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Part 5 - What can WE do?


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Suffer the little children Part 5

THE POSITIVE PAGE

This issue of TACL has not been a ’pretty’ one, or a ’comfortable’ one. It can easily become depressing to think of all the grubby perversion that has become part of the sinful nature of so many people today. But we cannot hide from the painful truth of sin’s existence — especially the pain that is caused to others — and particularly when it involves vulnerable children. Christ who had compassion on the crowds, and a special soft spot for children warned about inflicting suffering on such little ones. We, who claim to belong to Him, need to follow his example of loving acceptance, and compassionate care — especially for the young.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

A. We need to recognise that we all have a duty of care, particularly for children who come within the scope of our activities and influence. Child sexual abuse is a crime! If we discover it we must report it and have it investigated by the law. If we suspect it or see signs that could indicate such abuse, we must notify the proper authorities.

B. There are some very real and positive directions and actions we can take through finding out about, and becoming involved in, children’s activities, support, groups, and the like. Provide encouragement, love, support, care and protection to the children in our child contact network (children and grandchildren at home, children at church, community and sporting clubs, schools and the like). The following suggestions are but a beginning to get you thinking:

1. Take the initiative — get yourself a police clearance — this is now a standard requirement for anyone involved in, or about to be involved in, any activity involving the care of children;

See: http://www.savethechildren.org.au/

2. As a family and home — make some enquiries to find out if it is appropriate and possible for your home to be registered and designated a safety house (especially if caring adults are at home in the hours before and after school starting and closing times);

3. Check your local primary school and find out what need they have for volunteers — whether you’re a parent or grandparent (whether or not you have children or grandchildren at the school) — there are often many areas where volunteers would be most welcome:- from canteen help to library assistance to listen to children read, help with spelling, assist with sport or games and much more — you’ll be surprised how valued your contribution could be!;

4. Volunteer leaders, helpers, occasional assistants (for special duties, or help on special occasions) are needed at most youth clubs/groups — wether community or church based groups — who knows, even YOU might be able to help and gain enjoyment (and more) from such involvement;

5. Check your local children’s hospital - there may be areas where you could assist as a volunteer and help to bring some cheer to a sick child;

6. Consider supporting or volunteering for the Starlight Children’s Foundation of Australia, a non-profit organisation dedicated to brightening the lives of seriously ill children between the ages of four and eighteen through the latest in hospital bedside entertainment, including visits to country and regional hospitals.

See: http://www.starlight.org.au/

7. Consider supporting a group such as the Save the Children Fund — not just financially but as a volunteer — in an op shop, or one of the book sales, or in some other area of service;

8. Do you have space in your family for another child to love? Consider providing short-term or long-term foster care for a needy child. Government and church agencies or always on the lookout for suitable people to assist with providing direct foster care — it is something that can be both challenging and very rewarding;

wpe74.jpg (2177 bytes)9. Help, encourage, support or sponsor a child through child welfare groups and church agencies such as Compassion, World Vision, Feed the Children, Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree Ministries — through these organisations individuals or whole families can become involved in improving the quality of life for very needy children in other countries and communities;

See: http://www.compassion.com/
http://www.worldvision.com.au/index.asp
http://www.christianity.com/feedthechildren
http://www.angeltree.org/angeltree/channelroot/home/

10. Get involved with Samaritan’s Purse annual Christmas Child Shoebox Appeal — it’s something EVERYONE in the family can get involved in — have fun doing — gain a sense of worthwhile achievement and know that you’ll bring positive joy to a child’s life — even in this small way.

See: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/home.asp (Broken Link?)

If you’re interested in other suggestions, why not check out: 50 Ways To Save Our Children, a USA not-for-profit organisation created in 1999 by Cheryl Saban and the Saban Family Foundation to encourage philanthropy and public service to the benefit of children and their families. Yes it is a USA based group, but its website has loads of suggestions, and lists many organisations that are international and can be found in Australia, Singapore, Britain and other countries.

See: http://50ways.org

(From TACL Vol 23 #5 2002)