parental consent was rejected, as was barring schools from using public funds for religious services. The School Chaplain Association believes the bill will increase school safety without intruding on students' religious beliefs. Schools will provide a representative of every denomination. To be eligible for the programme, chaplains must be endorsed by an organisation recognised by the US authorities.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 19 May 2023 09:23

Kenya: doomsday cult

Children were the first to be starved to death in the final days of a Christian doomsday cult in the vast Shakahola farm, near Malindi. Police investigating mass suicide have exhumed 201 bodies so far. A former deputy preacher of the cult, Titus Katana, said children were killed first, ‘ordered to fast in the sun so they would die faster.’ Women and men were next in the suicide plan. Katana, who is helping police with the investigation, described the brutal treatment of children who were shut in huts for five days without food or water: ‘Then they wrapped them in blankets and buried them, even the ones still breathing.’ Cult followers were told they would reach heaven faster if they starved to death. Official autopsies found signs of starvation, suffocation and beatings. Over 600 members of the cult are still missing.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 04 May 2023 22:26

Massive revival among children

Core Group Mentorship is a discipleship movement that has seen God’s power turning their mentorship into a movement. A massive children’s revival is happening among Core Kids. The children are prophesying, evangelising, praying for people, and some are shaking while they praise Jesus. They worship freely and are even casting out demons. Thousands of children and teens are experiencing a strong move of the Holy Spirit. The leaders have trained and seen thousands of Core Kids turn to Jesus, walking in their full calling, set free, whole, and healed.

Published in Praise Reports
Thursday, 27 April 2023 21:33

Venezuela: dangerous to go to school

13-year-old Marcelo and his younger brother leave their Venezuelan home at 4.30 am every day, to walk unaccompanied, in the dark, for 2 ½ hours, to attend school in Colombia. Their lessons start at 6.30. They slip into Colombia through informal border crossings known as trochas - dangerous rural dirt tracks weaving across the arid border, controlled by local armed groups, drug gangs and smugglers who often charge users a fee to pass through. In a sign of teenage bravado, Marcelo denies being scared of journeying through these crossings: he says, ‘I like coming to school in Colombia. They don't ‘have lessons where I live’. Venezuela's crumbling economy and socio-political crisis have pushed institutions to the brink. Rural schools are neglected, offering only a few lessons a week with a critical shortage of teachers. Official border crossings have reopened, but sadly few have the necessary papers to use them.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 24 March 2023 06:21

PM ‘alarmed’ at sex education in schools

Christian parents and teachers are distressed by Relationship and Sex Education that is being welcomed into the classroom. Now a 130-page report of inappropriate sex lessons read by the PM has prompted a call for a review into Sex Education. We can pray for an end to primary school children learning about masturbation; for an end to drag queens telling secondary school children there are scores of different genders and asking what they feel about oral sex. Also, there is supposed to be a review of guidance for schools on transgenderism, which has been consistently delayed. Much of the inappropriate teaching and the harmful school culture stems from the gender identity ideology which underpins nearly all RSE resources, and which leads to schools socially transitioning pupils, often without parents' knowledge, for example, the book ‘My Shadow is Pink’ for 4-year-olds. Pray for parents to be allowed to see the materials which schools are using.

Published in British Isles
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